The smart working of women in the time of the coronavirus

A “smart working” which, for women, is not very “smart”. This is what emerges from the #iolavorodacasa research conducted by D-value, the first association of companies in Italy – 200 to date – which for ten years has been committed to gender balance and an inclusive culture in organizations and in our country. Objective of the study: to analyze the world of work in Italy in this period of great criticality due to the Coronavirus emergency.

The survey carried out on a panel of over 1300 workers, employees and non-employees, of multinationals and SMEs, confirms that, in order to give continuity to their business by protecting employee health, during this period companies have resorted to a massive use of smart working. . Over 93% of respondents are in fact working from home.

Smart working or extreme working?

The analysis reports that 60% of the female employee sample was already accustomed to working in “agile work” mode, with flexibility of hours and spaces. But smart working requires great personal discipline, the search for a quiet and isolated workplace, specific times – all aspects that are not easy to implement in a moment of forced family coexistence. It therefore emerges that, in this period, 1 in 3 women work more than before and are unable, or struggle, to maintain a balance between work and home life. Among men the ratio is 1 in 5.

Research confirms that the responsibility for family care continues to weigh mainly on women who, especially in this emergency situation, find it difficult to reconcile professional life with personal life. On the other hand, it would be desirable that moments of crisis such as these could help develop greater parental co-responsibility that will lighten the woman from the double family and professional burden “, Commented Barbara Falcomer, general manager of Valore D.

Positive feelings or anger?

Despite having a strong emotional hold – over 60% of women expressed feelings “positive and of renovation” – the remaining 40% live this period with anxiety, anger and confusion. This is particularly true in the Millennials generation which feel much more confused than the Baby Boomers generation (22.8% of the former against 6% of the latter).

There resilience “ it is an aspect that characterizes the female band over 40 in an important way. Over 48% of them have expressed a strong ability to face and overcome this difficult period, against 11% of women under 30. On the other hand, the hope” it is a transversal sentiment that at this moment unites women of all generations with a slight increase among those under 40 years of age.

Praise to the companies

How did the companies react? Almost all respondents (90%) believe that they intervened promptly and that they often have “Anticipated government provisions”. The companies have moved on two fronts, the technological and the relational one, favoring smart working in organizational terms with adequate tools and IT support, but also offering “Remote training activities”. Management makes its proximity felt by increasing contacts with employees with motivational and encouraging emails, web conferences and phone calls, often “By responding live to all questions about the state of the business and reassuring us of the solidity of the Italian branch”.

The playful dimension also helps keep morale up. Some companies keep the community alive through the “corporate Facebook group or special platforms used for both business and leisure activities (sports, cooking, …) “.

Also important are the relationships between colleagues who, to share the difficulty of the moment and ease the tension, find themselves for “Coffee breaks and virtual lunches, group video calls”.

Future forecast

What about the future? Many already “they plan the future“And they are “Preparing for the recovery by taking care of what we have overlooked”. Most (85%) believe that this situation will help introduce, modify, and reinforce the Smart Working model in the company.

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