Work Smart – Play Smart!

A classic motto of the American culture is “Work hard, play hard”. In 2020 it is time to renew this motto. So on the wave of the difficult moment that the whole world is experiencing, why do not talk about:

“Work smart, play smart”?

Smart activities are composed of 2 macro blocks: the virtual one and the physical one. Both realities insist on improving the life of employee and the human factor is the topic that often interests smart workers.

Virtual

When speaking of “virtual” it is also necessary to include all the digital solutions that can make work more fluid and disconnected from a fixed place: an internal network between employees, mobile tools (cell phones, tablets, etc ..), positioning, productivity, app systems with credits to purchase services or products, etc. Technology exists, now it is up to individual companies to implement it. Every single employee has goals. Achieving goals and ending projects is the goal. Where and how this is achieved is employees responsibility.

Physical

The concept of smart-working also requires a physical place, it is not forbidden to work with a mobile phone (such as a conference call with Google hangout or skype, while walking along the street). But if we talk about a more corporate approach it is good to have physical location to call “office”. Every employee who makes the request for smart working should agree on the methods with his manager.

The basic elements are known: a good quality network connection, a smartphone and a laptop. However having a physical location (or multiple locations) where to carry out ones work is helpful. The simplest solution is to work from home, perhaps in pajamas with the cat laying on your knees. For many employees, accustomed to the corporate style, working alone at home could be traumatic. Hence the need to find solutions that combine a smart and proactive vision with a social environment equipped with the useful basic services. In this sense, co-working, especially those that have emerged in recent years, are interesting solutions where to start from. Technology today is a necessary tool for improving living standards, the only obstacle is cultural.

If Smart Working was originally a widespread concept and used mainly by startuppers and independent workers, today the concept of  “work life balance” is a main interest of large companies.

There are some useful aspects for a company in meeting and embracing the world of smart working. First of all the comfort factor. More and more companies aim at finding ways to keep their employees. If we look at the scenario from a corporate HR point of view,  finding and hiring a suitable profile is not easy: for example, companies and HR (with an average age of 40 years) must relate to millennials or the generation Z population (born between 1995 and 2010.) These are individuals who have grown up with a rather high concept their free time (also through social networks): the truth is that generation Z and millennials are different. A company that offers a smart work management solution, where, after a first period of transition,  the relationship needs treated in a dynamic manner in order to compete with the market offers which makes it challenging to acquire and retain employees.  

A similar reasoning can also be made for senior employees who, for example, need maternity or paternity leave, or give greater attention to elderly parents. All these elements when combined with a Smart work solution (which rewards results rather than time spent in the office) represent an advantage. Performance is now the most popular concept: you go for goals. Offices are increasingly characterized by a result oriented approach, as how long it takes is not a problem for the company.

Economic factor

With the digitalization of companies, and in general of the individual (employee or independent), the majority of the activities that can be carried out in a company, which do not require physical activity, can be carried out remotely. An opportunity that companies of all sizes are considering.

If we consider this data we can clearly understand how smart working can be a valid solution for many companies. The economic factor has a series of very practical aspects, and in the case of smart working both holidays and overtime expenses can be best managed by companies. This on its own represents a saving. “To this we add the reduced office rental costs”  comments Alberto Bernard partner of your HR.

Cultural factor Cultural Factor. Apparently a secondary factor. In reality the future of training and the growing need for companies to have employee and manager “contaminated” is fundamental.  If we put an innovation team of a large multinational company in the same office space as other different startups, could these two realities contaminate each other ?