Paris and London, both global cities, are often compared with each other. Looking into how they compare when it comes to working from home, Bloomberg Intelligence reports that the British capital is far more conducive to remote working than its French counterpart.
The organisation surveyed 500 office workers in the United Kingdom and 250 in France on their WFH habits. The results show that Londoners are more likely to be able to work from home than Parisians.
Indeed, 20% of working people living in the French capital are not allowed to do so, compared with just 4% of their British counterparts.
Several factors explain why so many Londoners have adopted hybrid work, an organisational mode combining in-person and remote working. The first is financial: workers in the UK have to contend with the very high cost of public transport.
Over half of them (57%) explain that this prevents them from visiting their company’s offices more regularly. In comparison, only a quarter of respondents in France said the cost of public transport discourages them from going to the office.
This is hardly surprising, given that French law obliges all employers to cover part of the cost of their employees’ commutes to and from work.
Childcare is another area of expenditure that drives Londoners towards remote working: costs are twice as high in the British capital than in France. This leads many London workers to adopt an organisational mode that enables them to look after their children while working.
The same report shows that Londoners won’t give up their WFH privileges easily. Most of those surveyed would ask for a substantial pay rise if their current job did not allow them to work from home. Only 28% of French respondents would do the same.
These disparities attest to the fact that Londoners believe they are in a strong position in the job market, unlike their counterparts across the Channel.
Indeed, the UK has been facing significant labour shortages since the end of the pandemic, and the number of vacancies remains historically high, even though the cost-of-living crisis is prompting more and more Britons to review their career expectations.
In any case, employees in the private sector can be demanding, not only in terms of pay but also in terms of remote-work flexibility.
Still, there’s every reason to believe this type of work organisation has a bright future in London. Companies have to come to terms with this situation, even as they step up their calls for employees to return to the office.
Some are taking a gentle approach, encouraging workers to return to the office with bonuses and benefits – even if there’s no guarantee this will work.