Who would have thought that two months of lockdown would have been enough to change the habit, consolidated in two hundred years of industrial society, of having to leave home to get to the office?
Among the many changes brought about by the pandemic there is also the development of Smart Working. The counterpart of the coronavirus-related health crisis, in fact, is technology, which has given an enormous acceleration to this form of work, evidently dictated by the need to leave home as little as possible and to maintain ‘social distancing’ of at least one meter in the workplace. Not only in Italy, where the most recent rules of 24th April provide for Smart Working except for indifferent cases, even in the public now, initially more reluctant to change, but also in all the countries most affected by the effects of the virus, the way of working from home it is linked to a practice already more widespread than in our country.
So if the health emergency has ‘consecrated’ telework, it would be important to take advantage of this trial period to make the most of it, highlighting its social, work and business benefits.
In 2019, in fact, there were 570 thousand Italian smart workers, already growing by 20% compared to 2018: this is what the latest study by the smart working Observatory of the Polytechnic of Milan reports. However, according to Eurostat, our country is still below the European average, due to an atavistic resistance to change: prof. Domenico De Masi, emeritus professor of Sociology of work at the ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome and founder of SIT (Italian Telecommuting Society) in a recent interview published online by the Huffington Post. “We are lagging behind other countries. Just think that the percentage of those who work from home here is around 3%, in the Netherlands it stands at 40%” says De Masi. But let’s not despair, the culture of smart working has turned into a necessity and many entrepreneurial realities have been forced to organise themselves in a few days to allow employees to work from home and not lose productivity. Will it be a permanent turning point? It will take time to understand it, but ‘the die has now been cast’, and we hope that these extraordinary circumstances will be translated into a new professional normality.