Costa implements flexible 'smart' work plan for shoreside employees

Working remotely can improve quality of life and productivity while reducing commute times and CO2 emissions Working remotely can improve quality of life and productivity while reducing commute times and CO2 emissions

Costa Cruises' 'Sm@rt Working Costa – Moving Forward' program enables employees in the company's offices in Italy and abroad to work from home or another location of their choice one day a week.

This impacts about 1,300 workers, who'll be connected with laptops, Internet and a softphone system that allows them to use remote instant messaging, telephone, HD video, conference and voicemail services with visual interface and desktop sharing.

The program has been launched at the company’s Genoa head office where there are almost 1,000 employees. This follows a pilot phase involving the human resources and IT departments, with participation levels of around 90%. By the end of the year 'smart' working will gradually be extended to all of Costa's international offices in Europe and America.

This project was acknowledged for its innovation at the Smart Working Award 2017 event held by the Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano School of Management.

'For us this project means putting our trust in people, giving them the chance to freely organize their work according to their goals and responsibilities, allowing them to explore their potential more fully and improving their quality of life,' said Paolo Tolle, VP human resources at Costa Cruises.

The immediate benefits include a reduction in commuting times—more than an hour a day on average for Costa employees—and greater sustainability from an environmental perspective.

According to the most recent Politecnico di Milano Smart Working Observatory data, Italy currently has about 305,000 flexible-schedule workers, equal to 8% of the total, an increase of 14% compared with 2016 and 60% with 2013.

For businesses the adoption of a 'mature' smart working model can generate increases of around 15% in productivity, which at national level equates to €13.7bn of overall benefits. Even one day a week of remote working can save employees an average of 40 hours a year of commutes. This can result in a 135kg reduction in CO2 emissions a year.

Posted 16 October 2017

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review