How do you attract and retain digital talent in your company, and what tools do you need?

We spoke to Barbara Cominelli, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle, about welfare, comfortable working spaces, work-life balance tools and varied benefit packages. Her company focuses on a “Flex for your day” model, where the task to be done drives flexibility. In other words, employees decide independently whether to work in the office or remotely based on what they have to do, meetings, desk analysis and so on. The office, therefore, becomes the best, most suitable place for accommodating specific working moments, with a design meant to meet the needs of specific activities: lounges for informal one-to-one meetings, large spaces for coffee, terraces, and green spaces for casual conviviality. The rooms become more welcoming to embrace the idea of greater comfort, with fewer individual workstations and more square meters for common areas.

According to Barbara, action is needed in three areas. Firstly, it is necessary to further develop school and university curricula. Digital and technology training should be introduced from primary school onward, forming part of the toolbox students have at their disposal, just like Mathematics and English. Another critical point is to strengthen the relationships between companies and universities, giving students the opportunity to learn about the most popular technology platforms and tools, not only through theoretical study but also through practice and offering them the opportunity to attend additional courses for skills certification. The second area of intervention concerns the “cross-fertilization” of knowledge; this means introducing technology also in humanities topics (and vice versa) to establish a widespread IT culture. Not everyone has to become a programming expert, but everyone needs to know what technology can do. “I like the British model where a student can choose to study Computer Science and Philosophy because it allows us to provide vertical content as well as that learning agility and open gaze that are key to designing the future” explained Barbara.

As a third point, there is a need to plan investments in the training and development of company resources, through reskilling and upskilling courses according to the needs related to the digital transformation of business processes.

Finally, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but it is necessary to intervene on several fronts, from schools up to company boards, industrial districts, and the country’s institutions. It is a process that profoundly changes the world of work and the way of doing business; we are only at the beginning.

In our fourth article of this series, we will examine the policies that companies implement to address this complex scenario.

You can also read the previous articles in this series below: