Annale corrigée

Teleworking or open space?

Private sphere and public sphere Sujet zéro 2020

Teleworking or open space?

expression orale

20 min

10 points

Intérêt du sujet • Avec l'essor des technologies et des stratégies managériales, deux façons de travailler sont apparues : le télétravail et l'open space. Quel est l'impact sur le quotidien des employés ?


Choisissez un document et expliquez en quoi il illustre le mieux, selon vous, l'axe « Espace privé et espace public ».

Document A

© David Sipress/The New Yorker Collection/The Cartoon Bank


« I Can't Remember – Do I Work At Home Or Do I Live At Work? », Cartoon by David Sipress, First published in The New Yorker, 8 May 2017

Document B


ph © United Artists / The Kobal Collection / Aurimages

Actor Jack Lemmon (1925-2001) in the role of C.C. Baxter, an employee at a corporate insurance company in New York City in the film The Apartment, directed by Billy Wilder, 1960


Les clés du sujet

Comprendre les documents



Préparer sa présentation

Tableau de 2 lignes, 2 colonnes ;Corps du tableau de 2 lignes ;Ligne 1 : Si vous choisissez le document A; L'ambiance de la pièce évoque celle d'un bureau (office) ; on ne perçoit aucune trace de vie intime.Le télétravail permet d'être actif sans quitter son domicile, surtout si une pièce peut lui être consacrée.La présence de la femme, qui semble atterrée, et la légende montrent que la frontière entre le travail et la vie privée a disparu.; Ligne 2 : Si vous choisissez le document B; Cette scène illustre le travail dans un open space : tous les employés sont sous le regard permanent de leur employeur et de leurs collègues, et ne peuvent pas s'octroyer de pause.Le personnage principal sort de ce cadre : passe-t-il un appel téléphonique professionnel ou personnel ? L'intimité existe-t-elle encore dans ce cadre de travail ?Dans ce genre de situation, les abus peuvent être commis par certains faisant étalage de leur vie privée sans contrôle.;


Voici un exemple de présentation orale à partir du document A.

To me, the document that best illustrates the notion of public versus private sphere is the first. It is a cartoon drawn by David Sipress and published in the New Yorker in 2017.


Il peut être judicieux de commencer par une description du document, pour vous mettre en confiance, avant de passer à des idées plus abstraites.

Working in an office or a study?

First, let's see how this cartoon illustrates a specific way of working: teleworking.

At first sight, the man who is working behind a computer screen seems to be in an office building: papers are scattered on the floor, a cork board hangs behind him… We can immediately grasp that what is at stake here is professional. No element whatsoever testifies that this scene is set somewhere other than in an office.

Yet, thanks to the woman who is standing at the door, and the caption we can understand that somehow we were wrong, and that the scene actually takes place in the man's house. The man is tele­working, that is to say that he works from his home.


at first sight : à première vue

a caption : une légende

The advantages of teleworking

Indeed, teleworking is a practice that has developed recently, and offers a number of advantages.

Although some employers are still reluctant to have their employees telework it has become common practice in a lot of countries. Globally, it reduces absenteeism, tensions between employees and the costs of having someone on the spot. And the Covid crisis has facilitated the development of this practice which has become the new norm for many people.


reluctant : réticent

Teleworking also has advantages for workers, as their work becomes more flexible. They spend less time commuting and theoretically have more time to spend with their families, hence a better quality of life.

The drawbacks of teleworking

In spite of this, teleworking also has undeniable drawbacks.

Indeed, we come to grasp how this interferes with someone's private life, it is not always so. Very often, as this cartoon illustrates, the worker's private life can't be distinct from their job because the boundaries are blurred. Because this way of working makes you available to your boss at any time, and because you can't just close the door and move on to something else.


the boundaries are blurred : les limites sont floues

Therefore, unlike the promises granted by teleworking, this method often leads to more stress and tensions within the family, which is in a way very paradoxical.


To put it in a nutshell, teleworking seems to be the epitome of how public and private life can blend nowadays, which leads us to wonder if this is a desirable form of evolution.


Voici quelques questions que l'examinateur pourrait vous poser.

You seem to be critical of teleworking. Would you refuse a job if you had to telework?

Honestly, I don't think this is a sufficient reason to refuse a job. But if I had the choice, I'd rather go to work than stay at home – provided I didn't work too far from home of course. At any rate, I think it is crucial to have social interactions with colleagues and real people. I don't think staying at home all the time is healthy.


provided : à condition que

What role should the family play if one of its members has to telework?

Well, obviously, I guess everyone should try to let this person work at peace. It's easier when the flat or the house is big, but not so when it is small and you have to be careful and make no noise all day long… Now that I think of it, the family may also help by encouraging the worker to put limits, and not mix the private and the public sphere.

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