Smart Working and Remote Working

Social roles play important functions in the lives of all individuals: they help to define who we are, they influence what we do, they influence how and with whom we interact, they influence what we think. They form our identity. For all these reasons it is important that our social roles do not conflict.

The primary social roles that make up the lives of most adults can be divided in “Work Roles” such as Manager, Employee, etc., and “Nonwork Roles” such as Family Roles, Religious Roles, Student Roles, etc.

The perception of an imbalance between life and work can make to experience situations of malaise on a psycho-physical level damaging the individual first, but also both the Life and Work worlds.

Nowadays, because of social networks and new technologies, it is increasingly difficult to disconnect from both private and life. This is a big issue concerning Organizational Functions, because it gets more and more difficult to create the psychological detachment necessary to recover energy and reach good performance.  In this context, there are some types of work flexibility, such as Remote Working and Smart Working, which meet the needs of work-life balance, that is personal and professional life conciliation.

The labour market is changing. Some of the largest and most successful organizations in the world now give their employees the freedom to work from wherever they want, and whenever they want, as long as it’s good for the business. If the work gets done, and customer needs are met, that’s good. Even better is that the new working times and locations can be used to improve productivity, meet customer needs better and at the same time reduce costs. A substantial proportion of the workforce in many European countries and the United States works remotely (e.g., at home), and this has implications for ethical organizational practice. Work-life balance influences quality of working life, and employees have rights in relation to the balancing of work and family responsibilities. However, organizational ethics involves balancing the protection of employees’ rights and well-being with the fulfillment of organizational goals. Research suggests that remote working may enhance work-life balance without reducing productivity under certain circumstances.

If by Remote Working we mean the possibility of working remotely, that is, in any place other than the office of a company, Smart Working is its most complete evolution.

A good starting point to approach the concept of smart working is to understand and frame the three main assets, the so-called 3 B:

  • Behavior: we can say goodbye to classic office hours. The rule is to obtain the expected results within the set times, at the highest quality.
  • Bytes: or technology. Today a company can make use of formidable technological environments that encourage smart working.
  • Bricks: that is the physical spaces, the office layout. It is not important where you work, but how comfortable the environment around you is.

APRESO offers to provide higher knowledge to companies such as the adoption of organizational policies aimed at favoring the right balance between private and working life with the aim of improving corporate effectiveness.

References

Frone, M. R. (2003). Work-family balance. In J. C. Quick & L. E. Tetrick (Eds.), Handbook of occupational health psychology Washington, DC, 143-162.
Hartog, K. L., Solimene, A., & Tufani, G. (2015). The Smart Working Book, 11-12.
Lake, A. (2013). Smart Flexibility. Moving Smart and Flexible Working from Theory to Practice, London, 1-2.
Sullivan, C. (2012). Remote Working and Work-Life Balance