Work Life Balance and Gender Gap the real challenge of the future of work. 12 Rome Business School Research Report.

Published the 12th Research Report on the analysis of challenges and trends in the world of work after the pandemic: “WORK-LIFE BALANCE and GENDER GAP. The real challenge for the future of work “(by Prof. Valerio Mancini, Director of the Rome Business School Research Center), a research that highlights the exponential growth of agile work, even in the public sector, but still places Italy among the last positions among industrialized countries for the quality of the working environment.

Agile work will involve 10 million of professionals, with a 34% growth on the total number of employees.

The Rome Business School’s study analyzes the trends in the post-Covid work organization, with 7 million agile workers and a 34% of growth in the total employment. As for the public sector, the research reports shows that even if the 95% of local authorities have adopted agile work, italians remain the least satisfied in Europe regarding to the quality of services. The analyzed data highlight how the impact of Covid has weighed particularly on women in terms of economic participation, even if we can notice  great regional disparities, such as 65% of female employment in Trentino Alto-Adige against 20% in Calabria.

In a post-Covid economy deeply characterized by Smart Working, autonomy and flexibility, the Research Center study notes that labor productivity, both in the private and public sectors, will be conditioned by the ability to ensure workers a balance between work and private life. The data collected show how investments in work-life balance practices are able to improve professional performance, and therefore to increase productivity, but also to help reduce the long-awaited gender inequality in recovery plan measures. With respect to this last point, the analyzed data highlight how the impact of Covid has weighed particularly on women especially under an economical poit of view, also for issues related to the daily management of family life.

Again with respect to the gender gap in work, the research reveals that, although the results of the latest Report of the World Economic Forum – WEF mark an improvement for Italy, ranked 62nd out of 156 economies taken into consideration (in 2020 it was 76th), women’s incomes on average are still 42.8% lower than those of men. And even when they perform similar tasks, women still pay a gap of as much as 46.7% compared to the salaries of their colleagues. The study also points out that the percentage of “agile” workers has grown to 34% of the total number of employees, involving about 7 million workers; of these, most belong to the private sector, while about 2 million work in the Public Administration.

In Italy it is assumed that the professionals that will work from remote will reach the threshold of 10 million by 2022″, agile work – notes Mancini – will tend to become a structured phenomenon. However, the study shows that “74% of Italians have the imminent need to receive training on the potential of smart working and the digitalization of work” precisely to protect personal and family well-being and, so that agile work is a real opportunity, but 61% of families believe that it should be modulated, leaving to the worker the possibility to decide if, when and where to do it.

In this context, the recent debate on the right to disconnect from technological equipment and IT platforms to the worker in smart working also falls” inserted as an amendment to the decree law 13 March 2021, n. 30 and approved by the Permanent Commissions of Labor and Social Affairs on the last 15 of April 2021.