Avio Aero has always been mindful of developing policies that help achieve a work-life balance: In fact, over the years many tools and initiatives have been introduced at the company's sites to facilitate this balance.But sometimes making changes to everyday life isn't easy.
How often in the morning on our way to work do we think about our list of domestic chores, such as: go to the supermarket, take a shirt to the laundry, or renew the insurance? It happens all the time. As often as the times when we don’t manage to do it all. Having the opportunity to improve some aspects of work is an advantage for everyone: it ensures not only greater efficiency during working hours, but also greater appreciation and inclusion of people in the company, as in local communities.
For this reason, Avio Aero wanted to try out another tool to help with “work-life balance” at its facility in Pomigliano d'Arco (Naples). Since mid-November, workers have been given the chance to directly buy products or services from local producers, artisans or shopkeepers within the company during the working day.
The initiative was launched after careful consideration and analysis of existing businesses in Italy and in other GE locations. Today, our colleagues in Pomigliano can also take advantage of banking, insurance and laundry services, and buy fresh food products, all under the “Zeromiglia” label (meaning “zero miles”). This is the name given to the company program, precisely because the entire basket of services and products comes strictly from the local region, in this case, Campania.
To implement this project, two ad-hoc agreements have been signed: the first regulates the collaboration between Avio Aero, Confartigianato and Coldiretti. The second regulates the relationships between the two Federations and their members. “The expectation is to create a virtuous process through the procedures and rules that we’ve defined together with the participating tradespeople”, explained Cristina Faccia, Avio Aero Compliance Leader in Pomigliano.
From the very beginning, there has been a high level of curiosity and participation on the part of the workers, who now use the various services with interest and ease on a daily basis. Alberto Riccabone, Digital Operations Manager in Pomigliano, for example, confirms the extremely positive feedback from the initiative. For him, Zeromiglia is one of those things you ask yourself: how did we ever do without it?
“I regularly use the laundry service and I find it to be really good. I know that the locally-grown vegetables are very popular too. The initiative should certainly be replicated in the other plants, helping make the workplace, where we spend most of the day, a better and more welcoming place”, said Riccabone.
His colleague Maria Partini, Lead Production Quality Specialist, added, “In terms of work-life balance, these services have considerably simplified my life; it would be nice if our colleagues in other locations could also benefit from this initiative. As well as having more free time after work, you have the great advantage of the safety and certification of all the food products”.
“I regularly use Zeromiglia services and I find it to be really good. I know that the locally-grown vegetables are very popular too. The initiative should certainly be replicated in the other plants, helping make the workplace a better place”
The Zeromiglia “shops” are open every day of the week according to a calendar which is updated on a monthly basis with new services to meet workers' needs: for example, almost every day you can contact an insurance company, a finance company, or online bank, and on Tuesdays the “Campagna Amica” table is set up in the canteen where workers can choose from the fresh products of the week. On Tuesdays and Fridays, on the other hand, there’s a laundry service, and every fortnight there's a tailoring service, ready to take measurements and make shirts for every taste in just two weeks.
“The initiative with Avio Aero is a new experience for Coldiretti and Campagna Amica in Campania”, explained Alessandra Nobilione of Coldiretti Campania. “The direct relationship with consumers is a process that has been successfully developing over the last ten years. In particular, thanks to the introduction of agricultural multifunctionality legislation, the work of the farmer is no longer solely aimed at the general markets or processing industries, but a farm can also process, package and directly sell its products. This is the key to the success of Campagna Amica, which today is trying out new direct contact channels such as covered markets and innovative partnerships with important companies such as Avio Aero”.
Another shared objective of Avio Aero and Coldiretti is to bring the industrial situation of a given region closer to the culinary-agricultural one. “The relationship between consumers and food has changed radically in recent years, and the “Zero Mile” philosophy came about precisely to improve not only health and environmental impacts, but also the link between food and region, between food and culture. The transfer of these values, which enter into the lives of people, families and quality of life, is the main objective we share”, added Alessandra Nobilione.
And since food quality is central to the Zeromiglia project, Avio Aero employees were given the chance to sign and collect signatures for the international petition: ‘Eat ORIGINal, unmask your food’. “Through this petition, Europe is asked to indicate the origin of food as a mandatory requirement in order to protect our health, prevent food fraud and guarantee consumer rights. In order to make informed choices, consumers need to know where the food is picked and processed, where the ingredients come from, and information on production and processing methods”, concluded Nobilione.
Similarly, Avio Aero is working together with Confartigianato to create a special network of artisans (bricklayers, aerial fitters, barbers, hairdressers, beauticians) located in the same area as Avio Aero. Enrico Inferrera, President of Confartigianato Naples, said, “Confartigianato Naples has supported similar initiatives in the past, but Zeromiglia is unique rather than rare and is the result of one of the first collaborations in Italy between small businesses and large industries. Our goal is to promote local businesses and encourage the work-life balance of employees by offering diversified services.
“The goal”, concluded Inferrera, “is to promote local businesses by encouraging the work-life balance of employees and offering quality services during working hours thanks to the skill of our artisans who have always made quality their trademark, and we are proud to represent them”.
Zeromiglia therefore aims to improve week after week, frequently updating the products and personal services, but above all connecting our production business with the region, building links and relationships which help and support a context made up of small businesses, and help launch a responsible economy.