The Future of Work – Italy

The Italian working environment

Filter the map below to see how the mood of Italian workers compares to those in other markets:

Italian workers remain engaged at work despite low mood

When asked how they have been feeling over the last three months, a third (34%) of Italian workers report feeling productive, with a quarter (26%) saying they feel motivated and one in five (21%) saying they have been feeling calm.

Despite this, just under a quarter of Italian respondents report feeling frustrated and exhausted (both 23%) and a fifth (21%) report feeling anxious.

Across all Italian workers, 15% say they are feeling content at work, the lowest proportion across all the European markets (31%). Similarly, only a fifth (17%) say they feeling okay, far less than the European average (28%).

Italian respondents are also less likely to report feeling supported (13%) and slightly less likely to feel loved (9%) than the rest of Europe (18% and 11% respectively) . Encouragingly, only one in ten (10%) of respondents report feeling sad and a little less (8%) feeling angry. 

Workplace culture

Italian workers are equally as comfortable discussing a promotion as they are their mental health

A third (33%) of the Italian workers surveyed say they feel comfortable asking for time off work for mental health reasons, compared to a quarter (26%) who feel uncomfortable.

Almost half (48%) feel comfortable asking for time off to care for someone else compared to only 18% who feel uncomfortable.

Despite this, 13% revealed that they have lied to their boss about taking time off work for mental health reasons.

Italian workers feel almost equally as comfortable discussing their mental health with their boss (33%) as they do their career. Whilst almost third (31%) say they feel comfortable asking their boss for a pay rise, 31% say they feel uncomfortable. Similarly, the same proportion (31%) feel comfortable asking for a promotion, compared to over a quarter (27%) who feel uncomfortable doing this.

Do Italian workers and employers share mutual respect?

Future of work

Two thirds of Italian workers say a 4-day working week would positively impact their wellbeing

There have been global conversations among governments and businesses about the possibility of reducing the 5-day working week to 4 days, but do Italian workers think it’s realistic?

Two thirds (67%) of respondents say reducing their working week to 4 days would positively impact their wellbeing, which is felt consistently across all ages and genders. Furthermore, three fifths (59%) think they’d be more productive at work with a -day week, indicating that workers could be more engaged and produce better work if their week was shortened.

A third (33%) would even go as far as considering relocating to another country that allowed the 4-day working week if theirs didn’t, indicating the impact it could have on staff retention if it’s implemented.  

Nevertheless, despite a generally favourable view of the 4-day working week not all of the Italian respondents think it’s realistic. A third (33%) say they don’t know how they’d fit their workload into 4 days and half (52%) don’t think their employer would ever go for it.

Digital transformation hopes and fears

In the last year, a rapid shift toward automation in the workplace has sparked conversations around the potential benefits and challenges for businesses and their workers. Simultaneously, businesses are increasingly confronted by a looming threat of a cyberattacks or security breaches.

Compared to other markets, Italian workers are slightly less likely to report concerns around automation and cybersecurity. Just under a fifth (18%) are worried their role could be replaced by automation compared to almost a quarter (23%) of the European average. Similarly, 15% worry they’ll fall victim to a cyber-attack at work compared to 21% across all European markets.

Despite notable concerns among the Italian workers, there are signs of optimism when it comes to advanced technologies. When thinking about how artificial intelligence will impact their organisation, just over one in four (28%) Italian workers think it will be a good thing overall.

Click here to find out more about the Future of Work in other countries.