Marco MONARI | IT |




Uno Smart Soundscape? Nuove sonorità ambientali / A Smart Soundscape? New environmental sounds




In Italy, like many other countries, with the advent of the pandemic, the working world had (and still have) to face a situation that put at risk not only the lives of workers but also the existence itself of the companies for which they work/ed. As a consequence, both in order to optimize production and avoid dangerous aggregations in the workplace, forms of distance working have been adopted or strengthened. The most common of these forms of remote working is the so-called teleworking, which has already been present in our country since 1999 and has been recently encouraged through online training courses. In this case, workers mainly carry out their activity at home, interacting with the interfaces of their company or office through different communication tools (PC, email, telephone). Since March 2020, in the midst of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus, telework has been renamed Agile Work or smart working as well as remodeled in the rights and duties of those who benefit from it. The home was thus transformed into a working environment, thus changing substantially its organizational structure and also its soundscape. New sounds and/or silences came to be perceived by workers at times of the day when they had never been at home before. Workers sometimes found themselves listening to noises they hadn't paid attention to before (or maybe they couldn’t have heard before simply because either they or their neighbors were not at home!) and this forced them to suffer an unprecedented exposure to noise (or absence of noise) due to the new (hybrid) place of life/work they inhabit/ed. These sounds, with which we have necessarily to interface, plunge us into a new work environment. The almost unavoidable use of the Internet and the use of mobile phones add to the voices of family members instead of one’s colleagues, and one needs to get used to the ticking of the partner’s or children’s keyboard, to the online meetings or school lessons at a distance, the unpredictable noise generated by neighbors or by cars in the street. Of course, there’s a nice side to that – one can also listen to their favorite music, or sing a song when the pc microphone is off… I intend to illustrate some of the main characteristics of the domestic soundscape in the era of smart working and the most relevant pros and cons of the new smart soundscape in which one will be, willingly or not, more and more immersed. Finally, I will illustrate the contents of an anonymous questionnaire I designed to investigate – and problematize – the effects of these new forms of noise exposure among a group of colleagues and friends of mine.



MARCO MONARI works for the Department of Public Health of the AUSL of Bologna, where he deals with prevention and safety in the living and working environments. Thanks to the professional experience gained in this field, combined with a master's degree in environmental sciences obtained at the University of Urbino, he has participated in conferences and held conferences throughout the country. He has also been Scientific Director of numerous training initiatives organized by his Department from 2004 to the present day, teaching at educational institutions and universities. He is the author of several articles published in magazines and collective volumes and of two books: La piazza che non c’era. Ecologia urbana, paesaggio sonoro cognitivo, luoghi antropici del benessere (2013) e Space Caring. Energie per abitare (2020). He is a member of FKL- Forum KlangLandschaft.