Morning Future Smart Working
Guiding Trend 21 January Jan 2019 0830 21 January 2019

A year of smart working: a boom in big companies, small-medium sized companies are still behind

A study by Politecnico di Milano portrays a year of law on agile work: the big companies have done well, the public administration has grown, but small-medium sized companies are still uninterested.

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It’s been a year since the law on agile work passed, the law that for the first time establishes criteria for companies and employees to reach agreements to carry out part of their tasks from home or remotely. The Osservatorio Smart Working of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano has drafted a first evaluation on “smart working” in Italy. What comes across is a real boom in smart working in companies, with an increase even in public administration.

Today, there are 480,000 smart workers, up by 20%, who consider themselves more satisfied than traditional workers both in terms of work organization (39% against 18%) and in relationships with colleagues and superiors (40% against 23%). The big companies are the driving force: 56% of the big companies have started structural projects for agile work, with a further 8% who intend to proceed with similar systems starting from next year.

Smaller and medium-sized enterprises are more cautious, where 38% of companies declare themselves totally disinterested in projects of this type, in terms of an 8% already active in agile work.

Regarding public administration, the Osservatorio highlights the first steps forward: 8% of public entities have started structured smart working (growing 5% since last year). 1% has done so informally, another 8% has scheduled initiatives for next year. However, the vast majority has not yet made moves: in 36% of public administration offices there is no smart working opportunities (although potentially implemented in the future), 38% is unsure and 7% is not interested.

Smart workers are, on average, more satisfied both on the job and in the relationship between colleagues and management

Yet, despite the lower numbers in the Public Admins, it must be said that it is precisely here that we see the greatest effect of the law on agile work, as 82% of large private companies had nevertheless expected to intervene in that direction before the law, while 60% of public bodies have moved towards agile work only after the regulatory intervention.

In addition to a quantitative analysis, the Osservatorio also assessed the impact of the law on the quality of work in the company: “The potential economic and social benefits of adopting agile working models are enormous - commented Mariano Corso, Scientific Manager of the Smart Working Osservatorio. “It is possible to estimate a productivity increase of 15% per worker, a reduction of absenteeism rate of 20%, savings of 30% on the costs of managing physical spaces for those initiatives that lead to a rethinking of work spaces, and an improvement of the balance between work and private life for about 80% of workers ".

It is no coincidence that smart workers are happier in the way they can organize their work: 39% of the sample is completely satisfied, compared to 18% of other workers. Smart workers are more satisfied with the relationship with their colleagues and their manager: 40% say they are completely satisfied against 23% of the other workers. “For this reason - Mariano Corso is sure - the revolution of agile work should not be stopped”.

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