Remote working: use slows in 2023, but remains attractive to companies

22 March 2024

According to research by HR Capital, in 2023 remote working was adopted by 60% of companies with more than 50 employees and an internal HR structure (-15% vs 2022).  In less structured companies, the percentage drops below 40%.

Milan, 12 March 2024 – The possibility of working remotely has now established itself as one of the useful factors in making the workplace more attractive, both in attracting new talent and retaining those already in force. Remote working is now perceived by workers as a way of working that promotes both a work-life balance and, at the same time, a work ethic based on objectives

After initial and widespread use of remote working– a consequence above all of the pandemic and post-pandemic landscape, during which the possibility of working remotely five days a week was often guaranteed – today, however, we seem to be witnessing a slowdown, if not an actual halt, in the use of this tool.  

This is the picture that emerges from research by HR Capital – a subsidiary of De Luca & Partners and leader in outsourced personnel management and administration services – on the current state of remote working policies by employers.  

According to the study1, conducted by HR Capital on client companies, in 2023 60% of the most structured companies – i.e. with a workforce of at least 50 people and a department dedicated to human resources – now allow remote working. Among those that are less structured – i.e. that do not meet the conditions mentioned above – the percentage drops below 40%. Both values are down compared to 2022, with a more marked decline for large companies (-15%)

Despite the affirmation of remote working in the employment field, compared to previous years, the numbers therefore record a slowdown in the advance of its use: from the immediately post-pandemic period to today, in fact, remote working has often been regulated in a restrictive way, especially in large companies – the same ones that had initially made greater use of it. 

The data show how the entrepreneurial culture of our country still tends to consider the possibility of working from home as an alternative tool to the use of holidays and permits or as a normal additional benefit, without taking into account the advantages that, in practice, can derive from it, including the reduction of costs for the company, the well-being of workers and the possibility of increasing their productivity”, notesAndrea Di Nino, Employment Consultant at HR Capital. “The research”, Di Nino continues, “has also underlined that the latest provisions aimed at workers with children and, even more so, those aimed at so-called vulnerable workers have proven to be complicated to manage from an operational point of view, often increasing the mistrust of companies that are less structured with respect to this tool”.  

The regulatory framework of reference in the Italian legal system is Italian Law no. 81/2017, which considers remote working to be a specific way of performing work, based, among other things, on the alternation between ‘face-to-face’ and remote work. The use of remote working is subject to the signing of an agreement between employer and employee and, in this regard, Article 23, first paragraph of the same law provides that the employer must provide electronically to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies the names of the workers who will work remotely, as well as all the related details, through the special ‘Servizi Lavoro’ (Work Services) platform. 

On the subject, in recent years, there have been a number of legislative interventions (most recently, the conversion into law of the so-called “Milleproroghe Decree”) which have further extended some of the ‘emergency’ rules established by the COVID regulations. In particular, the right to remote working has been extended to workers with children under 14 years of age until 30 June 2024, as well as for workers who, based on the assessment of the company doctor as part of the exceptional health surveillance introduced during the COVID period, are more exposed to the risk of contagion from the virus (so-called ‘vulnerable workers’).

Press release:

Labitalia – Adnkronos Group

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