Flexibility of working time is currently coming to the fore, with varying degrees of intensity, in European countries. After a brief analysis of flexibility (origin, characteristics, spread) in Europe, this paper will focus in particular on the Italian case by presenting a phenomenon attracting growing attention: ‘Smart Working.’ This is an innovative approach to work organisation that integrates and exceeds concepts such as teleworking and mobile working, thus questioning traditional constraints (such as physical space or work times and tools) and seeking new balances based on greater freedom for workers, as well as their empowerment. By taking advantage of two recent empirical investigations carried out in Italy (2011–2012) we could illustrates the relevance of S.W. in terms of both aspiration and practice, and its high incidence on core issues such as care, fertility rate, and the daily challenge of balancing family and work. In light of this, we tried to discover whether and under what conditions the introduction of different S.W. forms could be a win-win solution for companies and employees alike.
- work family balance