According to Microsoft’s new Work Reworking studio, smart working makes it more productive, but it could cause sense of isolation and a reduction in the rate of innovation. 77% of Italian companies have adopted flexible working models, compared to 15% in 2019, and 66% of employees will continue to work remotely at least one day a week even after the pandemic.

The company’s productivity was equal to or higher than when working in the office, but the capacity for innovation seems to have fallen: only 30% of managers believe that their company has an innovative culture, compared to 40% in 2019.

However, Italians of all ages have said that they appreciate the traditional working environment, especially for the possibility of socialising and sharing experiences and information more easily with colleagues. One of the main challenges of remote work is that it feels more isolated and less connected with colleagues, which could also lead to a significant fall in the innovation rate.

Work Reworked, a human approach to innovation

The difficulty in remaining connected with your team therefore influences the ability to share new ideas and innovate: compared to last year there was a significant decrease in the number of managers who declare that their company has an innovative culture, from 40% in 2019 to 30% in 2020. Similarly, a decrease was also noted in the perception of innovation in products and services, which rose from 56% in 2019 to 47% in 2020.

Luba Manolova, Director of Microsoft 365 Division of Microsoft Italy said: • The health emergency has revolutionized our way of living and working, making the new technologies even more essential for our daily lives. Thanks to the support of our vast ecosystem of partners, in recent months we have helped Italian organizations to work, communicate and collaborate remotely, ensuring their security and that of corporate assets. But the success of a digitalization path depends not only on the technological tools implemented, but also on the ability to make employees feel united, appreciated and free to express their ideas. Our research highlights the importance of a human approach to innovation: the teams that will really be successful will be those characterized by a greater group spirit, empathy and trust in others. It is essential to continue to promote the digital culture in the context of innovation culture and to provide technologies that can promote the empowerment of individuals but also the collaboration of teams.

For more information and to compare Italian data with those for Western Europe, you can read the whitepaper.

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