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“Agile” working

A collection of literature on Smart Working provides interpretations and analyses on the latest frontier of corporate work

 

Working from home, but not only – working according to individual schedules, modes and locations that better suit the individual. This is Smart Working, which has played a significant role in production organisations in recent years, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The concept of Smart Working is only a superficially “easy” one and this is why it is important to examine it with care. Maria Laura Frigotto, Simone Gabbriellini, Luca Solari and Alice Tomaselli have succeeded in bringing some order to the large body of studies and research on this topic with Lo Smart Working nel panorama italiano: un’analisi della letteratura (Smart Working in Italy: a literature review), a remarkable overview of all relevant research generated by Italian academics (a considerable limitation that, however, does not detract anything from this substantial body of studies).

This is not only a praiseworthy effort – the merits of the work undertaken by Frigotto and the other researchers also lie in how it clarifies that Smart Working is not a phenomenon exclusively brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, we immediately learn how the ways in which work is organised and carried out in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is becoming increasingly important. It also points out how in Italy, too, and in both private companies and public administration, managing work according to more autonomous schedules, locations and modes is becoming an increasingly widespread occurrence – Smart Working (SW), in other words, which in Italy has been regulated ad hoc since 2017 (Law 81/2017) under the terms of agile working.

The authors begin with the literature review, then proceed to summarise the key features of SW, understood as a working mode that allows to align workers’ objectives with companies’ goals, thus still contributing to their competitiveness and still supporting the new organisational models that are arising. In SW mode, workers undergo more training and acquire new skills, while HR specialists and managers are learning to abandon a culture based on workplace “presence” and supervision in favour of one based on sharing and trust. Great attention is also paid to legal aspects, which are also part of the debate: from a comparison of SW with remote working, to changing notions of managerial authority, including the concepts of subordination and autonomy, to the role of collective bargaining, the right to disconnect, and the application of SW in the particular sphere of public administration.

This investigation by Frigotto and her peers not only makes for a good read – it also makes for a useful handbook to be consulted when a better understanding of the true nature of agile working becomes a necessity.

Lo Smart Working nel panorama italiano: un’analisi della letteratura (Smart Working in Italy: a literature review)

Maria Laura Frigotto, Simone Gabbriellini, Luca Solari, Alice Tomaselli

STUDI ORGANIZZATIVI, 2021, 2

A collection of literature on Smart Working provides interpretations and analyses on the latest frontier of corporate work

 

Working from home, but not only – working according to individual schedules, modes and locations that better suit the individual. This is Smart Working, which has played a significant role in production organisations in recent years, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The concept of Smart Working is only a superficially “easy” one and this is why it is important to examine it with care. Maria Laura Frigotto, Simone Gabbriellini, Luca Solari and Alice Tomaselli have succeeded in bringing some order to the large body of studies and research on this topic with Lo Smart Working nel panorama italiano: un’analisi della letteratura (Smart Working in Italy: a literature review), a remarkable overview of all relevant research generated by Italian academics (a considerable limitation that, however, does not detract anything from this substantial body of studies).

This is not only a praiseworthy effort – the merits of the work undertaken by Frigotto and the other researchers also lie in how it clarifies that Smart Working is not a phenomenon exclusively brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, we immediately learn how the ways in which work is organised and carried out in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is becoming increasingly important. It also points out how in Italy, too, and in both private companies and public administration, managing work according to more autonomous schedules, locations and modes is becoming an increasingly widespread occurrence – Smart Working (SW), in other words, which in Italy has been regulated ad hoc since 2017 (Law 81/2017) under the terms of agile working.

The authors begin with the literature review, then proceed to summarise the key features of SW, understood as a working mode that allows to align workers’ objectives with companies’ goals, thus still contributing to their competitiveness and still supporting the new organisational models that are arising. In SW mode, workers undergo more training and acquire new skills, while HR specialists and managers are learning to abandon a culture based on workplace “presence” and supervision in favour of one based on sharing and trust. Great attention is also paid to legal aspects, which are also part of the debate: from a comparison of SW with remote working, to changing notions of managerial authority, including the concepts of subordination and autonomy, to the role of collective bargaining, the right to disconnect, and the application of SW in the particular sphere of public administration.

This investigation by Frigotto and her peers not only makes for a good read – it also makes for a useful handbook to be consulted when a better understanding of the true nature of agile working becomes a necessity.

Lo Smart Working nel panorama italiano: un’analisi della letteratura (Smart Working in Italy: a literature review)

Maria Laura Frigotto, Simone Gabbriellini, Luca Solari, Alice Tomaselli

STUDI ORGANIZZATIVI, 2021, 2