Launching the next localised report in our ‘Rethinking Workplace’ series, we explore the current issues and desires of workers in Italy. We also uncover how the current ‘workplace’ environment is affecting people's happiness, health and wellbeing. Finally, we show how it might be improved.
The current landscape
Overall, our research shows that Italian office workers crave flexibility, but are currently restricted by a lack of it. It is an overworked nation, with an extremely high percentage of employees regularly completing overtime. And this is especially evident in the younger generations.
Compared to the rest of the European workforce, homeworking is not widely adopted in the country. However, where it is an option, more men than women have access to it.
As a potential result, many suffer from being unable to switch off. For this reason, Italian workers would appreciate more balance between working in the office and working from home.
What workers want
More than anything, Italian office workers want boundaries that support flexibility.
65% of office workers see the growing convergence between home and work – ‘worklife’ – as a benefit. And flexible working hours are the most desired workplace ‘perk’ - chosen by 42%. Though with so much overtime being undertaken, there perhaps needs to be some level of separation to allow for downtime.
‘Flexibility’ is the workplace ‘perk’ that Italian office workers want most - chosen by 42%
Improved indoor air quality
Of all the factors that contribute to health and wellbeing, indoor air quality was highlighted as a pressing concern. This was found to be more of an issue for men than women, and geographically, Milan rather than Rome. Interestingly, in 2018, the World Health Organization highlighted Milan as one of three European cities with the worst levels of atmospheric pollution. Therefore, the findings are reflective of, and could potentially be influenced by, the recent news agenda.
Above all else, perhaps the main takeaway from the Italian findings is that office workers feel they are struggling to fulfil their responsibilities outside of work. When in the workplace, they can be productive, and achieve their potential. But with a lack of homeworking, compared to the rest of Europe, and limited flexibility in their working hours, feelings of being overworked are rife.
For businesses looking to improve their employees’ health and wellbeing, it could be as simple as introducing a little bit more ‘flex’ into the day-to-day.
For more insight into how Italy benchmarks against the rest of Europe, download the ‘Rethinking Workplace’ report.
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