According to the results of a study conducted by the Smart Working Observatory – School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano (2021) – more than 5 million Italians were working smart during the pandemic. This figure reflects the content measures taken by the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the blossoming of smart-working represents the beginning of a change that has been underway for some time towards the digitization of work processes. Immediately after the end of the pandemic, most people returned to face-to-face work. Nevertheless, we can still find many smart workers in Italy: 4 million by the end of 2021. The Smart Working Observatory reports that the choice to continue with this way of working is motivated by the benefits experienced by both workers and companies. For example, work-life balance has improved for most employees in large companies. Many organizations are also seeing significant improvements in effectiveness and efficiency (the latter improved for 59% of large companies and 30% of public administrations).
However, working remotely during the pandemic has also had some negative consequences for smart workers: the percentage of fully “employed” workers fell from 12% to 7%. In addition, 28% of smart workers suffered from technostress and 17% from overwork. On the other hand, according to the organizations, the aspect considered to have had the most negative response to smart working is communication among colleagues, which has worsened for 55% of large companies and 44% of SMEs and 48% of PAs. For these reasons, today’s organizations are moving toward a hybrid mode that includes both smart-working periods and face-to-face periods.
In this way, companies and their employees do not have to give up the benefits of working from home and avoid the negative consequences mentioned above. With this in mind, the research aims to investigate the effects of organizational policies related to work organization and flexibility, which have as one of their main objectives the reconciliation of work and private life for employees. The various organizational welfare policies also include those related to benefits, training, parental policies, and management of different stages of life. The practical implications of this project relate to work flexibility policies and the use of tools that promote effective work-life balance among employees. Work-life balance refers to the ability of individuals to meet their work and family responsibilities without one negatively affecting the other. As far as organizations are concerned, the implementation of work-life balance policies implies the possibility of benefiting from improved work performance of their employees as a result of increased perceived satisfaction.
|Aree di ricerca coinvolte dal progetto
Formazione e organizzazioni
work and organizational psychology
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