A higher flexibility of the organization of labor has been attained worldwide by the adoption of telework, also called smart working or telecommuting, which is a results-oriented approach overcoming the traditional use of working spaces and hours. Telework can generate positive wage differentials between smart and traditional workers, as a result of greater work productivity and lower office costs for firms, that translate into wage premia to incentivize working from home, and/or of higher compensations as a disincentive to shirking. Telework has also received increasing attention in Italy, where it is however implemented at a slower pace. In this paper, we pin down the characteristics of telework and of its implementation in Italy, and investigate the extent of wage differentials between teleworkers and traditional workers using the Italian Labor Force Survey. We find a positive wage premium for telework of about 3.7%, raising up to 4.1% for white collars.
Keywords: Tele working, smart working, flexibility, labour productivity, wage gap