Smart working in Italy: what aspects to consider in terms of health prevention and protection?
Keywords:COVID-19, WFH, teleworking, human health
Agile (or remote) work has spread since the early 90s, but the adoption of this type of work hasn’t always been exploited to its full potential. Recently, this way of working has acquired greater importance: in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to limit the number of deaths and hospital admissions, many countries have adopted a wide spectrum of containment measures, such as encouraging (or oblige) people to work remotely, whenever possible. Due to this containment measure, millions of workers around the world have been destined to work from home. Moreover, it would seem that this mode of working will stand out as a hybrid mode form, to ensure a better balance between office- and home-working.
For this reason, the present work aims to highlight the main outcomes from studies conducted in Italy, concerning the positive and negative effects of smart working, reporting the gaps relating to the assessments of the remote working environment.
To achieve this goal, results (N: 9 scientific papers) obtained from a search query set for extraction of studies from a scientific literature database were analyzed.
In addition to report the positive and negative effects of smart working, our research shows that the studies conducted in Italy regarding this way of working are still scarce and based only on the administration of a questionnaire (or on the conduction of an interview) to workers. Contrarily, no real assessments have been performed, in terms of workers' safety and health, in the condition of working from home.
An in depth analysis of the experience of employees involved in remote working conditions could be of particular interest in future studies, to maximize the positive aspects and reduce the risks of worsening the physical and psychosocial well-being of employees. In fact, if smart working would become a common way of working as reported in the literature, it could have a significant impact on both organizations and employees and it should therefore be investigated in the best possible way.
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