Teleworking week in Milan

Working from home in Milan.

Milan is running a new experiment in teleworking from 22 to 26 May, this time much longer than the three previous years’ “Teleworking Days”.

City hall hopes to double the number of participants, and make Milan a model for working-from-home best practice, both in the public administration and in the firms and organizations who have signed up to take part.

Lavoro agile”, as the organizers have dubbed it, requires no fixed work station in the office: work can be carried out at home, in the coffee shop, in the park or the gym, in a subsidiary office of the same organization or even in co-working. The object is to satisfy the workers and make their employers more competitive.

Results will be fed into updates of the Territorial Working Hours Plan, a document intended to help organise opening and closing hours with a view to improving the quality of life of Milanesi and visitors to the city.

City administrators last week provided statistics from last year’s initiative as a baseline to assess the success of the 2017 week. Among the 2,300 who provided feedback in the 2016 experiment, a total of 163 days and 4 hours of home-to-office commuting was saved – that’s an average of an hour and 42 minutes knocked off everybody’s working day.

About half of the participants used this free time to care for their family or their home, while a few used it to do more work, and one in ten simply enjoyed the rest.

But there was saving in environmental impact, too: those who reported their experiences saved over 58,000 km of travel with private cars, with a corresponding reduction in atmospheric pollution and fuel consumption.

The majority by far chose to work from home (87 per cent), while another 9 per cent opted to work in a branch office of the same organization, more convenient to reach.