A debate (typically French?) emerges again for some time in the press and the political universe: to work more? how? what for? The objective here is not to come up with a definitive answer, but rather to fuel our everyone’s thinking. A preliminary version of a report of the French National Council on Productivity, published these days, highlights topics for improvement… and they are not necessarily related to the working time itself.

Set up by President Macron in 2018 at the request of the European authorities, this Council has analyzed the evolution of our competitiveness and underlines our weak productivity gains compared to our European neighbors. This presents several risks, the preliminary report says, and in particular the potential lack of funding for social benefits (especially pensions) and for the ecological transition. Amongst the reasons discussed by the experts for our lack of competitiveness: the “shortcomings in terms of management and skills“, “the inadequacy of skills of the population” and “a medium score of France “as to” the quality of management and organizational practices within companies“. We are far from the duration of working time, a criterion essential (according to some) to the increase of our competitiveness. Quantitative approach vs. qualitative…

It also seems appropriate to add another dimension to competitiveness: how do companies contribute to the legislative and regulatory environment that helps them, carries them … or compels them? How do public authorities take into account the interests of economic and social stakeholders when they think of, prepare and vote texts? Should not the modes of collaboration between the private and the public sectors be revised so that our country favors the multiplication of partnerships? Should not one also seek to decompartmentalize two worlds which, alas, look too often face to face more that they are looking in the same direction? The collective will also help boost our competitiveness and productivity. We all need each other: policies, public authorities and businesses!