Ispiravit et labora!

Beyond smart working

"work and play" neon sign on industrial dark background
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mart working is the condition we would all like to reach, from businesses to employees to freelancers. Smart means intelligent, speedy, optimized, immediate, cutting-edge. Are we sure, though, that this does not simply translate into another way of stressing our lives? Of being constantly available, with our eyes fixed to the screen. If we go beyond the concept of smart working we could aspire to reach quality, a condition in which we are performing and responsible workers who are aware that we need to take a break, breathe and collect energy, directing it also towards our interests and happiness.

Remote and hybrid work have many advantages but in some cases have worsened peoples’ lives, creating stress, fatigue and altering people’s balance and peace of mind.

Each one of us knows our own needs, interests and even our limits.

What really matters is whether we have reached the objectives we set ourselves. Since we are optimizing time by working from remote, why don’t we try and take advantage of the moments gained to do what we like best?

The World Economic Forum has indicated five ways in which work could change for the better:

Finding the right balance between professional and private life: there isn’t one formula that can be applied to everyone. We each have our engagements and ways in which we are able to focus, feel stimulated, work and switch off. The assumption is that we need to create an optimal relationship with our work (be it the employer or client) based on reciprocal esteem and understanding. This allows us to speak and propose personalized solutions based on performance and goals. Work can be based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are measurable, time- based on the needs.

Many companies that are more sensitive towards themes that regard the wellbeing of their staff, are accepting hybrid choices showing more flexibility, giving employees full freedom in the choice to go to the office or not. Others have shortened the work week, on an experimental basis, to see whether returns increase.

Tazza sospesa con computer e tavolo da lavoro con dietro la scritta Draw The Line

Less commuting: for many people, spending less time in public transport, sitting in the car or even in a traffic jam, is directly linked to mental and physical wellbeing.

Nowadays, if our type of job allows, we can try and live where we like, without being limited by constant transfers to comply with mandatory clock-in. The air is cleaner outside the city, traffic is more manageable and the time gained can be dedicated to our hobbies, passions or even training.

Cities will not be emptied, there are always people who prefer to live in the large urban areas and go to the office. But the larger migration of the population throughout the rest of the national territory can spread well being in a more equitable way, based on people’s natural inclination and not on an obligation dictated by work. Those who can choose will work better.

Due bici elettriche davanti a una palazzo industriale
  • Understanding of wellness: it is expected that employers in future will pay more attention to the mental health and wellbeing of their employees and there will be new digital tools to support this. Increased wellness ensures performance.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: employers are starting to recruit people who are not necessarily responding to the traditional categories of vacant positions trying not to be influenced by age, gender and origin. Diversifying the workforce is a factor of improvement and innovation.
  • Improved productivity: digital tools that ensure the efficacy of remote working and connectivity, not only individually but also as teams, are increasing. Remote working has shown to generate the same productivity or, in some cases, even more than working in the office, strengthening trust between the employer and the employee.

We should aim at a holistic, multidimensional change that transforms work into an experience that enriches and improves. Let’s try and find a solution that is right and unique for each of us.

As the Latins said…Opus ludere!