Staff work best under remote control

Smarter working practices are becoming more widely adopted. Tomorrow’s Leaders, a study commissioned by City & Guilds and the Institute of Leadership and Management, issued today (July 30), reveals that 73 per cent of managers have flexible working in their organisation.

“The study also highlighted the main obstacle to the wider adoption of smarter working practices generally,” said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, the national campaign backed by the TUC, CBI and British Chambers of Commerce to promote smarter working. “The culture of ‘presenteeism’ where management require staff and employees to be at the place of work to be considered working, is an anachronism from the 19th century – it is completely the wrong approach in today’s modern working environment. To overcome this, managers need to have access to more up-to-date training.”

In May this year, Work Wise UK launched the Work Wise UK Quality Mark to assist companies and managers looking at adopting smarter working practices. The new quality mark is assessed using the Work Wise UK Standard, which has been developed over a 12-month period, in collaboration with the TUC, Transport for London, HBOS, NHS, BT and the Association for Commuter Transport. The first of its kind in the UK, the standard provides a framework for the successful reform of working practices, as well as access to a national network of advisers to assist in the process.

Phil Flaxton added: “The introduction of smarter working practices is inevitable as the UK strives to meet the competitive challenges from the Far East. The study reported that three-quarters of respondents believed workers that worked flexibly were more productive. This reinforces findings issued by BT earlier this year that reported a 20 per cent increase in productivity when smarter working practices were introduced.”