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Working in a different way

A newly-published research project looks at the complex issue of remote working

 

Working from home, in all the various declinations that this form of work can take; an expression of a culture of production that is quite different to the one that came before, a new approach that was previously often snubbed, but which now – all of a sudden – has been embraced as a useful prospect for many companies. Remote working or smart working, then, must be properly understood before it is celebrated and applied across a wider gamut of company situations, although they certainly represent important alternatives for a different approach to the organisation of production. Reading “Telelavoro. La nuova onda” (Remote working. The new wave) written by Vittorio Di Martino, and recently published in the journal Economia & Lavoro, is therefore useful, in order to gain an idea based on reliable indications of what this change of perspective means for tens of thousands of employees and companies.

The author was one of the first to study remote working, and he now returns to this subject to draw attention to how this different approach to business activity (where possible) is at the centre of a real surge in attention, accompanied by some very high expectations. Di Martino, therefore, analyses this activity, exploring the various aspects thereof and highlighting the factors that are still preventing it from becoming more widespread, with a particular focus on Italy. What is necessary, he explains, are strategies and policies designed to develop remote working, the future of which is still difficult to predict.

A number of elements are involved in this professional practice, often rather distant from one another. Working from home calls for a new means of organising relations between the different areas of the business, and necessitates new rules for control and performance monitoring systems, along with a more flexible mindset, with management and decision-making strategies that differ enormously from traditional methods. In other words, a more mature and aware business culture is needed on all counts.

Di Martino explains, therefore, that it will only be possible to “hazard” forecasts as to the possibilities of extending remote working in a manner that fully meets the needs of all the parties involved when companies have access to a real set of practical tools that can be easily used.

Telelavoro. La nuova onda (Remote working. The new wave)

Vittorio Di Martino

Economia & Lavoro, 2/2020, May-August