Toward a theory on workplaces for smart workers

by Errichiello Luisa & Pianese Tommasina , , , , ,
| Disclipline

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Abstract in English:

The purpose of this paper is to identify the main features of smart work centers (SWCs) and show how these innovative offices would support the implementation of smart working and related changes in workspaces (“bricks”), technologies (“bytes”) and organizational practices (“behaviors”). Design/methodology/approach: In this study, scientific literature is combined with white papers and business reports and visits to 14 workplaces, including offices designed as SWCs, co-working spaces, one telecenter, one accelerator and one fab lab. Primary data were collected through interviews with managers and users and non-participant observation, whereas secondary data included web-sites, brochures, presentations, press releases and official documents. Findings: The authors developed research propositions about how the design of spaces and the availability of technology within SWCs would support the “bricks” and “bytes” levers of smart working. More importantly, the authors assumed that this new type of workplace would sustain changes in employees’ behaviors and managers’ practices, thus helping to overcome several challenges traditionally associated with remote working. Research limitations/implications: The exploratory nature of the research only provides preliminary information about the role of SWCs within smart working programs. Additional qualitative and quantitative empirical investigation is required. Practical implications: This study provides valuable knowledge about how the design of corporate offices can be leveraged to sustain the implementation of smart working. Originality/value: This study advances knowledge on workplaces by focusing on an innovative design of traditional offices (SWC). It also lays the foundations for future investigation aimed at testing the developed propositions.

Open Access? No

Journal Facilities
Publication Year 2019
Volume 38(3-4)

DOI 10.1108/F-11-2018-0137

English | Discipline Organization Studies