Media: Italians refused to work remotely due to rising energy tariffs

MOSCOW, 3 Oct — PRIME. Rising electricity and gas prices are making teleworking less attractive for Italians, writes the newspaper il Messaggero.

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“As payrolls rise, flexible work is becoming a luxury that many can no longer afford if they want to make it to the end of the month,” the article says.

According to estimates by the State Regulatory Authority for Energy, Grids and the Environment (Arera), Italians’ electricity costs in the last quarter of the year will increase by 59% compared to the same period last year. In total, an average Italian family will spend an average of 1322 euros per year on light, despite the fact that in 2021 the average spending reached 632 euros. As for gas, Arera’s official forecasts will come in early October. Various associations have calculated that in the first nine months of the year, the average Italian family’s gas expenses amounted to 1,500 euros, and from October tariffs could rise to 300 euros per month (170 euros more than last year). According to the analytical center Nomisma, the annual growth could be up to 680 euros.

According to a study by the National Institute for Public Policy Analysis (Inapp), only 20% of workers in Italian public and private enterprises are willing to “earn less just to work” away from the office several days a week. Public sector employees demand compensation for energy costs when working from home, a similar situation is observed in private business, where, however, such reimbursement is often not provided. At the same time, it is estimated that the so-called smart working can cut the cost of maintaining offices by half.

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With the exit of the country from the emergency situation associated with the coronavirus pandemic, the remote work regime affects about four million people. At the same time, the issue of non-reimbursement of expenses for electricity and gas will affect about 700 thousand civil servants, il Messaggero notes. Tariff increases are slowing down the spread of flexible work, becoming a problem for individual employees and unions to negotiate labor agreements.

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