The implementation of smart working is no longer an isolated fact. Every day, more companies join this practice that will lay the foundation for the future of work. Likewise, its acceptance and inclusion goes beyond and has spread to countries that have developed initiatives and even specific legislation, such as Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
More and more organisations are seeing the benefits of flexible work. In a survey of more than 17,000 entrepreneurs from 80 countries, 60% considered flexible work to be more profitable and environmentally sustainable, 41% said productivity increased and more than 30% indicated a better staff motivation.
The Smart Working Observatory of the Polytechnic of Milano
The Smart Working Observatory was officially founded in 2012 as part of a broader research framework that has, for more than 10 years, been concerned with studying changes in how people work. The Observatory aims to be a point of reference for the development of a culture of innovation in working models from a 'smart working' perspective and to develop methodologies based on a multidisciplinary approach that can support decision makers.
We had the opportunity to interview its director, Fiorella Crespi, to know in detail the work done by the observatory in the implementation of Smart Working in Italy that you can read here.
The Way We Work in the UK
The Way We Work (TW3) is the UK government's smart working program. This program is helping people adopt the most modern and evidence-based form of flexible work called "Intelligent Work". And it is the basis on which the new Government Centers will be built.
The world of work is changing. People no longer need to sit at their desk - they can work smarter, in a way that saves resources, empowers the individual and improves productivity. TW3 is helping the government move away from job models and management practices that were appropriate for the twentieth century, but not for today.
The Netherlands and the "Smart Work Center"
The first "Smart Work Center" opened in Almere, a fast-growing Dutch city with about 186,000 inhabitants. The majority of its inhabitants worked for companies in Amsterdam and other cities, which implied a trip of 30 to 40 kilometres in each direction to go to work.
The first solution was telework, but many managers were not comfortable with letting their employees stay at home all day long and many workers find it difficult to concentrate on their work when they are surrounded by distractions. It is here that the authorities began to look for a "third way" that combines the advantages of staying at home with the benefits of going to work - such as a good working environment and contact with other people.
Hence the idea of creating these "Smart Work Centers" in satellite cities. In this way, the inhabitant of Almere, for example, no longer has to travel 40 kilometers to go to work but can go to a place much closer to home where they can concentrate on their tasks, meet other people, drink coffee And do almost all the things they would normally do in their workplace.
This innovative way of working has proved incredibly popular among professionals and so-called "knowledge workers". The practice has spread rapidly and there are now over 100 "Smart Work Center" in the Netherlands, with new ones opening almost every month.