The SmartWorking HANDBOOK

THE SmartWorking HANDBOOK:

Foreword
1 The vision
2    Principles of Smart Working
3    A new culture for 21st century working
4    Flexible working options
5    New environments for new ways of working
6    Technologies for Smart Working
7    The human factor
8    Smart, sustainable and healthy
9    The business case
10    Implementation
11    Moving forward into a Smarter world
12    Further resources and information

 

1 The vision

The way we work is changing – but not fast enough. In the current challenging climate, most companies and public sector organisations are looking closely at what they do and how they do it. Now is the time to take steps not only to survive the present crisis, but also to plan for the longer term. Becoming more flexible and working smarter should be at the heart of transforming and streamlining organisations

 

Work in the 21st century

Our vision for transforming the way we work through Smart Working focuses on achieving the following benefits:
 • Increasing the effectiveness of our activities
 • Reducing the financial costs of running an organisation
• Focusing our work on outcomes rather than processes
 • Meeting the aspirations of staff for an improved work-life
balance
 • Creating office environments that facilitate collaboration
and innovation
 • Reducing the environmental footprint of our working
practices.

Work in the 21st century is about what you do, not where you do it. Strategic use of new technologies enables much of the work we do to be carried out from many locations other than offices.

What is holding us back? There are technological limitations that vary between organisations, the challenges of traditional office culture, and paper-based processes.

Our aspiration here is to provide the framework for new working practices.

The workforce will be empowered by a new trust-based working culture. They will have access to offices that are designed for interaction with colleagues, partners and customers. And they will work for employers that have become more agile and in better shape to deliver their mission.

Why ‘Smart Working’?
Smart Working is a comprehensive and strategic approach to implementing:
 • The range of flexible working options
• Environments that enable the greatest flexibility
• Technologies that support the practice and management of flexible working
• New forms of collaboration (e.g. in virtual teams) that reduce the need for physical meetings and travel
• Culture change to enable greater organisational agility and innovation.

Underlying Smart Working is a commitment to modernise working practices, by moving away from the ‘command and control’ assumptions of traditional factory-style working about where, when and how work should be done. It’s about doing more with less, working wherever, whenever and however is most appropriate to get the work done.

2 Principles of Smart Working
Smart Working is about taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to modernising working practices. It is based on the following principles:

 • Work takes place at the most effective locations and at the most effective times
 • Flexibility becomes the norm rather than the exception
 • Everyone is in principle considered eligible for flexible working, without assumptions being made about peopleor roles
 • Employees have more choice about where and when they work, subject to business considerations
• Space is allocated to activities, not to individuals and not on the basis of seniority
• The costs of doing work are reduced
• There is effective and appropriate use of technology
 • Managing performance focuses on results rather than presence
 • Smart Working underpins and adds new dimensions to diversity and equality principles
• Employees have the opportunity to lead balanced and healthy lives
 • Work has less impact on the environment.

In traditional ways of working, flexibility is envisaged as an exception to the normal way of working. Flexible working is something that is applied for, and granted as an exception from the ‘normal’ ways of working. Often it is considered a privilege that can be granted or revoked.

The world of work is changing
• 3.7 million people – 12.8% of the workforce – now work mainly from home (Labour Force Survey, 2010)
• 27% of the workforce now work part-time
• 41% of all businesses are home-based
 • 60% of new businesses start up from home
 • 3 out of every 5 new jobs created are ‘atypical’ in some way –i.e. not fixed hours, full-time permanent jobs
 • Over 90% of employers say they offer some kind of flexible working practices

However, most organisations do not yet take a strategic or coordinated approach to this new world of work.

3 A new culture for 21st century working
Smart Working involves developing a new work culture. It is not about doing things in the old way with some new technologies and redesigned offices – it is about new ways of working using new tools, new processes, and new approaches to management and teamwork. This requires different types of behaviours and different expectations about how work is done.

A Smart Working culture consists of:
• Higher levels of collaborative working–between individuals, between teams, with external partners and with the wider public
• The pursuit of continuous service improvements, in particular through the use of new technologies to increase efficiencies
• A commitment to flexibility – being constantly open to new ways of working and delivering services, avoiding temptations to try to “freeze” Smart Working into a rigid or prescriptive formula
• An emphasis on management by results rather than management by presence
• An emphasis on working in shared spaces and with shared resources, rather than with territorial or personalised ones
• An emphasis on promoting higher levels of staff empowerment and autonomy, to maximise the benefits arising from the new working styles
• An emphasis on using new ways of working to assist employees achieve a better work-life balance
• A commitment to using new technologies and new ways of working to reduce the environmental impact of work styles, processes and delivery of services
• A commitment to using new technologies and new ways of working to recruit, retain and develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce
• A culture of learning using the new technologies to help employees, wherever they are located, to develop their skills and capabilities and move forward in their careers.

It is important to recognise that developing a Smart Working culture and ensuring that the changes become embedded is a collective responsibility, not one that can be imposed from above. However, strong leadership will be needed to ensure the changes are taken forward, and to galvanise teams to develop the new culture and new ways of working.

What do staff want?
Staff surveys within companies consistently show that employees want more choice. The choice to choose the best times and places to work.
The top 3 options that staff favour are:
1. To vary start and finish times – without the rigidity of most ‘flexitime’ schemes
2. To work from home 1-2 days per week
3. To work a compressed working week Trust is key to making these arrangements work for both employees and managers.

4 Flexible working options
Smart Working incorporates the full range of flexible working options. These broadly fall into two areas: flexible time and flexible place.

Flexible time options are:

• Flexi-time:this typically operates with a‘corehours’ requirement, i.e. employees are expected to be working between the defined core hours in the morning and afternoon. Staff surveys show that many employees feel the core hours can be too rigid, and in practice these are often varied by agreement according to circumstances. The trend will be away from defined core hours.
• Time off in lieu (TOIL): TOIL is a form of flexible hours working that allows hours to be varied across days, by paying back extra hours worked on one day with time off on other days.
• Annualised hours: employees are contracted annually to work a set number of hours, which can be worked flexibly over the 12 month period. This is useful for coping with peaks and troughs in work , as well as for meeting personal requirements.
• Compressed working weeks: employees work their standard working hours in fewer days – e.g. one week’s hours worked in four days, or two weeks’ worked in nine days. There is a range of patterns of varying complexity.
• Term-time working: this enables staff who are parents to work around school terms and holidays.
• Part-time working: staff are sometimes recruited on a part- time basis, while others seek to reduce their hours, with pro-rata reductions in pay and benefits. When this is done on a temporary basis, it is sometimes referred to as ‘V-Time’ (voluntary reduced hours). It is typically associated with parenting responsibilities, but surveys indicate this is an option of interest to older workers who are thinking in terms of phased retirement.

Flexible place options are:
• Working from home: When employees regularly work from home it is typically for 1-2 days per week. Some roles may be based at home full-time. More mobile staff may work using home as a base rather than, or as much as, using the office as a base. Most staff will probably have at least some tasks that can effectively be carried out from home.
• Mobile working: Employees who work in many places need to be empowered and equipped to work when travelling, in public settings, and touching down in offices as needed.
• Working from other offices: Smart Working involves working from the most effective location and reducing the need to travel. Staff may choose to work from other offices –offices belonging to the organisation, third party serviced offices or partner/client offices, as appropriate.
• Working as virtual teams: to prevent relocation or frequent travel, staff work smarter as virtual teams, using online communications and collaboration techniques.
• Sharing space in the office: Employees do not have a permanent desk, but choose a work setting appropriate to the task in hand (see section 5), e.g. standard desk, touchdown space, quiet zone, confidential room, project room

5 New environments for new ways of working
Smart Working aims to create attractive and inspiring work environments that support the new work styles, increase the adaptability of space, and increase business performance. A Smart Working approach to office design seeks to achieve these benefits while at the same time achieving significant savings and efficiency gains.


6 Technologies for Smart Working
Effective use of new technologies is key to smarter working practices. With the right technology choices, people can work just as well away from the office, using the internet and wireless communications to work anywhere and at any time.

User technologies
The technology platform for smarter working is likely to include:
 • Laptop rather than desktop computers support greater
mobility of work both within and away from the office; modern laptop computers are high-performing, secure, lightweight and offer good battery life; they can also be used safely and ergonomically.
• Local area wireless networks (known as WiFi) in offices and other locations (public areas, cafes, home, trains, etc.) allow people to work at places other than a conventional desk. In the office this can include touch-down spaces, breakout areas and meeting rooms.
• Wide area wireless networks (e.g. using 3G “dongles” or mobile phones) allow people to work anywhere there is a high speed digital mobile phone signal.
• Modern corporate telephony uses VOIP (voice over IP) to support full location-independent working, including staff working at home, overseas and while travelling; it can also reduce dramatically the cost of long distance calling.
• Online and videoconferencing have been around for some time as an alternative to long distance travel. Top-end video meetings can now recreate better the feel of face-to-face meetings. Low-cost webcam solutions allow groups of people to use the internet to meet online from their homes and other locations. Conferencing solutions should ideally incorporate document sharing, white boards and live messaging.
• Mobile phones have become multi-function devices supporting e-mail, internet access, photos, video and navigation as well as telephony. It is becoming less necessary to carry a laptop computer to connect to the corporate network while travelling.
• Remote access technologies allow employees to access their corporate networks, including legacy applications, securely from home and on-the-move.
• Online collaboration and document management technologies let dispersed teams work together on “live” documents and handle the processes of archiving, version control and integration of paper documents.
    •     Also consumer applications such as instant messaging, blogging, social networking, “wikis” and so on are being adapted for the corporate environment.

Technologies for teamwork over distance
One of the major concerns that people express about Smart Working is about maintaining the integrity of teams and preventing isolation and ‘atomisation’ of the workforce.

Technology and the working environment
Homegroup halves travel costs with online meetings
Cloud computing and virtualisation
One of the most significant trends in corporate technology is towards so-called “cloud computing”. The ‘cloud’ is basically the Internet, and cloud computing means that your organisation in the future won’t need to host its own IT at all, but will be able to outsource it to a third-party provider. Software and applications will be provided as a service rather than installed on client computers.

Data security
Staying green
Greening with IT
While making IT ‘greener’ is important and can be implemented through well-defined projects, much more significant is the potential for ‘greening with IT’ – that is, using IT for wider changes that can reduce energy and resource consumption.

7 The human factor
Because of the complexities of the work involved, it is tempting to see Smart Working as being all about designing offices and setting up new IT. But this really misses the point. While these are key enablers, Smart Working is essentially about people and culture change. It is about bringing about change in the way people work, and empowering them to work in more flexible ways to deliver better services.

Change, however, is inevitably challenging and the new ways of working need to be managed well. It is partly about managing work in new ways, and partly about managing behaviours.

Managing Smart Working

New working patterns, trust and autonomy

Teamwork protocols

Rethinking meetings
Dealing with problems and issues

Highly collaborative and dynamic teams

Smart, sustainable and healthy

9 The business case

10 Implementation
11 Moving forward into a Smarter world

The focus has always to be on delivering benefits across the triple bottom line. This means:

 • Measurable business benefits–improved service delivery,increased productivity, reduced costs, reduced absence,improved staff retention, greater organisational agility
• Improved environmental performance–travel reduction,reduced resource consumption, better environmental performance of (fewer) buildings
 • Improved social performance–better work-life balance for staff, greater choice, autonomy and motivation, improved staff satisfaction, widening the recruitment pool for staff and increasing diversity.

www.flexibility.co.uk

Smart Work Network    www.smarterworkingevolution.com

 www.workshifting.com

    Enrique Rubio

    Enrique Rubio

    Reflexiones sobre aprendizaje, tecnología y sostenibilidad

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