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A well-rounded way to reconcile work

A recently published research study analyses the different ways in which smart working can be implemented

 

Reconciling life and work, family and salary. Hours that used to be spent in offices and factories and that are now spent in different places – hours that are diversified, dematerialised, take different shapes, involve different tasks. All due to a general change in attitude, but also because of recent events, starting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has radically changed the way work is organised in several companies. A basic fact, however, remains: work-life balance is developed to suit individual and professional circumstances that will change over time, especially in relation to different stages of life.

Reconciling life and work, however, is still everyone’s goal and it is precisely on this theme that Claudia Santoni and Isabella Crespi developed their research study, entitled Conciliazione famiglia e lavoro tra smart-working e diversity management. Una riflessione su pratiche e nuove semantiche (Reconciling family and work through smart working and diversity management. A reflection on practices and new semantics), published in recent weeks.

Santoni and Crespi start from a simple premise: the practices and strategies aimed at reconciling life and work are effective only when they can adapt to the transitions of family life cycles and of changing processes in work organisations, especially with regard to technology.

The study looks at smart working as an innovative tool that guarantees temporal and spatial flexibility – also facilitated by recent Italian laws – and aimed at giving employees the freedom of organising their own work according to set objectives.

So far, so good. Yet, the two researchers also note how inequality is still affecting these practices and how tools are not always easy to access, which leads to the need of revising and extending their meaning and applications. In other words, even when smart working modes are implemented, some disparities remain and they need to be taken into account. The study explains that the notion of diversifying operational tools and their flexibility according to employees’ resources and individual requirements has an impact on how a company approaches diversity management. As such, explain Santoni and Crespi, an analysis of work-life balance and smart working, as compared to a diversity management approach, could lead to a new practice in itself that could illustrate how workplaces that focus more on welfare issues and tailor them according to people’s needs and differences could guarantee more efficient policies related to work-life reconciliation.

More in general, this research study clearly highlights a particular theme: how a corporate culture and organisation embracing new working tools must also be aware of how they can be implemented in different ways.

Conciliazione famiglia e lavoro tra smart-working e diversity management. Una riflessione su pratiche e nuove semantiche (Reconciling family and work through smart working and diversity management. A reflection on practices and new semantics)

Claudia Santoni, Isabella Crespi

Autonomie locali e servizi sociali, 1/2022

A recently published research study analyses the different ways in which smart working can be implemented

 

Reconciling life and work, family and salary. Hours that used to be spent in offices and factories and that are now spent in different places – hours that are diversified, dematerialised, take different shapes, involve different tasks. All due to a general change in attitude, but also because of recent events, starting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has radically changed the way work is organised in several companies. A basic fact, however, remains: work-life balance is developed to suit individual and professional circumstances that will change over time, especially in relation to different stages of life.

Reconciling life and work, however, is still everyone’s goal and it is precisely on this theme that Claudia Santoni and Isabella Crespi developed their research study, entitled Conciliazione famiglia e lavoro tra smart-working e diversity management. Una riflessione su pratiche e nuove semantiche (Reconciling family and work through smart working and diversity management. A reflection on practices and new semantics), published in recent weeks.

Santoni and Crespi start from a simple premise: the practices and strategies aimed at reconciling life and work are effective only when they can adapt to the transitions of family life cycles and of changing processes in work organisations, especially with regard to technology.

The study looks at smart working as an innovative tool that guarantees temporal and spatial flexibility – also facilitated by recent Italian laws – and aimed at giving employees the freedom of organising their own work according to set objectives.

So far, so good. Yet, the two researchers also note how inequality is still affecting these practices and how tools are not always easy to access, which leads to the need of revising and extending their meaning and applications. In other words, even when smart working modes are implemented, some disparities remain and they need to be taken into account. The study explains that the notion of diversifying operational tools and their flexibility according to employees’ resources and individual requirements has an impact on how a company approaches diversity management. As such, explain Santoni and Crespi, an analysis of work-life balance and smart working, as compared to a diversity management approach, could lead to a new practice in itself that could illustrate how workplaces that focus more on welfare issues and tailor them according to people’s needs and differences could guarantee more efficient policies related to work-life reconciliation.

More in general, this research study clearly highlights a particular theme: how a corporate culture and organisation embracing new working tools must also be aware of how they can be implemented in different ways.

Conciliazione famiglia e lavoro tra smart-working e diversity management. Una riflessione su pratiche e nuove semantiche (Reconciling family and work through smart working and diversity management. A reflection on practices and new semantics)

Claudia Santoni, Isabella Crespi

Autonomie locali e servizi sociali, 1/2022