The shorter working week and smart working: the future is hybrid
A blend of working shorter hours in the office and ample recourse to remote working. These are the principal developments that the world of work is announcing to tackle (and resolve) the employment crisis in Italy. The forerunner is leader in the banking sector and for 2023 it has decided to treat its employees to a special gift: a 4-day working week and the opportunity to make use of smart working for 120 days a year, even all in one block.
The decision taken by Intesa San Paolo to introduce this innovation in the new year as an option for employees in the group, comes in the wake of the “work less to work better” idea that has already taken shape in neighbouring Spain and is gaining strength and proselytes throughout Europe. The attempt to conciliate employee needs certainly finds favour with the priorities of the Group, which has put itself in the running to become a vanguard in the Bel Paese.
There will be much experimentation in the upcoming year. It is to be presumed that the main differences from the previous working model have been agreed and accepted: think, for example, of the spread of working from home during the pandemic and the rapid reorganisation of activities online that Covid imposed. And so, as a consequence, many start-ups and more-streamlined companies have already found themselves regularly offering hybrid working this year, with part-time office working and remote working for the remainder.
The formalisation of the Intesa agreement proposal includes two innovative aspects, however: remuneration remains unchanged for those who choose hybrid working, and the reimbursement of 3 euros for lunch and connection costs. Over and above the unions’ attempts to raise the bar and obtain increased advantages for employees, Intesa’s proposal figures as a landmark precedent that other companies cannot avoid addressing.