The project identified an innovative solution aimed at satisfying the increasing demand for remote work services. The solution was based on an analysis of the academic literature in order to understand the evolution of different models in different periods. Instead of focusing on the (in some sense) trivial “work at home” paradigm, the project considered the needs of a growing number of “dispersed / mobile” workers (freelancers, creative workers and commuters) with intense communication needs (to and from their company and/or customers) which cannot be completely fulfilled by existing mobile technologies. According to a multidisciplinary approach, the project took into account technological, organizational, social and cultural aspects, legal issues, advances in the telecommunications infrastructure and state of the art experience. After having analyzed all these different aspects, the team defined trends for the diffusion of remote work practices in Italy. The empirical analysis was based on case studies focused on novel aspects of remote working emerging in the last 2-3 years. Analysis of pilot experiences involving many employees in Accenture and Telecom Italia, based on interviews of both employees and researchers, added many useful insights. Following the analysis of case studies and European regulations, the team identified requirements (related to business models, potential users, expected effects on productivity and the role of technology) to be met, in order to satisfy the growing demand of applications for remote workers.
The last part of the project shifted its attention to the design a temporary workplace, available in public open spaces, combining an innovative workplace concept with new opportunities for supporting mobile workers. Such solutions satisfy constraints arising from communication habits and work organization in Italy and can be easily replicated all over the country, especially in locations where travellers spend many hours a day. In designing such solutions the team also focused its attention on the key factor that telecom operators might be interested in being a partner in such a system. The large scale diffusion of this kind of solution will probably take place in a few years, also because in recent years telecommunication companies are in search of new services. Future developments of the project will be focused on both diffusion patterns throughout Italy and the positive effects this might have on work productivity.
Principal Academic Tutor
Production Systems and Business Economics, Politecnico di Torino
Control and Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Industrial Design, Arts, Communication and fashion, Politecnico di Milano
Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Andrea Bandini [Project Communication Coordinator], Mathematical Engineering
Yong Han, Industrial Engineering and Management
Juan Pablo Martinez, Telecommunication Engineering
Deniz Ozgur, Product-Service-Systems Design
Albert William Pozzi [Team controller], Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering