Digital and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and, consequently, remote working have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, workers’ economic–financial perception of remote working conditions, such as digital technology and its implementation, has scarcely been researched. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the economic–financial impacts of remote working on labourers. Using a mixed-methods sequential exploratory design, a sample of 976 workers is investigated. This study highlights that the majority of workers experience a negative economic–financial impact due to the additional costs incurred for digital technology and platforms and for utilities as well as the non-payment of overtime and meal vouchers, which are higher than the savings in commuting costs and out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, this research emphasizes that psychological–behavioural variables, specifically job satisfaction and technostress, are essential in the choice to continue working remotely after the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, our results have important theoretical implications related to the existing literature both on the managerial issues connected to digital transformation, with interdisciplinary elements linked to psychological aspects, and on corporate finance topics associated to the economic–financial impacts of remote working.
Digital and information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been increasingly used as a consequence of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic caught the world by surprise, posing a serious threat to people’s life (e.g., Donthu and Gustafsson, 2020, Ghobadian et al., 2022, Khanra et al., 2021, Laato et al., 2020, Talwar et al., 2021). To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, most countries have implemented many measures (Anderson, Heesterbeek, Klinkenberg, & Hollingsworth, 2020) that have also had significant impacts on how and where employees work. In particular, businesses around the world, which have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, have taken various actions, many imposed by governments, to try to reduce contact between people (Hadjielias, Christofi, & Tarba, 2022). Among these actions, including governments’ encouragement to work from home, remote working (also termed teleworking and home working) has grown as a new mode of work (Wang, Liu, Qian, & Parker, 2021).
The research focused on Italy as an interesting case study to understand the potential impact on the labour market of the financial implications for workers and the need to upgrade their technological skills to meet the challenge of digital transformation arising from such a structural change. Italy was one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and at least 3 million workers (i.e., about 13% of the total workforce) started working remotely (Barbieri et al., 2022, Bonacini et al., 2021, Bonacini et al., 2021). Before the COVID-19 crisis, Italy was the European country with the lowest share of telework (Eurofound, 2017), and it faced a massive increase in this new form of work over a very short period of time, without precise legislation and adequate policies. Our findings, although based on Italian data, can be useful for policy makers in other industrialized countries to rethink production processes with a more intensive and stable use of remote work.