Smart working may not last long

Lo smart working potrebbe non durare a lungo thumbnail

The concept of flexible working is one of the legacies of the pandemic that we are still carrying around. Some call it teleworking, some smart working. Two years after the first lockdown, when the choice was almost forced, hybrid work has become an integral part of everyday life of many Italian (and non-Italian) companies.

A recent survey commissioned by Linkedin and conducted by YouGov reveals that the achievements of the pandemic period could leave room for new trends. The research was conducted between 21 September 2022 and 17 October 2022 on a sample of 2,929 executives (C-Suite) in over 17 countries around the worldincluding Italy.

Linkedin research: smart working could soon become the past

In a period of great economic uncertainty, with an energy crisis that is advancing and that has yet to reach its peak, what seemed to us the future of work is likely to soon become the past. In Italy 34% of companies have already downsized their hiring plans, while 25% even completely blocked them. The 27% of companies also cut funding for employee training.

For 71% of C-levels, smart-working is destined to remain a form of work in the future, perhaps in a hybrid version. But the data is anything but reassuring: the 60% he is concerned about a probable reduction of this modality, which would have negative repercussions both on the balance between professional and private life and on the motivation of employees. The research shows that the 36% of companies have already planned one reduction of flexible and hybrid ways of working.

According to the report Global Talent Trends LinkedIn’s current priorities of employees vis-à-vis employers, beyond pay, are precisely: flexibility, skills development and work-life balance. A series of requirements that appear to be destined to collapse in the face of the current economic crisis.

But that’s not all. The 60% of Italian C-levels fear that the crisis can further increase the skills gap between workers. For more than half of the interviewees it will be even more important to have a university degree to find professional opportunities. A decidedly dangerous prospect for Italy, which is characterized byhigh youth unemployment rate and from a low number of graduates. An explosive mix that manifests itself in structural and rooted problems, which had emerged even before the pandemic and the current crisis.

And what do the employees think?

35% of executives surveyed said that, in their reality, employees are asking financial support in the face of rising living costs. 46% say they are concerned about the financial stress to which their workers are subjected.

How to get out of it then? The survey reveals that 33% of respondents believe that the essential skills are there ability to communicate, problem solving, transparency and empathy. Executives believe that professional figures must have transversal skills. A perception that is reflected in 78% of job vacancies posted globally on LinkedIn in the last three months.

“Trust, flexibility at work, balance between private and professional life, the development of new skills and the creation of new career opportunities within the company are fundamental aspects that cannot be stepped back” he comments Marcello Albergoni, Country Manager of LinkedIn Italy. “They are crucial for an inclusive work environment but also for building diversified and resilient companies, able to adapt to a rapidly changing world. In the first place there must always be people, their talent and their growth. The support of companies is essential at a time when they are subjected to the stress and uncertainty due to the generalized increase in the costs of living. Finally, we believe that the employer – employee relationship must be one of reciprocal exchange such that employees should be involved in the business, embodying the values ​​of the company and investing in themselves through skills and transparent communication “.