The changing nature of work is having a profound
effect on one of the UK’s biggest employers –
New guidance being launched at a series of Civil
Service Live events in June and July is promoting a
quiet revolution in the way government works.
The Way We Work – A Guide to Smart Working
in Government sets out a vision for
government that incorporates much more mobility and
flexibility, electronic processes, online
collaboration and virtual meetings. Fewer offices
are used more intensively, and they are redesigned
so that people work in a range of settings for
different activities rather than ranks of
individually assigned desks.
The aim is greater effectiveness and much more
efficient use of resources – and therefore of
taxpayers’ money. All this is central to the
government’s Efficiency and Reform programme.
Key principles of Smart Working in central
- Work takes place at the most effective
locations and times – not necessarily in the
- The traditional meetings culture is replaced
by “simplified collaboration and connectivity
- A Flexibility First
approach with flexibility as the norm rather
than the exception
- Space is allocated to activities, not
individuals and not on the basis of seniority
- Managing performance focuses on results and
outcomes rather than presence.
This is not simply aspiration. The Guide includes
10 case studies from government departments that are
making significant progress in Smart Working. They
cover examples of modernised ways of working using
new technologies, mobile and home-based working,
innovative Smart Working environments, and
significant reductions in costs and in the carbon
footprint of work.
Coming next will be more in the way of sharing
premises between departments and with other public
sector agencies around the country, with public
sector ‘hubs’ and possibly the use of private sector
workhubs and co-working spaces too.