Coping Italian Emergency COVID-19 through Smart Working: From Necessity to Opportunity
Smart working is defined as a new managerial philosophy characterized by higher flexibility and autonomy in the choice of working spaces, time and tools in return for more accountability on results.The health emergency related to Covid-19 helped the spread of smart working and public administrationsare experimentinga frequent and intensive use of smart working practices and technologies.Through a survey on 52Italian municipalities and 26 other public administrationswe have explored the level of adoption of smart working andexplored its correlation with work-life balance, autonomy,and innovation.Findings show that: (1) before the spread of coronavirus and the consequent lockdown, workers used to work in the office just for half of their working time; (2) women are more likely than men to part-time work; (3) part-time work is an effective tool to promote work-life balance, which is easier for those who do not have relatives to take care for; (4) smart working adoption results in larger autonomy, which promotes confidence and so propensity towards innovation.The main contribution of this work is to draw a first overall picture of the effects of smart working on innovation in Italian municipalities. This work presents some first results of a research still in progress and can be the basis for further research, both as regards more extensive research and for more in-depth research. The work also provides some useful working ideas for setting the exit route from the health emergency.
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