Andrea Montuschi, president at Great Place To Work Italia, talks about the data emerged from the surveys carried out during the lock down due to the corona virus emergency. How did companies behave in this period of improperly called “smart working”?
Employees are actually very positive – maybe they have lower their expectations- and hope companies will learn the lesson and adopt a real smart working.
We carried out a survey, as GPTW, which we put online at the beginning of March: it was a free survey to which everyone could access and fill out, and we actually offered it to companies as well, asking them to involve other clients and also non-clients.
And it was for free: we try to help out our country in the way we could, we couldn’t offer as GPTW any medical aids, so we offered a tool to listen to people.
What we have found, it is that Italian employees are actually positive, very positive, about the way their company reacted to the emergency.
The pandemic allows companies to fast-forward processes that were already inevitable and they were already underway in a way, but they were forced to happen in the pandemic: either you do that or you die.
And companies did that. They opened up new opportunities for people to work from home, they called it smart working to make it sounds nobler (even though we all know that what we all did it is not smart working, but home working), but still, it was seen actually quite positively by people.
They saw that companies were helping them, even though they felt like survivors, literally speaking, because being at home meant not having the virus and at the same time not losing their job.
So these people expressed their gratitude for these new ways of working, but as well some criticism on the cultural side, because it looks like managers accepted the situation, without embracing it, and people noticed that.
People’s fear is now: “Are we going to lose what we have learnt in these 2-3 months of lockdown? There will be a real change?”
Form every crisis we can learn something, and what people say in the survey is that they wish that their companies have learnt something from it, for example, to deal with smart working, flexibility, agile working. Hopefully, some companies will learn the lesson and adopt these new ways of working.