South Working or Holiday Working, a great opportunity for southern Italy during the pandemic era
The risks due to Covid-19, has pushed several companies, public and private, to smart working, and many citizens leaves the big cities, Italian or foreign, to return to work by the southern regions.
This phenomenon has been called ‘South Working’, and has a general impact on services and the economy of the whole country.
But who are the south workers?
“They are young professionals, managers, entrepreneurs or academics, mostly from the regions of Southern Italy, united by the fact that we were forced to leave our places of origin and our affections in order to follow our professional ambitions, who now have the opportunity to return home and contribute to the revitalisation of the southern regions”.
These are the words of Elena Militello, promoter and president of southworking.org, an organisation that sees agile community work as a useful tool for reducing the economic, social and territorial gap in the country, and capable of improving the quality of life of people and territories.
As SVIMEZ (Association for Industrial Development in Southern Italy) claims: South Working is an opportunity to attract talent to the South and interrupt the emptying of human resources that has characterised Southern Italy for decades, We need, however, the creation of a package of ad hoc measures.
The southern regions, such as my Sicily, Calabria, Puglia, etc., have become impoverished over the last few years, seeing their resources, often young graduates, leave to work in northern Italy or abroad. Now, making the most of the pandemic situation, many southerners, thanks to Agile working methods, could continue to work for their companies, reviving the beautiful southern cities and contributing to their economy.
For me it was great to leave Milan after a few years to return to live in my Catania; I have a desk equipped to work remotely overlooking the sea, in my free time I can visit the places and the people with whom I grew up and studied and I can go shopping in food shops selling typical products of my land.
Moreover, many communities have been born such as Remote Workers Catania which tries to unite and share the ideas of all the professionals who work remotely, mainly from Catania, for any company located elsewhere. The group allows you to network and maybe find coworking spaces where you can spend working hours together or simply exchange opinions on technologies and job offers.
Between you and me, after a day’s work, it’s much nicer to go jogging along the seafront than in the park of a large city….
I’m happy to be back home, but in the long run it’s important to have human contact with colleagues, and more coworking spaces should be created, although I see that my city has been equipping itself lately. In addition, it would be necessary to create an accommodation system that encourages those who are not originally from the area to work from the south, improving network services and renting facilities with ad hoc contracts.
The explosion of the phenomenon clearly highlights the need to build a policy to attract skills through the activation of a package of interventions concentrated on four clusters
tax and contribution incentives for companies in the Centre-North that set up South Working;
creation of co-working spaces promoted by public administrations and transport infrastructures such as stations and airports
investments in the provision of services to families (crèches, full-time childcare, health services)
widespread digital infrastructure capable of bridging the gap between North/South and between urban and peripheral areas.(*)
(*)Source: SVIMEZ survey — “From North to South: the opportunities of Smart Working”.