(Re)thinking work in SMEs

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Purpose. The improvement in the management of knowledge and technology is leading to (re)thinking an innovative organizational model based on flexible work, namely “smart working.” This paper presents the main benefits of smart working, the Italian legislation, and some case studies in Veneto small and medium enterprises (SMEs), one of the most prosperous and important economic areas in Europe. Design / methodology / approach. An exploratory approach was adopted to describe smart working and to investigate certain Italian SMEs to evaluate the real implementation of smart working according to the key variables of smart working implementation and the critical success factors of the smart working design. Findings. The research highlights a poor implementation of smart working in SMEs; however, there are already initiatives related to flexible work based on informal activities. Practical implications. By showing evidence on smart working in an economically advanced European region, it sheds light on how flexible work plays out in a real context.