Webranking basically invented smart working in Reggio Emilia, having begun using it when almost no one else was even talking about it yet.
Experience during the pandemic confirmed our belief that we were on the right track and the ending, today, of the “mandatory” regime of remote work will go unnoticed by the Webranking team. Because our employees have been free to choose for years. Explaining how the model works is the Nereo Sciutto, Managing Director of the Reggio Emilia digital marketing company (4 branches in Italy, headquarters in Correggio, over 200 employees).
From today, mandatory smart-working comes to an end. Does this change anything for you at Webranking?
“No, we will maintain our model of free choice. We see absolutely no reason, even if the health emergency seems to be behind us, to impose a forced return to the offices.”
In practice, how does your smart-working work?
“The employee decides whether to work from home or in the office, depending on the type of work they have to carry out and whether it is a task to be done alone or as a team. Or else on the basis of their own family needs. We have been doing this since 2018 and we have no intention of changing.”
A time when there was very little talk of smart-working…”We are a young company, and our employees are also young and very attracted to this type of work formula. In the beginning, some may have thought that it was just a stunt, to make us look good; but the pandemic made everyone realise that our idea was actually ahead of its time.
In short, would you recommend this to the business world as a whole?
“Of course, some sectors are more suitable and functional than others for this model. But in general, if you organise it properly, it is a system that makes workers happier. Not for nothing, I would add, are we one of the companies, internationally, with the highest approval rating from its employees.”
How did you get this organised?
“With a thorough preparatory analysis and keeping in mind what would be required by our employees when working at home.
So we gave employees a contribution of 100 euros to cover the purchase of a camera suitable for the hardware they chose, or for a more comfortable chair so that they could work without stress.
In short, technological and logistical investments need to be made before starting.
The result, however, is that even during the lockdown period we managed to keep our offices open because, in fact, it was the employees who decided where to work. That’s why, even when Covid came along, we were well-prepared to face a situation that was completely new for many others.
This article originally appeared in the Resto del Carlino of Reggio Emilia on 1 September 2022.