The state of emergency could end on March 31st . Among the measures taken to deal with the pandemic and which could undergo significant changes are those concerning smart working , a way of working destined to change at least with respect to the form in which we have known it during the health emergency. This was stated by Pasqualino Albi , full professor of Labor Law at the University of Pisa, legal advisor to the Minister of Labor Andrea Orlando and president of the Agile Work study group. What the new smart working will be like
“It will be decidedly more dynamic than what we have known during the pandemic which was basically the work done ‘from home’ in a situation of substantial isolation, sometimes even prolonged over time. Agile work, according to the provisions of law 81 of 2017, is characterized by the alternation between work in presence and remote work but during the pandemic we have known the emergency face of this way of working. However, we don’t have a default template once and for all. The Study Commission established by Minister Orlandoand chaired by me, she intended to understand how the social partners have regulated this issue; first of all it was considered very important to learn from the experience gained in the workplace and grasp the needs that emerged in the field “.
” During the work of the Commission it emerged that the redefinition of new rules cannot take place without bearing in mind that the processes of job transformation are not yet fully outlined. Therefore, the hypotheses to be put in place can find their ideal ground in the social dialogue and therefore in the confrontation with the social partners. An intense confrontation was thus undertaken to arrive at a joint protocol for the purposeto identify points of convergence on the thorniest issues not effectively regulated by the law, which was then signed on 7 December last . The document, which concerns the private sector only , is aimed at providing guidelines that can represent an effective reference framework for collective bargaining but also an input to corporate management of agile work “. How will the agile working mode continue
Or will we go back to working in the presence

“The question is very complex. However, some elements seem quite clear: a sharp return to the pre-pandemic situation is unlikely. In advanced economies, a significant portion of the workforce could work remotely without reducing productivity. This is a signal to be grasped with great attention because phenomena of this magnitude should not be suffered but governed. We must equip ourselves to manage the possible transition of a non-negligible part of the world of work towards stable forms of agile work “.
” I believe that in these evaluations of ours we must pay attention to the circumstance that a correct and intelligent use of agile workcan favor a clear improvement in the personal life of workers and environmental conditions: for example, the significant reduction in polluting emissions as an effect of reducing car traffic, the possibility of identifying locations that can be reached on foot or by bicycle, all hypotheses to be evaluated on the green transition plan . On the one hand we will see a return to the origin and certainly a quantitative impact not comparable to the pandemic one, while on the other we will see a new beginning, through the experience we have gained in this period and the new awareness of the potential of the instrument. The basis will be the agreement of the employer with the employeewithin the framework of the law and that possibly imposed by collective bargaining that may develop along the guidelines drawn by the Protocol of last December 7th “. What will change for companies
“New spaces are opening up for more flexible , more dynamic organizational models , which can foster productivity and, at the same time, achieve, as perhaps never before, an effective reconciliation between life and work”. What are the differences between agile work in the public sector and in the private sector
“The basis is common, ie the provisions of law 81/2017which also applies, insofar as compatible, to employment relationships employed by public administrations “.
Until March 31, 2022 , the substantial difference is that, for the public sector, an individual agreement is required , as required by law 81 / 2017, while in the private sector the simplified form of smart working is still allowed , with unilateral activation by the employer “.
Once the emergency phase is over, the peculiarities will above all be connected to the organization and activation of the tool, without prejudice to the individual agreement, which in public administrations is also linked to the programming that each administration must do and which must also include agile work “. Which categories of workers can continue to benefit from smart working
“All workers who perform tasks compatible with smart working can be involved. With a view to providing incentives and protection, the Protocol of last December 7 provides for the commitment of the social partners to facilitate access to agile work for workers in conditions of fragility and disabilities, also with a view to using this way of working as a reasonable accommodation measure. The same law 81/2017 provides that public and private employers are required to give priority to requests for the execution of the employment relationship in an agile manner made by workers in the three years following the end of the period of maternity leave and by workers with disabled children “. To what extent agile work will be used
“It is the individual agreements that provide for the extent to which agile work will be usedwhich, as already said, should not be identified with working from home. The alternation between the periods of work inside and outside the company premises, among other things, is also important for maintaining contact with colleagues and with the company reality. The law does not place particular preclusions on the organization but, rightly, only imposes limits on the risk of overuse of the worker , through the obligation to respect the maximum duration of working hours and to guarantee disconnection.. In this sense, for example, the national Protocol provides that the work performance in an agile way can be divided into time slots, identifying, in any case, the disconnection slot in which the worker does not provide the work “. The two years of the pandemic, in which in many sectors this way of working was implemented for the first time, what they taught us
They brought out more criticisms or strengths

“It taught us that agile work can be a useful tool in organization of work activities for both the employer and the worker. Obviously we weren’t prepared for the situation we experienced; workers found themselves overnight working from home with often unsuitable means and spaces; symbolically we can remember the video conferences with improvised stations in a corner of the house, which many workers were forced to use as an office. This has brought out some criticisms , let’s think about the risk of hyperconnection or the idea that work-life balance can become the ground for cultivating gender discrimination. Again, the National Protocol places emphasis on issues such as the regulation of disconnection, the health and safety of the agile worker, the right to equal treatment and equal opportunities, the guarantee of the protection of personal data, also underlining the importance of training and information for workers “.
” However, the experience gained has demonstrated the strengths of a tool that can allow the worker to gain greater autonomy , being able to decide, with a certain degree of freedom, how to manage the work activity and therefore his own time, the time he devotes to himself and his loved ones, and on the other hand to the employer to put in place a leaner organization (think of the organization of offices and therefore to the spaces that, in the future, could be less large, not being necessary) and obtain greater productivity. Many studies show that agile work can increase people’s productivity (ex: if I don’t have to take an hour to reach the company headquarters, my working day will be more profitable) “.
” Both parties, moreover, can mutually benefit from the advantages that everyone has, thus starting a virtuous circle “.
“Of course, the lived experience should not be forgotten but it should be the basis for developing agile work, even in a situation that is no longer an emergency.”

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