Only flexible and goal-based smart working increases well-being

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With the conversion into law of the Advances Decree (Legislative Decree 145/2023), in mid-December, a new extension arrived – until March – of the right to smart working in the private sector. Parents of children under 14 and vulnerable workers will benefit from it.

We are therefore increasingly moving towards the implementation of various worker profiles: on site, in smart working, non-smart remote (teleworking). But among all these methods, which one reflects the best well-being conditions for workers? In its latest observatory on smart working, the Milan Polytechnic also monitored this aspect. The result? Being able to choose the physical location of the performance certainly improves the quality of the work but above all it is the “how” you work that makes the difference.



Three dimensions of well-being were analyzed (these are those indicated by the WHO): psychological, physical and relational. The result, we read in the report, is that «overall, 12% of workers declare that they are “feeling well” on all dimensions. Analyzing the three dimensions of workers’ well-being, 30% declare they are well from a physical point of view, 35% report a high level of psychological well-being and 37% have a high relational well-being”.

These aspects, explains Mariano Corso, scientific director of the Polimi Observatory, «were essentially a confirmation of what had already emerged from our or other research; the new data instead concerns the malaise of remote worker. Basically, what affects the quality of work or not is not so much whether or not you work from home, but the way. That is, if you work towards objectives, with flexible times, and feeling valued.”

In fact, the data shows that on all dimensions of well-being, smart workers enjoy higher levels than other categories of workers, «while remote non-smart” workers show lower levels of well-being even compared to on-site workers.” As regards relational well-being, “smart workers and non-smart remote workers are positioned almost at the same level, while on-site workers show lower levels of well-being”.

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