Is It Smart Working? An Analysis of the Public Discourse about Teleworking in Italy during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, teleworking, smart working, flexible working, topic modelling, content analysis
The COVID-19 pandemic forced lockdowns in several countries, and many organisations had to introduce teleworking for their employees. While remote working is not a new thing, and was already permitted by laws, the extent to which enterprises had to redefine their process is unprecedented. Therefore, teleworking was widely discussed in national media. Newspapers are a relevant outlet for the diffusion and legitimation of schemata of interpretation, and we explored of teleworking was framed in the Italian discursive space during the first two months of the pandemic. We analysed seven national newspapers, and adopted a semi-automatic text analysis, which we performed through topic modelling. In this paper, we describe the topics that are used by newspapers to frame teleworking, the different use of these topics performed by different newspapers, the trend of topics over time, and we discuss the institutionalisation of the issue of teleworking.
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