What is needed today for a good smart working contract

What is needed today for a good smart working contract

If during the first months of the pandemic smart working was mostly considered a useful tool to avoid the spread of contagion, that of agile working is today an increasingly consolidated way of working. The awareness of the benefits that derive from being able to manage the work activity without depending on being present at certain times or not, which most workers have discovered with the pandemic, seems to be increasingly widespread.

According to Arianna Visentini, CEO of the consulting and organizational innovation company for the adoption of smart working policies Variazioni, who recently conducted the first national survey on smart working policies in companies, the "transformation in people's mentality it is irreversible ”. Precisely because the will of people "will dictate the agenda of companies", it seems that smart working will be an integral part of the future of Italian companies.

However, as the results of the study show and as Arianna Visentini reiterated to sportsgaming.win, the work system in Italy is still “obsolete”. "The rigidity of working hours and the designation of the workplace" - says Visentini - is still an "essential and fundamental element of the employment relationship".

The study Intuendo as "the use of agile work is highlighting how the regulation of employment relationships that we know up to now is inadequate ”, Variazioni, which has been dealing with the phenomenon for years, surveyed a sample of three hundred companies to investigate the orientations of companies with respect to the phenomenon. One of the most significant results is that almost 40% of the companies surveyed do not have a smart working policy, that is a general framework specifically designed to regulate the possibility for employees to work in the way that suits them best.

Arianna Visentini specifies how "a non-total representativeness of the sample" should be highlighted, given that the organizations considered are those that "mostly gravitate around Variations", which however make the sample taken into consideration "privileged" . The real proportion at the national level could therefore be even higher.

How to build a smart working contract Agile employment contracts have “some characteristics that must be indicated by law”. First of all, there must be a "precise indication of how the presence-absence alternation takes place", which can be formulated through an explicit number of days that can be performed weekly outside the workplace or through a percentage of the overall time (for example, 20% of the weekly timetable or of the monthly timetable). It should then also be made explicit "the possibility or not of accumulation", that is, it should be clarified whether, in the event that the worker does not make use of his right to work away from the workplace for a period, the possibility of using it in the next period is envisaged.

The question of time must also be clarified. According to Visentini, "some agreements provide for an exact overlap of work from home with that in the office" while others provide that you can work whenever you want as long as you respect the hours of rest. In relation to this, it is necessary to clarify "how people are allowed to demand the right to disconnect", that is, how to decide when a worker who is not in the office can afford to be unavailable. In some cases, this issue is not clarified, while in others the contract specifies that the right to disconnect is guaranteed after a certain time.

Another issue that must be included within the agile employment contract it concerns the authorization process, or how a worker can exercise his right to work in smart working. While for some companies it is sufficient to enter the mode chosen for that day on their voucher, for others an authorization from their employer is required.

Finally, other issues that can be entered concern adaptation the tools for monitoring the performance of the worker, which should have the same level of effectiveness regardless of the mode of work chosen, and the compensation of overtime, which most companies do not recognize for those who work away from the office, but some allow.

What is missing in Italy Obviously, it is not simply having a policy or not that defines a company's approach to agile work. However, as Visentini states, the company "associates the fact that an organization adopts a policy with a higher organizational vision and maturity", and the failure to introduce a policy indicates the "not having posed the problem of infrastructure work agile ". It therefore denotes the failure to take into consideration all the individual and collective benefits of making agile work an integral part of the work system.

According to Visentini, what still seems to be lacking in our country's companies is the will to integrate agile work into their organizational objectives, the so-called "mission", which is always the starting point of the strategic framework of every agency. In order to be effective, an agile work policy must first be inserted within the context of the mission of each organization. After that, the company must carry out a survey among the workers to understand which is the most suitable regulatory framework to maximize the individual and collective benefits of the employees and the company, and then train the workers.

However, it is the work culture of the entire “country system” that is not yet ready to rely on the flexibility and mutual trust that agile work entails, both from the point of view of job rental and from the point of view of time. "The hourly tape that slavishly reflects that of the office denotes a certain rigidity," says Visentini, when it is not necessarily the only way. There is a widespread "lack of trust" and "performance monitoring tools" which at the moment still prevents the system from being implemented in a generalized manner.

Furthermore, the current trend of companies that tend to adopt of a smart working policy is to include it through a top down approach that does not involve employees, but simply involves sharing a legislative document without accompanying the change with a training course, which can be conducted with tips, videos or specific clarifications. Only 40 percent of the companies that introduced the policy did so by accompanying the process with a training course designed to help workers familiarize themselves with the process.

According to Visentini, “The protocol set up by the Minister of Lavoro Orlando is an excellent starting point ”to make agile work the norm in Italian companies, but still“ there is a lack of a convincing economic incentive ”. Despite this, smart working is a way of working destined to consolidate. And beware, smart working does not automatically mean, as the pandemic experience might lead us to think, working from home. It simply means allowing workers flexibility in how they work. Visentini says he is "rather optimistic" about the process, but the country's bureaucratic system will have to show that it is ready to keep up with the will of the workers.

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