Économie et Statistique n° 369-370 - 2003 Public Employment - Careers Professional - Mobility
Increasingly variable and temporary workplaces
Do we always work mainly in a set place? Recent years have seen the development of situations whereby work has increasingly necessitated variable and temporary workplaces. The workplace does not have to be specified in an employment contract and it is also absent from the major employment surveys. A survey on daily travel (Transport Survey) is therefore used to get a picture of where workers work. Working in a place that is not the usual set workplace is far from being the exception. One in four workers did this in 1993. From 1981 to 1993, this trend gained considerable ground among the employed labour force. The probability of working in variable workplaces depends on hierarchical position and department worked in. The type of company also comes into play (multifunctional business versus craft business). Yet working in variable workplaces is also and most of all linked to the worker's legal status (self-employed versus employee). Workplaces vary not only for face-to-face meetings and talks, but also increasingly for specific tasks and services. This type of work in variable workplaces grew the most from 1981 to 1993, as shown by the spectacular rise in manual employees working in variable workplaces. This rise also suggests that the growth in work off the firm's usual premises does not depend solely on the development of the new information and communication technologies.