Smart working? Yes please! According to research conducted by ANRA and Aon, this way of working will become the ‘new normal.’ Here is the balance between the pros and cons of this change in the working life of Italians.
The pandemic and the consequential lockdown had a significant impact on all of us with a sudden evolution that led to a big change. We lived through an epochal transformation, which has affected our way of living and working. In this unprecedented situation, which has in fact almost tripled the people smart working, ANRA and Aon conducted the survey ‘Smart working in Italy, between emergency management and future scenarios’, involving workers from companies of various sizes to understand pros and cons of this mode. But above all to assess whether online working, in light of what has emerged in recent months, can truly become a professional normality.
Let’s start with the painful notes: the research shows that companies lack a corporate culture based on sharing trust and objectives with their employees. Too many businesses still base their decisions on the need for control. The main fears concern planning, management and control of activities, lack of suitable equipment and fear of a drop in productivity. On the workers front, however, many believe that most of their work can be carried out remotely, even if almost 30% of them have shown the impact on the mood and on the engagement of collaborators accustomed to work in presence. To overcome the problem of isolation, the companies have organised periodic discussions with their employees and provided additional services such as training courses and mental health support.
The considerations on the advantages and disadvantages of smart working are also interesting: in both cases the time factor and the balance between working and private life ‘win.’ If the ability to manage their working hours was seen as an advantage by 47% of the interviewees, the difficulty in separating work and home represents the negative side of the coin for 48% while 58% declared to have had great difficulty in limiting the hours dedicated to work.
“The research highlights an epoch-making change in the relationship between the company and the worker – comments Paolo Rubini, Honorary President of ANRA -: smart working implies new systems of control and delegation, and an increased responsibility of the worker for the organisation of his work, which in any case will be carried out at a distance in increasing measure.”
In short, as already stated on different occasions, the pandemic has accelerated a process already underway, involving medium-small businesses, older people, regions and the most technologically backward sectors in teleworking. We just have to treasure these steps forward!