Without a doubt, the Coronavirus, COVID-19 has represented the greatest economic and labor challenge that has been faced worldwide in the last 100 years. The high level of contagion of the disease, forced governments to take drastic measures to contain the new coronavirus, which include: the suspension of work activities in workplaces, the closure of borders, the closure of schools and universities, restrict individuals’ freedom of movement, social distancing, prohibition of meetings, among others. The measures inevitably affected the usual labor dynamics, forcing employers to adapt and take unprecedented measures.
The mandatory closure of work centers brought the implementation of teleworking policies in most companies worldwide, in work positions that, by their nature can be carried out remotely. Fortunately, the current technological tools that are necessary for the development of work activities are available remotely, which allowed many companies to continue generating, and in the process, save jobs that, inevitably, would had been suppressed and very likely would have meant the total closure of a large number of companies.
The use of technology is essential for the development of work activities during the pandemic, since it provides means for the company to continue carrying out its ordinary line of business, as well as providing the necessary means for the employer to continue with the administrative activities imperative for the development of labor relations. The employer has the indispensable tools to supervise the correct progress of work activities, as well as having sufficient tools to supervise the achievement of the goals of its workers. This has been demonstrated by a wide variety of companies that, due to the pandemic, have migrated 100% to the telework model successfully. As a firm, we have the opportunity and the privilege of advising one of the largest and most important BPOs in the sector, who since March have migrated all of their workers to the figure of teleworking and, thanks to the use of electronic tools, their level of service and quality hasn´t been affected at all.
In the same way, activities that were previously dismissed by employers, now become more common every day, such is the case of labor coordination meetings using virtual platforms. Additionally, the aforementioned platforms have been used by employers for the imposition of disciplinary measures, termination of labor relations, communication of emergency labor measures, as well as for the discussion and documentation of mutual agreements between employer and worker, which have been promoted by the governments of the region. Like the use of virtual platforms, the use of the electronic signature (advanced and simple) to record the compliance of the parties, of the employment relationship, in the activities and measures previously described, is particularly relevant. Fortunately, the various legislations in the region contemplated the use of electronic communications many years before COVID19, giving full validity to the agreements reached by said means.
Despite the tragic nature of COVID 19 worldwide, claiming thousands of lives and affecting the economy, personally I see with positivity that the pandemic has broken paradigms in labor relations; demonstrating that the use of technological means for the development of labor relations is possible and that, in some jobs, the implementation of telework is possible as a permanent measure, representing potential cost savings for employers and the benefit of being able to work from home for workers, who, incidentally, have the opportunity (and responsibility) to demonstrate that migrating to this model is possible.