“What’s the meaning of the agile working? Trust. An extreme trust in people and in their ability of self-controlling their way of working and, at the same time, a way of living, a simple path full of benefits. But why is still so difficult to carry it out?” With this question the Milan Council Member Chiara Bisconti opened the first round table “Agility and Wellness” of the WOW! Island Agile Working’s week at Cozzi swimmingpool of Milan, the last 23rd March.
“Smartworking and agile working are based on the self-determination of the space and of the time, overcoming finally a tayloristic concept of work. It’s a new way of working that measure the quality of a job on goals and results, giving to everyone a lot of benefits. In particular it raises the wellness of the employers, allowing them to regain hours of life that can be dedicated to self-care, family, hobbies or social activities. We as women, in particular, are really satisfied when we can ‘put all the things togheter’”, Chiara Bisconti said, “Maybe the cultural change can be encouraged also by the ‘extreme moment’ we are living: when buildings are well conceived, they are already predisposed to answer to different needs”.
In fact as also Luca Ghezzi, Milanosport managing director of external relations and comunication, declared “The view of the water down there and, in the meantime, of a lot of people up here talking about agile working is really something amazing. In nowadays families where both parents work, agile working is necessary”.
So what are the obstacles?
The answer was given by Antonio Borgese of Great Place to Work Italia: “Realizing the agile working in a company is not a logistical or technological problem, but it’s only a matter of trust. On one side the manager has to trust the fact that his collaborator will do his job with the same effort without being strictly controlled, and on the other side the collaborator has to believe that his best working performances and his carrier are not linked to the time he is spending in the office. A way of working based on goals is a process of cultural growth. As a survey made bu the company TNT has shown, people working from home dedicate 5 hours more to the company, and this is not accidental: agile working is especially the expression of the attention and the care a company has to their employers, and that makes workers put more effort for the company’s goal”.
Alberto Cannistrà, member of IFMA Italia and Siemens Real Estate manager, has then pointed another cultural obstacle out: “Why don’t people choose the agile working? Beacuse of the common fear of losing the clear separation between our private life and our working time. We fear we would be on duty 24 hours a day”. But this problems can be easily solved as the Siemens experience shows.
“Our work-life balance is crucial to our lives in the new ways of working”, Fiorella Crespi, supervisor of the Politecnico of Milan’s Smart Working Observatory, confirms, showing some really encouraging datas about the agile working in Italy.
“The 8% of the italian companies has choosen this way of working. This made them increase their productivity up to 40%, and their workers are now able to do the same amount of work in less time”.
In a dedicated article Francesco Zurlo and Marco Predari speeches will be summed up as an answer to the question: how is design responding to this progressive change of mentaly towards the agile working?
Text by Gabriele Masi.