PARIS -- PSA Group says it will expand the number of white-collar employees who work from home even after coronavirus restrictions end.
About 18,000 workers "regularly or occasionally" worked remotely in 2019, PSA said, compared with 2,500 in 2016. The new rules will affect nearly 80,000 of the group's 200,000 workers worldwide once they are put in place starting this summer, PSA said.
PSA Human Resources Director Xavier Chereau said Wednesday in a video presentation that the rules would protect workers' health by avoiding mass transit commutes and give them new freedom in choosing a place to live.
"We're ready to make remote working the reference for activities not directly related to production," he said.
PSA's main offices are in the Paris suburbs of Rueil-Malmaison (administration, including CEO Carlos Tavares) and Velizy (engineering and design). The group started leasing an office building in Rueil-Malmaison in 2017, several years after it sold its longtime headquarters near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
PSA is now planning to move those functions from Rueil-Malmaison to other sites, notably Velizy and its factory complex in Poissy, also near Paris.
The move to more remote work will help PSA reduce its own carbon emissions "through a reduction in its real estate footprint," Chereau said. PSA said in 2018 that it wanted to reduce its real estate holdings by 14 percent as a way to cut costs.
Employees will be asked to spend one to one and a half days a week in the office, PSA said, "in redesigned collaborative spaces" to "reinforce value-added interactions as well as collective energy."
The telecommuting rules are part of a broader PSA effort to rethink how work is conducted that it calls "New Era of Agility." The proposal was presented to PSA's central workers' committee on Wednesday and details will be discussed with unions in coming weeks, PSA said.