Luisa Errichiello, Tommasina Pianese

Rethinking Remote Office Work. The Opportunities of Smart Work Centers

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Telework; Remote Work; Smart Work Center; Innovation; Organizational Models; Icts.

This paper contributes to the increasing debate related to new ways of working, specifically focusing on remote office work. Better known in literature as "telework", it refers to flexible working models that exploit the potential of information and communication technologies to enable employees to work at a distance from their company headquarters. We focus on a specific form of telework, the Smart Wok Center (SWC), i.e. shared workspaces where users, mainly employees of public or private organizations, can rely on a number of ICT tools and advanced services to carry on their work far from their central offices. We first provide a conceptual frame of this form of telework, identifying the main features, functions and implementation drivers of these structures and discussing their positioning with respect to other typologies of shared workspaces, namely telecenters and co-working spaces. The article also shows benefits and opportunities offered by SWC especially compared to the more traditional and widespread home-based telework. In this respect, it highlights how this form of remote work, while preserving the advantages of working at home, is in many aspects a more suitable solution for organizations when considering the main environmental, technological and organizational barriers to home-based telework adoption and the managerial challenges to its implementation. These factors, indeed, still constitute a serious obstacle to the take-off of telework practices in Europe and especially in Italy.

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