Smart working, how corporate mobility changes

Smart working, how corporate mobility changes

Smart working

It is an issue that is starting to carve out a gradually wider space in the debate on the labor market. In truth, however, corporate mobility has been regulated in our legal system since 1998, when the Ronchi decree introduced the figure of the mobility manager in public bodies and companies. The objective of this professional figure is to develop the institution's mobility plans by collecting the habits and needs of the employees and then transmitting them to the area mobility manager of the municipality to work on a transport policy that is compatible with these needs . In the following years, the institutions have repeatedly shown that they strongly believe in the figure of the mobility manager, gradually expanding its central role. In 2015, the obligation to have a mobility manager was extended to schools. Then, in 2020, with the Relaunch decree, the threshold for being obliged to adopt a company mobility plan was lowered from 300 to 100 employees.

And yet, even if from a legislative point of view the issue is increasingly present, according to a survey conducted by in 2021, the results are currently lacking: there are few mobility managers even in large cities, home-work travel plans (Pscl) - which would in theory be mandatory for every company with more than 100 employees - are few and often insufficient to make a significant impact. The potential causes of this inadequacy are various, but it is very probable that the gradual advent of smart working - a method that will inexorably be increasingly consolidated in sectors that are also very different from each other - will also have a rather significant impact on the concept of sustainable mobility of companies .

The guide:

What is smart working? What is enterprise mobility? Does smart working help reduce the impact of mobility on pollution? Our guide to smart working How smart working works From contracts to rules, from organization models to evolution, here's what you need to know about smart working

What is smart working?

The term "agile work" is defined in article 18 of law 81/2017 as a "method of executing the employment relationship established by agreement between the parties, also with forms of organization by phases, cycles and objectives and without precise time constraints or workplace, with the possible use of technological tools for carrying out the work activity”. In truth, as Rossella Cappetta, organizational analyst and professor of work organization at Bocconi specifies, the term used in academic studies to refer to the working method that we have defined as " smart working " in the last three years is " remote working ".

What is corporate mobility?

Corporate mobility means a business plan aimed at managing the movements of workers both on home-work journeys and during working hours of work . As mentioned, since 1998 the figure of the mobility manager has been present in public and private bodies, who is in theory responsible for company mobility plans which should then be communicated to the policy and transport managers of the municipality, who should then translate that data into action. Some of the data includes the distance from home to work, the times when it is more common for workers to be on the road, the means of transport most used by employees and the reasons for this choice. In theory, it would be a useful mechanism to make mobility sustainable, with benefits also for the environment. However, as mentioned, large-scale results have so far been rather lacking.

How smart working works for those with children The simplified procedure was recently extended until 31 December 2022. What does it mean for workers with sons? Let's see together how the procedure currently in force for requesting smart working works

Does smart working help reduce the impact of mobility on pollution?

The most logical and immediate answer is yes. Intuitively, transferring part of one's business to one's home means not having to move to reach the workplace, thus avoiding pollution. Recognizes the potential benefits Daniela Pagnini, head of the PagoPa people and general services area, who defines smart working as "an enabling factor of sustainable mobility, as it in itself contributes to the reduction of continuous daily journeys."

According to Arianna Visentini, co-founder and co-managing director of the consultancy and organizational innovation company Variazioni for the adoption of smart working policies, corporate mobility is a complex issue on which Italy is still far behind. “It is difficult, there is a problem of consolidated habits, of a sense of ownership of a private vehicle – she explains to Visentini-. I believe that there is cultural and infrastructure work to be done".

According to Cappetta, however, one must be careful not to lose sight of the collective framework: if it is true that encouraging smart working inevitably reduces traffic and consequently has a positive impact on pollution, it is equally true that there is a risk of increasing the potentially harmful impact of an excessive use of smart working, further dismantling the idea of ​​the workplace as a social environment. “I don't like looking at remote working as a way to reduce traffic – explains Capppetta – I think we need other tools. In addition to achieving economic goals, companies must achieve social goals. Dealing with mobility as a business means exercising social responsibility, reducing the impact on pollution. Obviously it is an important fact, but we should deal with it by asking ourselves if achieving that goal undermines other goals”.

The risk is that the connection between mobility and smart working remains negative, i.e. that companies transfer social responsibility from the community to the worker: avoiding the idea of ​​the workplace as a social environment, encouraging people to work remotely without wondering if and how they satisfy their human need for sociality, and consequently go to reduce traffic. According to Cappetta, the model to which one should aim is that of positive mobility, i.e. that companies take charge of the mobility of their employees, providing them with agreements for public transport, investing in fleets of electric cars, thinking about the location of the offices of businesses so that they are easily reachable with similar means and measures. From this point of view, even when a worker who often works in smart must be encouraged to come to the office, if she wishes, and this journey must be "efficient, inexpensive and pleasant", Visentini intervenes.

Pagnini specifies that "for the occasions when it is still necessary to go to the office, PagoPa is committed to identifying various initiatives for the implementation of the annual home-work travel plans to raise employee awareness on the issue of sustainable mobility . For example, within our welfare plan we promote alternative forms of mobility to the car, such as the cycle path, or micromobility, and we make special agreements available to employees to encourage the use of public transport".

As Cappetta notes, however, it is easy to talk about mobility thinking of a large city like Milan, but in various areas of the national territory the public transport system is not sufficiently developed for any discussion of positive mobility to be truly credible . “We should work on the positive concept of mobility, but to speak for real we should work on a public transport system. Until there is a proper public transport system, what are we talking about but building a fleet for electric cars. What can I as a company incentivize? ”.

Our guide to smart working

How smart working works How smart working works for those with children How smart working works for people with disabilities and their families How manage a team in smart working

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