Trend Alert: Smart Working

CATEGORY / education TAGS / smart working, trend alert, work Fractals LAB / Forma DATE / March 6, 2020

Trend Definition: 

Flexible work practice, normally based on goals, that allow employees to work remotely. 

Trend History:

As the Coronavirus pandemic is forcing people to work from home, companies are testing a new concept of work that is set to become more and more popular in the years to come. 

Predictions say that, when the virus is on the wane, the return to the offices will be slowed, and, in some cases, it won’t happen at all. That’s because once people realize they actually don’t need to go to the office to get their job done, and once they experience the benefits of doing it in a more autonomous way, it will be really hard to have them back at the headquarter…or, at least, to have them motivated enough.

This means employers need to take this challenge seriously, because they must be prepared to embrace flexible working on a long term basis,  if they don’t want to lose their best workforce.

Back in November 2019, The Remote Work Report concluded that offices will be obsolete by 2030… and the Coronavirus is now anticipating their “expiring date”.

The study showed that 95 percent of U.S. knowledge workers want to work remotely, and 74 percent would be willing to quit a job to do so.

In Italy, 76% of smart workers are happy with their situation, compared to the 55% of nine-to-five employees. 46% of them think their work-life balance has improved, and 35% has noticed a boost of motivation and engagement with the company.

The benefits of flexible working are, indeed, proved and uncountable.
A research showed that remote workers are more productive than in-office workers, as the first ones take 22 minutes a day for breaks, compared to 18 minutes for the second ones. Flexible workers also work an average of 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year.

Another study, conducted by FlexJobs, found that 76% of respondents said they’d be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. In fact, according to Owl Labs, companies that allow remote work experience 25% less employee turnover than companies that do not allow remote work.

Last but not least, the reduction of commute lead to a drastic drop in pollution,  as China lockdown is currently demonstrating.

In the attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak, a new Legislative Decree authorizes and encourages the adoption of smart working practices in Italy for all kinds of companies, at least till July 2020. For public administrations, it’s mandatory. 

Trend Evidences: 

More and more companies worldwide are promoting remote work as a way to get out in front of the impending pandemic. Japan’s largest ad agency, Dentsu, told all its workers in its Tokyo headquarters to work from home. Google’s European headquarters in Dublin are now empty because thousands of employees followed an injunction to work from home. 

Amazon also asked employees in its Seattle headquarters to work from home for the rest of March. In Austin, Texas, Indeed told employes to from home until further notice to be cautious of the virus .Facebook’s employees in China and Seattle are working remotely, as well, and Twitter said they are strongly encouraging all of their employees globally to work from home. 

In Italy, 80% of Vodafone employees working from the most infected areas embraced smart working (2.700 of 3400 total employees). Fastweb strongly recommended their workforce in the north of Italy (more than 1.600 people) to work from home. More than 3.000 employees of Sky tv are invited to stay at home these days, including the journalists that are not supposed to go on air: in this way, just 300 people stays in the headquarters, ensuring the transmissions of news and limiting the risk of infection. 

IBM, which nearly three years ago ended remote work for some U.S. employees, said it had asked workers in coronavirus-affected areas to work from home, and it’s doing the same in Italy (in Lombardia, Veneto and Piemonte)

Many other small, large and medium companies are following their example.

Captura de pantalla 2020-03-06 a las 9.28.11

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