How Smart-Working Might Change The Future Of Italy’s Slow Living

When Covid came, many had to leave their offices and retreat in their dark, narrow homes. Thus, working from home became all but comfortable and for many it inexorably shifted towards resentment. Psychologists say that for someone to properly function one should make sure to dedicate enough time to three fundamental areas of life: love and family life, friends and work. With Covid, it all imploded. Everything came together: Zoom calls for work, which became Zoom drinks night, which became Zoom family gatherings which then turned into Zoom school for the kids.

But that wasn’t the only problem. The other challenge was the environment in which many found themselves enclosed. Prior to Covid, many had not wanted to invest into a comfortable home for them and their families: a lot of traveling, a lot of work, a busy life… not everyone had wanted to pay for a nice old terrace to breathe some fresh air or a garden with pool to get some Vitamin D in. But some did. Especially in Italy.

Italy’s culture is a Mediterranean one: life is spent en plain air, especially during the warmer months, and some Italians had already thought it through. The traditional Italian way of living came to save the day. Those who had invested in a countryside traditional home with some hectares of land around it rediscovered the beauty of a life lived in harmony with nature. Every open space was meticulously employed to get as much fresh air as possible… but what about smart-working? Dozens of stories came up in the news – those of people who could’ve dreaded it, but chose to look at it from another point of view. Those who before Covid had already wanted a home in nature, with open-air spaces and some land, found out that working from your laptop could indeed become their new normality.

This gave rise to two correlated events: the first one even resulted in the creation of a neologism – Southworking. Many moved back South or to Central Italy, still working for their companies located up North. For decades it had been the opposite: those who wanted to work had to leave their family homes and move further up North – because the job market offered more and better jobs than those in their southern hometowns. This time, none of that.
They retreated to larger homes down South, in areas characterized by a slower kind of living and the possibility of working from the tranquility of their garden. They rediscovered what La Dolce Vita means, embraced by the sweet smell of homecooked dishes, a lush garden, a dip in the pool and Vespa rides away from the chaos of the cities where they used to work.

The other correlated effect was the rise in interest for Countryhouses, or, more generally, those properties with direct access to nature, a private garden, or some kind of open space such as terraces or porticos. Those who had already purchased a home in the countryside managed to live their first lockdown with more ease. Those who hadn’t… catched up with the trend soon after. More on that: take a look at our previous article!

But how and why should smart-working be combined with traditional Italian slow-living?

It can be done. Stirring slow-cooking simmering Ragù whilst managing work calls, dipping in the pool in between Zoom meetings, working on your laptop comfortably resting in the shade of the portico. The only quality you need to make this your life… is the will of combining two of the main aspects of your life in the most profitable way possible: fun-life and work-life. Stress managing gets easier: a sterile apartment works for restricted periods of time… but a beautiful Villa in the Italian countryside, where you can rest, stroll in its gorgeous natural surroundings, get some much-needed sunlight near the pool after work meetings – that’s the kind of life many want to live.

A typical day would be: early rise, watering the plants and flowers surrounding the Villa – after all, slow living and eco-friendly also equals homegrown and homecooked. Answering emails sipping cappuccino, watching the sky brighten and turn pink. Working by the pool in the morning.

Picture yourself, focused on your laptop. Then picture how, rising your eyes, you behold the gorgeous Italian landscape, its olive trees, its crystal-clear sea, its rolling luscious hills, cypresses and never ending nature. Not bad for a change, eh?

Then: having lunch under the portico, followed by a bit of a siesta after a good meal, and back to work calls and meetings. There won’t be need to add fun virtual Zoom backgrounds to impress your colleagues: this time you’ve got a real, once-in-a-lifetime gorgeous background. For dinner: luxurious fish restaurants by the sea, traditional “Trattorias”, Aperitivo under the portico, outdoor barbecuing in the garden overlooking the Italian landscape, and many more options…
Between a stroll among narrow cobblestone alleys in the villages nearby, an Aperol Spritz by the pool, a run up and down the hills… working from home becomes a luxury and a privilege.

Ph. Credits: Julia Kuzenkov from Pexels

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