In recent months we have often heard talk of ‘smart working’, but what does it really mean and which job profiles can adopt it?

We asked Giampiero Zito, CEO and Innovation Manager of Mediterraneo Lab 4.0, a strategic and management consulting company.

“Smart working is a new managerial philosophy based on giving back to people flexibility and autonomy in choosing spaces, times and tools to be used in exchange for greater responsibility on the results.
Institutions also often confuse smart working with distance or remote working (happening remotely, other than in the office) and this confusion generates information asymmetries that lead companies, trade union representatives and workers not to fully grasp the potential of smart working and, on the contrary, to not limit some abuses with the right policies (e.g. not applying the right to disconnect). ?

Numerous studies have confirmed that the majority of workers (around 70%) have improved their work life balance by finding more time for their loved ones and their psychophysical well-being, in addition to reducing time  spent outside the home (reducing commute).
Even though some relevant negative aspects should also be considered, such as the reorganisation of home spaces and and the presence of family members into the work environment.

But the crux of the matter is another: smart working will not take off in Italy until all stakeholders understand that “flexibility, autonomy in spaces and schedules, empowerment” are variables of an important function…
The concept of productivity and its measurement.
For months we have been designing a platform that allows us to track and certify work activities between users/workers using blockchain and artificial intelligence, in order to better assess the workflow and thus the level of productivity.

However, all this is not enough if the concept of smart working is not flanked by another one: agile working!
It is a practice that originated in the IT sector to speed up times even more, to choose the most correct execution paths depending on the context and to concretize real design autonomy.
This happens when the team can easily take care of the realisation of a product or service by including additional skills and roles within itself, breaking down the traditional hierarchical company division.

The real discriminating factor for success is therefore teamwork and the way this is organised.

So, in conclusion, just a word of advice to companies: sending workers home to perform different tasks will not be enough unless we change our approach to work measurement, organise an agile team for each department or project, fully exploit the technologies available on the market, redesign a data-driven business model, and, finally, strengthen the hard & soft skills of managers and workers in this period of profound social and digital transformation!

dott. Giampiero Zito – Linkedin
Mediterraneo Lab 4.0

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