in a nutshell
Smart working is a way of executing the employment relationship without precise time or place constraints, with positive implications for companies, in terms of productivity and goal achievement, and employees, in terms of welfare, quality of life and free time. A win-win situation, especially for the enemies of early morning interpersonal relationships.
• Working scope: It is, intuitively, the main application area of smart working. Agile working is based on an MBO (Minimum Business Objectives) model: given goals to complete, the employee can decide when and how to complete them throughout the day. It is not to be confused with remote or home working, which are based on a command-and-control model: the employee must adhere to a schedule and communicate a location where he or she is performing it, thus constrained by work schedules and locations.
• Smart working in the insurance industry
The smart working approach adopted by AXA Italy goes like this: employees can freely choose whether or not to join the project and thus organize their work schedules autonomously. Managers set the weekly goals that employees must complete but also arrogate to themselves the possibility of deciding whether to withdraw the smart modality for those workers who cannot handle the activity from home. There are no longer fixed workstations, only rooms dedicated to collaboration, sharing, meetings and concentration. All of this leads to significant cost reductions.
• Smart working in the construction industry
Continal Underfloor is one of UK’s largest specialist direct suppliers of warm water underfloor heating systems to trade. The company has always been committed to making full use of information technology in order to maintain its competitive advantage. The team is now based at one custom-designed office in Launceston, where they have set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN). And all employees have been issued laptops and smartphones in order to gain the flexibility to work remotely or away from the office whenever it is needed, securely accessing all the required software and files.
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• Smart working in support of human resources
With the “SmartBank” project, the smart working program promoted by BNL (BNP Paribas Group), new and different ways of working based on flexibility have been introduced. Employees have the opportunity to work one day a week outside the office, as long as they ensure the availability of an adequate connection and respect for the bank’s security and privacy policies. New features also include the choice of space according to the needs of the customer. Space, however, is also revolutionized according to the logic of differentiating environments and share desks. The design variables considered are:
– Diversification and flexibility of types of places to meet the needs of collaboration, communication, concentration and contemplation.
– Technology to support mobility in the chosen environment (widespread wi-fi, smart printing, virtual room).
– Acoustics and building automation to adjust lighting and temperature according to the number of people in the room.
• Smart working in support of email marketing
Jarrang is an email marketing agency based in Falmouth, Cornwall. In January 2011, the adoption of superfast broadband has enabled the company to retain smart working practices at the heart of their operations. This way, Jarrang enhanced its business model improving productivity and increasing profitability. Now they communicate with their customers in a more efficient way. But founder Stafford Sumner knows that it is important to underpin smart working with strategies to consolidate team working. That’s why they hold regular online weekly team meetings. And at least twice a year, they hold offline team events, so that everyone can get together. “All this helps to build a strong team culture,” said Stafford.
A radical development
Combining the value of flexibility, the importance of proximity, the strength of relationships, and the effectiveness of organization, Digital Agency Caffeina introduced Work From X. It is a new organizational model that allows employees to choose from three options: Work From Office, Work From Close By, Work From Anywhere. And the choice is never final.
Work From X wants to prevent the office from becoming a mental burden, both for the employee and managers. It was created to combine the benefits of the three formulas: 1. Nurturing a physical community. 2. protecting focus, balance and quality of life guaranteed by working from home. 3. releasing the allure of every possibility, which can truly be found anywhere.
Work From X is about balance and common sense. No formula is marginal, but neither dominates. They complement each other. Those at Caffeina believe that a community needs a framework, one that enables freedom and allows people to enjoy it. The goal? To work more effectively, more up-to-date, and more satisfyingly.
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Check out more of the Innovation Alphabet:
“3D printing” is a process carried out by an electronic device which, instead of resorting to the canonical ink, it molds almost any kind of material: from concrete to living tissue, most usually plastic, but also metal. And the operating principle is similar to that of a traditional printer. The creation of three-dimensional models can lead to the redesign of a company’s production capabilities.Dive In
5G is the new frontier of cellular telephony. It was designed to improve (or completely replace) previous generations of mobile networks. The 5th generation features lower latency, ensuring flawless performance of business applications and many other digital experiences – thus enabling the new cultural generations to furiously play Fortnite away from home.Dive In
The term “Advanced Analytics” refers to the ability to autonomously or semi-autonomously analyze data and content to identify correlations, develop analyses, predictions, and recommendations. It is not just a matter of collecting information and then organizing it into watertight compartments: the ultimate goal is to identify a dialogue pattern from a data-driven perspective.Dive In
Agile is an approach to software development designed to respond to change. Teams quickly analyze the context in which they operate, identify uncertainties faced, and figure out how to adapt to always move forward. Interaction between individuals comes before processes and tools; collaboration with the customer is more important than negotiating contracts.Dive In
The Ansoff Matrix is a marketing planning model that arises from the intersection of new and existing products and markets. It derives four possible strategies for expanding the company’s market, which are built around four variables with a changeable factor of risks and possibilities: existing product, new product, existing market, new market.Dive In
Artificial Intelligence is not strictly defined. Basically, it is a computer system able to make decisions in an independent and flexible way. A good AI application can perform everyday tasks better than an average person (e.g., identifying other people from their photos on social media or beating the best chess player). Nothing to fear, then. Unless you are a chess champion.Dive In
We often tend to desire what we cannot have. Or what we are in danger of losing: Artificial Scarcity is a strategy that flaunts a limited number of items that do not correspond to actual availability. The goal is to stimulate the perception in consumers that the stock of items is about to run out and thus create a need based on the “fear of being cut off” or the intention to buy the item in order to resell it at a higher price.Dive In
The term attack surface refers to the part of a system that may be subject to attack or breach by hackers. The smaller that surface is, the easier it will be to protect it. Indeed, the Internet is an ocean of deep, dark waters: those who navigate it must be aware that they are exposing themselves to a flood of digital risks. Yet, ironically, we do not need a big boat to shelter us.Dive In
Augmented Reality is an ever-evolving technology that overlays multimedia information on top of our common sensory horizon to gain a deeper understanding of our surroundings. No, it doesn’t allow you to step out of the Matrix dream simulation, nor can it be accessed by swallowing a red pill. But neither is it the disturbing experience of the Playtest episode of Black Mirror.Dive In
In business, as in life, you need balance. The Balanced Scorecard is a holistic tool for strategic management. It offers, in fact, the possibility of assessing corporate performance in its wholeness. An overview that embraces four perspectives: the business/financial side, customers and stakeholders, internal processes, and learning and growth.Dive In