"The Point" gives the word to bosses, employees, artisans... who work in the sectors most affected by the crisis of the Covid-19. Will they be able to overcome it ? Will they need to change lane, launching a new career ? The France of 2020 will experience a profound transformation.
Marc-Olivier Pascal. His company, Kubik, has lost about 30 % of revenue over the last few months. "From the beginning of the containment, they stopped all projects for fifteen days. There has been no activity during this period. Then we took in a degraded mode, involving a single company at the time and in putting in place the actions barriers and distancing between the workers, in particular. Customers urged us, because for them, it was the double punishment : they often had to pay the rent of their current offices, and one in which they had to move. It was feared the release of the containment, with an influx of work which it would not have been able to cope.
the Whole of this period has of course been complicated. Some of the businesses with which we work, but not the majority, have attempted to overcharge their services, explaining that their workers worked in fear, or that they had more time to accomplish their task. And the degraded mode has of course slowed down our activity. In an area of 400 square meters, is made to work in general, six to eight workers. There, they were no more than two. The result is that we lost about 30 % of our turnover compared to last year.
The speech of the government is catastrophic
To pass the time without too much damage and avoid dismissals, appeals are made to the partial unemployment for my employees. But the discourse of the government is catastrophic. It encourages too many firms to keep their employees on partial unemployment, even as activity picks up. The companies themselves play too much, afraid to see their employees affected by the virus, without a doubt. I also applied for a loan guaranteed by the State in order to have a bit of cash, which was very simple and quick to obtain. On the other hand, I have asked my bank for a freeze for six months of the repayments of the loan I contracted to buy my local, but this device costs the equivalent of two months of borrowing ! I refused, I wasn't going to pay interest on the interest.
Since the 1st of June, I asked all employees to return to work. Telework, why not, but I think the companies will be aware of the limitations of the system. It takes the emulation to advance a society, and it is obtained by being together. There must also be flexibility in telework : if an employee works at home normally on such a day, it should not be that he refuses to go to a client if he has an appointment with him that day ! We have to maintain our spirit of service to customers, flexible and responsive. For years, we have been asked to create open spaces in the offices, the cafeterias where everyone can meet, and these same companies now say : everybody to the house !
I also regrets the lack of flexibility of some companies with which we work. One could very well imagine, in this period where we must continue to make attention, a system where the days of the workers would start at 6 am and end at 13 hours, and then another team would be working from 13 hours to 20 hours. The whole world would benefit. But the business leaders are too sensitive to the cold. They are afraid of change. There is only in France that the days are framed at this point. There is only in France that one sees construction vehicles at the stop at 6 o'clock in the evening.
I expect a lot of the new school year. The market is still very wait-and-see, a lot of companies are reluctant to undertake development work, and those who rent their premises are waiting to see if market prices fall in the coming months. If the epidemic takes, it's going to be very complicated. "