Smart working and Relationship Management:

how do relational dynamics change in organizations?

by Tommasina Pianese



Virtuality and physical distance bring about a change in relational dynamics and, therefore, in the ways in which colleagues establish and maintain an interpersonal relationship. This is a fundamental issue, particularly when relations between two or more colleagues are strengthened to the point of creating relationships of friendship and, therefore, based on intimacy, trust, confidence and reciprocity. Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance for employees to maintain friendly relationships in the work environment and identified processes and channels through which friendship develops in traditional work contexts. In particular, scientific and managerial studies agree that the possibility of working in physical proximity, combined with informal meetings outside the company premises, are the main drivers of "workplace friendship". The growing diffusion of smart working, however, confronts us with the need to understand how this innovative working model influences the dynamics of relationships between people.

In a recent article dedicated to smart working and changes in the dynamics of relationships in organizations, Tommasina Pianese (CNR-ISMed) outlines the critical issues posed by physical distance on interpersonal relationships and identifies some solutions for establishing friendships in smart working contexts, emphasizing the necessary involvement and participation of both managerial levels and workers.

Tommasina Pianese: Researcher at CNR-ISMed. Smart working expert. She is in charge of understanding, through business cases, the organizational and managerial changes resulting from the introduction of smart working. She is interested in smart work centers and is coordinator in Italy of the Research Group on Collaborative Spaces.

To find out more:

Pianese Tommasina, Smart working e Relationship Management: come cambiano le dinamiche relazionali nelle organizzazioni?, in "Spremute digitali", [march 2020], <>