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Smart-working and talework: what are the differences

The workplace is no longer where you go, but what you do.
Often we tend to confuse telework with smart working. But the two approaches, although made possible by similar IT and telematic tools, differ in the way they are carried out, in the flexibility of organization and in the legislation.

telework , introduced in the 2000s in order to reconcile the employee's work activity with his private life, is based on the idea that the employee has a fixed position but in a different place from the company headquarters (typically at home) and a well-defined working schedule.

Unlike smart work is characterized by flexibility.
It takes place outside the company, at varying times, for part of the day, week or month. The worker has the possibility to carry out his duties in any place. Often, for travel and travel, the location will vary continuously. Or on the contrary, it can be obtained in special spaces used within the company itself.

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Telework: what is it?

The telework


What is teleworking?

Teleworking, or work from home, is a way of working not dependent from the location of the office or the company, facilitated by IT and telematic tools , capable of generating substantial benefits for companies, workers and environment.
The idea of ​​making employees work from home originated in the United States in the 1970s. The 1973 oil crisis led the American government to evaluate the concept of telecommuting based on the movement of data rather than on that of people.
By the late 1990s, teleworkers in the United States had reached 16 million. In Europe 9 million.
In 2016, teleworkers in Denmark, a nation that uses telework the most, represented 37% of all workers, while in Italy, the least advanced country in this respect, only 7% (source EWCS 2016)

How does teleworking take place?

The minimum hardware equipment consists of a computer, broadband internet connection, peripherals necessary to perform job duties (eg headset with microphone, printer, scanner).
The user performs a remote desktop access to his PC located in the office on which files and programs are stored or connects to the company server on which a particular management software called ERP (acronym for Enterprise resource planning) is installed, which integrates all the processes relevant business for a company. Teleworking is greatly simplified if businesses already adopt or switch to Cloud computing.

How telework works

Telework: all the advantages

Telework Pros

For employers

    Economic savings for the company
  • According to the most reliable estimates, a company can save up to 18,000 euros (20,000 dollars) a year for each worker who is converted into a full-time teleworker
  • Reduction of fixed costs
  • We move from a company structure with fixed costs to one with flexible costs, which involves greater ease and cost-effectiveness of dimensional growth and geographical expansion and the absence of barriers to entry (a PC and an internet connection are enough for implementation
  • Increase in hardware efficiency
  • thanks to the possibility of distributing the sending of data and the work performance at different times yes, overloading of the company server is avoided
  • Employee satisfaction
  • people with disabilities can easily be integrated
  • greater worker satisfaction and productivity is generated with a lowering of the absenteeism rate
  • problems of coexistence and conflict between workers are eliminated, thanks to remote interactions
  • staff turnover is reduced
  • free time increases and constraints decrease
  • Reduction of logistics costs
  • the number of workstations is eliminated or drastically reduced
  • saving in the purchase or rental of offices
  • saving in management costs (electricity, lighting, heating, air conditioning, water, cleaning, maintenance, standardization and certification of systems, hardware)
  • connection costs are reduced to those of a private user instead of a business one
  • indirect personnel, not directly linked to activities that generate the company's profits, is reduced or eliminated

For the worker

    Economic advantages
  • saving the home to work and work to home transport costs
  • don't need to buy or rent a home near the workplace
  • Psycho-physical advantages
  • no downtime
  • enjoying greater autonomy which increases satisfaction, motivation, creativity, concentration
  • conflicts in the family and with colleagues are reduced
  • transport and office stress is reduced
  • balances work with family life in the best possible way
  • you have the opportunity to work close to minor children, disabled people, dependent elderly

For environment and society

    Environmental benefits
  • the environmental costs of transport home to work and work to home are eliminated
  • traffic, pollution and foreign dependence on oil is reduced
  • Social benefits
  • accidents on the way and at work are reduced as health costs decrease
  • the phenomenon of brain drain is contained
  • new job opportunities are created
  • the standard of living in rural areas is raised, avoiding the abandonment of the countryside and the overcrowding of large cities

Smart-working: what is it

Smart working

Smart Working

What is smart working?

With smart working, agile work or flexible work, we do not refer to a contractual type of work, but to a particular way of organizing and executing the work activity, which allows the employee not to have time and place of work constraints. Smart working is therefore characterized by flexibility of organization and execution that allows the worker to be released from spatial and temporal obligations, allowing him to choose when and how to work. Often it takes place together with traditional work and requires presence in the office a few times a week or a month together with an interval of hours in which the worker must be available. The smart worker's workplace can be anywhere that has a connection.

How does smart working work?

Smart working concerns both managers and employees and is based on IT and telematic technologies identical to those used for teleworking: pc, smartphone, tablet, cloud and other ways of sharing documents, software for videoconferencing and for direct streaming transmission.
The employee do a part of his work in the traditional way and another part outside the company premises, without having a fixed location, so that the worker can better reconcile work with personal commitments thanks to more flexible hours.
within the company, and another part outside the company premises, without having a fixed location, so that the worker can better reconcile work with personal commitments thanks to more flexible hours.
The worker can thus work from home, in a co-working location, at the bar, or from any other place.

How smart working works

Smart working: all the advantages

Smart working Pros

For employers

  • Achievement of results
    The important thing is to achieve the established result,
  • Increase in productivity
    This type of way of carrying out work leads at least 20% of workers to an increase in productivity,
  • Work-life balance
    Balance between private and working life, its improvement is essential for the proper functioning of the company and for it to be able to retain its employees.

For workers and society

  • Work-life balance
    It represents an undeniable advantage, first of all for the worker.
  • Displacement negative effects reduction
    Teleworkers travel travel many fewer miles. That means savings in time, money and fewer emissions.

Smart working and telework consulting: how we work

Smart working consulting workflow


The employment relationship is reorganized.

  • Models, spaces and work organization are reviewed, analyzed and rethought in a smart key. The classic management model based on presence is replaced by one based on the results achieved. The relationship between the manager and the employee passes from control to trust.
  • The worker must choose with the employer the start and end times of the work activity.
  • The employer must identify the methods for verifying the activity carried out and the conduct that must be sanctioned.

The instrumentation is prepared.

  • The worker is provided with the appropriate hardware and software tools to be able to communicate, share information and carry out their business.
  • Communication must be kept constant through email and instant messaging software and through telephone contact and video conferences.
  • Even if outside the office, it is necessary to create a space exclusively dedicated to work, tidy and away from distractions.
  • To maximize time optimization, a to-do list is essential, it is also highly recommended to plan personal commitments to have a clear view of the day's activities, avoiding overlapping.

Technical support and data security.

  • The company must provide adequate technical support and provide security procedures to protect corporate and non-corporate data, in particular personal data.
  • It is necessary to properly instruct the user and protect their devices.
  • It is necessary to implement a series of measures including data encryption, connections to the office through a secure VPN equipped with a hardware firewall and providing the user with an account with limited privileges.
  • It is also essential to protect yourself from data loss.
  • Employer and employee must sign a specially designed written contract.

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