Smart work: right or concession of the employer?

THEThe topic of flexible working has come back to the fore in recent days. And that’s because, without government intervention, from July 1, 2023 the right to work in this mode will expire vulnerable workers and for parents with children up to 14 years old (in the private sector). This means that smart work Will it disappear from our lives for good? No way!

The ability to work flexibly today represents one of the elements most considered by employees when preparing to choose a new workplace and one of the most frequently asked questions during recruitment.

This happens for the most diverse reasons: family, personal well-being, physical distance from the workplace, etc. Therefore If Italian companies want to keep up with the times and continue to be attractive in the reference market, they will be able to secure this institution for their employees in the future as well. (at least on average 2 or 3 days a week). Moreover, the law itself provides that the use of flexible working is intended precisely to “increasing competitiveness and facilitating work-life balance“.

So, no, flexible working will not disappear from our territory

Not only. Even after July 1 of this year, if the possibility of working in agile mode is foreseen in a company, they should be accepted by priority the requests of certain specific categories of people, i.e. workers with children up to twelve years old; workers with disabled children; workers with disabilities in established serious conditions; carers. These individuals cannot be fired, transferred, sanctioned or demoted for requesting flexible working.

So what changes?

“Just” (if we can say so) flexible work it will no longer be a “right” of workers (or certain categories of workers), but a concession made by the company to its own resources, like other benefits.

Having said that broadly, from a legal point of view, the flexible working governed by Law 81/2017 concerning “Measures to protect non-business self-employment and measures aimed at encouraging the flexible organization of times and places of secondary work”.

This institution is characterized, according to the law, byalternating between work performed within the company’s premises and work performed in other locations of the employee’s choosing (usually his or her home). Therefore, flexible working does not – as is sometimes believed – give the employee the right to work 100% from home (like telecommuting), but is – at least according to the regulatory framework – a form of hybrid home-office work.

What are its main elements? Flexible work:

  • includes the signing of an individual agreement (contract or letter) between the employer and the employee, which specifies the basic and organizational characteristics (how many days I must be present in the company, how to mark my presence in the office, how to organize calls with colleagues /customers, when it is possible to exercise the right to disconnect, etc.)
  • it can also be regulated by company regulations or collective agreements (which specify the sectors or offices that can work in flexible mode, etc. – in fact, not all jobs are compatible with flexible working)
  • must observe the maximum duration of daily and weekly working hours stipulated by the individual employment contract: usually 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week for full-time employment
  • allows the employee to freely choose where to work (even if some companies, for legal / tax / social security reasons, currently exclude workers from abroad)

Since the characteristics of this institution have been determined from a legal point of view, it is not superfluous to point out how working in a flexible mode is not always easy, in the sense that it is important to know how to really take advantage of this institution and avoid being swallowed up by work and at the mercy, day and night, of requests from colleagues, superiors and customers.

In other words, you need to know and learn to work in flexible mode.

That’s why we think it’s useful to offer you a little practical survival manual for the flexible worker:

  • take advantage of working from home to have more time for yourself in the morning before starting work: have breakfast at the bar, read a few pages of a book, take the opportunity to go to the gym
  • Always check working hours: flexible working is not synonymous with 24-hour work. monitor your activity and turn off the computer once you reach your goals or in any case 8 hours a day
  • disconnect for lunch and enjoy your break: you need this time to clear your mind and continue your day more motivated*
  • dress up and be presentable: for yourself, before others
  • turn on the camera: human relationships are important and make it easier to ask favors of colleagues or deal with crisis situations
  • don’t isolate / isolate yourself: be the first to ask to be present in the company to have relationships with colleagues and your managers

Now that you know all about flexible working, all you have to do is apply our tips!

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