May 22, 2022

facing Omicron in business, how an SME bets on “feminine solidarity”

It’s a text that has become so commonplace that “the phone could almost write it by itself”. “Positive mistress, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to work, I’ll let you know”, here is the message that Morgane Tuffigo sent on Monday, January 31 to her manager, while seeking to establish “the new battle plan of the week”. One last day like this month of January “chaotic and exhausting”, who appeared “last a year” to this 38-year-old assistant accountant, employee of Sofis, a training organization based in Belz (Morbihan).

As in all of France, the Omicron wave continues to break within this company specializing in health and safety at work, despite the first signs of a decline at the national level and the easing, on Tuesday, of certain health restrictions. Like many SMEs, the small Breton team feared the consequences of this umpteenth variant on its activity – it delivers some 6,000 training courses each year – and, above all, on the organization of work. In this town of 3,700 inhabitants, Sofis employs forty-eight people on permanent contracts, and more than seven hundred trainers on fixed-term contracts, across France.

The fear of absenteeism is all the greater as Sofis hires, for the vast majority, women. “And even more specifically mothers”, in family situations that make it the “first resort for child custody”, says the general manager, Leslie Dumontet. However, “we have managed to have only one stop since the beginning of January”, and “everything continues to work well” despite the multiplication of situations to manage at the last minute, rejoices the thirty-year-old. The secret of this rarity? “We trusted and we leave the teams free to manage their time as they see fit. »

Leslie Dumontet, the general manager of Sofis, in the premises of the SME, in Belz (Morbihan), on February 3, 2022.

“It’s going to be complicated for all of us”

For this week, Morgane Tuffigo has offered her solutions. No telework, lack of sufficient network at home. “When I log in, my husband’s company payment terminal cannot work, and my eldest cannot use her mobile phone, hello crisis…” So, it will be working days started earlier, a shortened lunch break to drop off the youngest at her grandmother’s “retired for six months, a chance”, and a slightly early end of the day on the usual schedule. This is certainly not the ideal solution – “Thank you TV for keeping our children busy”, creaks the 38-year-old Breton – but, at least, “I don’t fall behind and the activity isn’t blocked”.

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