Smart Working and Smart Offices are irreversible

Smart working

Recently Europ Assistance Italy attended an event at Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan to discuss research by Doxa on smart working, corporate welfare and change management. Our Head of Human Resources and Organization in Italy, Christina Anagnostopoulou represented Europ Assistance and shared our experience of merits of creating a smart working environment, including smart offices.

Understanding new ways of working

Doxa's survey, carried out on a sample of 412 workers among employees, middle managers and executives from 18th to 22nd January revealed that 9 out of 10 companies invest for the welfare of their employees. 84% of respondents said that they could better manage everyday life, 80% would lose less time for home-work transfers and would be less tired, 73% believed that could achieve the same results when working from home as they could in the office.

Turning understanding into action

In Europ Assistance Italy we have begun working on a pilot with 20% of the company's workforce, of which about a hundred belong to our Operations Centre, our colleagues who every day give assistance to our customers all over the world.

The results to date are very positive both in terms of productivity and engagement. Women, who represent 68% of Europ Assistance Italy, are demonstrating how the effectiveness of Smart Working is independent of the age group, gender and role played in the company.

How can we benefit from smarter offices where we work today?

Saying farewell to the office and to the fixed desk is a strong sign of change: 91% of the interviewees stressed that managers must be the first to believe and to lead by example. Despite the adaptations in the initial phase - 61% indicate the difficulty in finding a place in the open space in the morning and 70% complain of the waste of time to set up their temporary location - the Smart Office is positively perceived because, as indicated 91% of the interviewees, you are always connected and can work anywhere.

86% of those questioned indicated more exchanges and interaction with team colleagues, 66% saw an increase with other company functions outside of their own, and 65% saw increased interaction with their superiors. Greater sharing that goes hand in hand with increasing satisfaction levels.

“Smart working and offices are an irreversible trend”: Christina Anagnostopoulou, Head of Human Resources and Organization Europ Assistance Italy

In our Milan office the first example of our smart working environment was the plan of the Sales & Marketing departments offices, where today the new organization of space favours interaction, collaboration, information exchange and teamwork. Our CEO in Italy, Fabio Carsenzuola is a strong believer in this approach – he has given up his office and turned it into a space available to everyone as a creative room.