The spread of the pandemic and the consequent restrictions of the last period forced the SMEs to modify some processes and working methods, encouraging the smart working and thus creating new needs from the point of view of the technological equipment necessary to the employees. But the digitalisation approach, however important, has also brought other variations within the offices.

This is what has been highlighted by the research commissioned by Asus at the Eumetra Institute, which interviewed a sample of 400 small and medium-sized Italian companies during the post-Covid recovery period, to understand the new strategies and adaptation processes carried out.

In 2021, many of the activities analysed are still facing the collapse of a pandemic situation that has completely revolutionized the world of work, changing the concept of office, changing the concept of personal relationship between colleagues and much more. The hi tech apparatus seems to represent one of the most interesting forms of investment for companies in the post Covid.

Smart working has certainly encouraged an important technological modernization in Italian realities, and has upset the processes of work of large and small companies in Italy: this theme has already been addressed in many ways, but Asus wanted to explore the consequences and The research has emphasized that these consequences do not mainly concern the question of office or smart working, but emerges a strong psychological component, that sees the whole approach to the work and the teams from the employees modify and evolve, demanding a strong

SMEs, human capital and the welfare of increasingly central employees

The consequences of Covid have meant that many Italian companies, including SMEs, would change their approach and reinvest their resources not only in the equipment needed to deal with the changes that we have all experienced, but also and especially in human capital, its skills, role and the Following the implementation of the smart working, the office lost its connotation of…place part of the daily routine… but became a place of exceptionality, almost desirable as it went to bind indissolubly with the sphere.

On the other hand, many workers have also felt, as smart working increases, an increase in loads and hours of work. 37% of companies say that employees have gained greater flexibility ( 45% of them are companies in Central Italy), while in 32% of cases colleagues have maintained a fixed time, but seeing the increase in working hours. Total time flexibility was only acquired by 24% of SMEs.

Smartworking, from necessity to strategy for the future for 67% of SMEs

According to ASUS’ research, 41% of Italian SMEs say they had to face major changes in their operations and organisation in 2020, but what is interesting is that a large part of them plans, or has already implemented, to maintain and even implement such changes, including by Since the launch and/or reinforcement of new services or products, there are many companies that promise to renew their technological apparatus (29%), maintain smart working (18%) or reorganize the internal structure (26%). In any case, the percentages of companies that have already put them in place are significantly lower. In fact, 14% of SMEs have renewed the technological apparatus, 10% have provided new services or products, and 9% have started internal reorganisation, while the percentage of the implementation of smart working remains unchanged.

In other words, Italian companies think they are taking advantage of the changes caused by the Covid crisis, and are willing to assume costs and responsibilities that are not anticipated to make this happen. Smart working is expected to remain for about 8 out of 10 companies that used it during this period. Considering the whole of Italian companies studied, remote work will remain in 67% of SMEs. Most of them think of a more intensive employment strategy and not limited to a few people. Moreover, the expectations for 2022 are more than optimistic as regards 66% of the sample interviewed, with 28% of companies (many of which are located in Central Italy) who expect to remain stable in profits.

Investment in technology equipment

Three quarters of the companies that will implement smart working as a strategic solution for the future also have in mind to reduce offices. In particular, larger companies with larger space absorption are considering the aspect of allocated size and the relative fixed costs, rent or depreciation. But also the organization and the corporate culture are changed. The companies of the strategic smart working are preparing to adopt models of greater autonomy for people, of greater orientation to the results, of freer use of the computer equipment (starting from the PC), also in evolution. In particular, 52% of SMEs in Southern Italy had to compensate for the lack of laptops for their employees, thus constituting a large part of the growing demand for these tools.

The change of work premises has obviously led to the need to equip every employee with tools suitable for smart working, with a strong shift aimed at buying laptops and compact laptops, as well as tablets and other solutions (

The order words that guided this choice also represent the two needs that emerged: video conferencing instead of meeting in person, which therefore required the provision of suitable webcams and microphones, and the need for mobility, which led preferences to laptop Two requirements that still represent the pillars of necessity for Italian companies, not only in smart working. A more fluid work process such as that which SMEs are facing sees as indispensable certain functions, aimed at improving connectivity among people ( 48% of SMEs have defined webcam improvements and video conferencing microphones as the main necessity that led to the purchase of,

So from the office station, we switched to the laptop with integrated webcams and microphones. A predictable, sure consequence, but that has led to an adaptation of the supply in the sector clearly visible. 55% of SMEs use laptops, while 44% remain firm on fixed PCs. Another big change is the one that sees the growth of tablet purchases, faced by 24% of the sample, while 20% of SMEs chose to integrate existing docking stations and 12% moved on all-in-one models.

The way of working change: from team work to individual and remote work. Change the concept of desk space, optimized to be more compact and accommodate smaller solutions than the fixed PC. Finally, the tasks that are carried out on technological instruments change: the PC, in its different configurations, is mainly used for administrative work (40%) and for office work (38%). It remains an indispensable tool for maintaining interpersonal relations between colleagues and managing relations (36%). Paradoxically, all those tasks that have always lived technology fall to the bottom of the ranking • positioning themselves under personal use (22%) • such as the creation of graphic and multimedia content with 19% of answers, design and professional design at

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