Flexibility Expertise

Helping you to get ahead in smart and flexible work

Table of Contents

If you need some help to take forward a flexible or smart working programme, who better to ask than the people who have been ahead of the game for over 20 years?

The three key areas where we can provide expertise are in advising & analysis, events & training, writing & research.

Any job can be as extensive as the client requires.  However, to be as transparent as possible, we offer well-defined services with prices as far as we can in the sections below.

For public sector organisations, it is useful to know that many of these services can come in significantly below thresholds for tendering, and are ideal for preparing the ground for larger implementation projects with any supplier or your in-house teams.

A summary of services is given below. 

Advising & Analysis

Events & Training

Writing and Research

Advising & Analysis

Smart Working Opportunity Audits and Evaluation

The Flexibility.co.uk Opportunity Audit and Evaluation services are based on British Standards PAS 3000: Smart Working Code of Practice, when we helped to devise.

A Smart Working Opportunity Audit is an initial scoping and analysis exercise to help you decide how to take forward smart or flexible working in your organisation.

It involves:

  • assessing the current extent and limitations of existing initiatives in smart, agile or flexible working – including investigating reasons why any current projects may not be delivering the benefits
  • identifying the opportunities to achieve measurable business benefits through new ways of working
  • provide recommendations on the way forward across the people, property and technology functions.

The process involves stakeholder interviews and evaluation of existing data, strategies and policies within the organisation. In addition we can provide a focused smart working survey looking at current ways of working (where, when and how people work), technologies and processes used and how fit-for-purpose they are, the suitability of working environments, the working culture, how supportive all these are for smart working and readiness for change.

Smart Working Evaluation

After implementing Smart Working, or a first phase of it, it is always a good idea to evaluate progress. This can identify on a ‘traffic light’ basis the areas of the programme that are working well, areas where in improvement is needed and areas where things are going off-track or need much more attention.

It covers all the key areas of a programme, from strategy and leadership through to workplace wellbeing, covering all the key areas of Smart Working change. In each of the 9 key areas we provide an independent assessment and recommendations for going forward.

Contact us for further details. Fees for these services start from £7.5k.

Smart Working Strategy

We can work with you to develop your Smart Working strategy, developing the Vision, Smart Working principles, leadership messages and policies.

We work with you to develop an integrated strategy, helping your teams in HR, Property, Facilities and IT to work together and modify their strategies to support new ways of working.

Flexibility.co.uk is vendor neutral, and can work with in-house teams and third-party suppliers as necessary.  There is a strong emphasis on knowledge transfer.  Developing Smart Working is not a one-off event or quick fix, so it is important to organisations to develop their in-house capabilities to roll out the changes across the whole organisation.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Advice and support as ‘Critical Friend’

In addition to the services above, we are sometimes engaged to work alongside the in-house team as a ‘critical friend’. The role involves advising on and challenging the internal programme, providing expert advice to help develop invitations to tender to external contractors, evaluate work undertaken and provide external benchmarking of initiatives.

This is often done by specifying the initial scope of work and having a number of days to call off as needed over a specified period of time. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Events & Training

Manager and Employee Workshops

Andy Lake has been running workshops for managers about new ways of working since the mid-1990s.

These fall into the following areas:

  • Senior Manager Insight
  • Managing teams and performance in the context of Smart Working
  • Teamwork techniques for Smart Working.

Prices can vary according to the level of preparation required (e.g. to scope client needs and customise to particular client requirements). 

The basic rate is £900 for a half day workshop with up to 15 people, or £1600 for whole-day workshop, plus any time needed for preparation.

1 to 1 Training or Mentoring

Supporting the implementation of Smart Working takes people into new and sometimes unfamiliar territory.

With our extensive knowledge of implementations across sectors, we can provide support on best practice and help you deal with challenging issues that might emerge.

And we can also advise on developing the right levels and methods of support.

Please contact us for details and options.

Speaking at your event

Andy Lake is a frequent speaker at conferences on new ways of working and the future of work, receiving very high ratings from delegates for the quality of the content and engaging style of delivery.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Writing and Research

Your own Smart Work Handbook or Toolkit

In response to popular demand, we can customise our Smart Working Handbook for internal use in your organisation, to include your own case studies, protocols, policy references, technology and workplace options, etc.

We have also developed Smart Working Toolkits for numerous organisations, which can be customised to dovetail with their own programmes.

Prices for these are from £7500 depending on the level of customisation and additional input needed.

Syndicated Writing

We are often asked for permission to reprint articles from Flexibility.co.uk.  For commercial purposes we will ask for a fee.  For educational purposes, especially short extracts, we may not.

Please contact us to discuss.

Research on the impacts of Smart Working and the Future of Work

Flexibility has a long track record of collaboration in innovative research.  This is often in the field of the impacts of new ways of working on business, government, the economy, society, land use and transport.

We are happy to be approached both to undertake research and to be a partner in research projects in this field.

Smart Working Workshops

Insight and Training for Managers and Employees

Flexibility runs high quality workshops to help you start your journey into smart or flexible working, and to support the changes that managers and employees need to make to ensure success.

Here are our three top workshops:

Senior Leader Insight

How do you get started with Smart Working? What should you be aiming to achieve?

Flexibility.co.uk’s Senior leadership Insight Workshops will help your leaders understand the possibilities and potential, and enable them to develop the shared strategic vision that will underpin a transformation programme.

Typically this is with a small group of executives and senior managers, and preferably including those in charge of the People, Technology, Property and Finance functions.

Workshops include:

  • Benchmarking examples of how Smart Working is delivering benefits for other organisations
  • Principles underlying Smart Working
  • The components of a strategic and integrated programme
  • Ways to measure and maximise the benefits
  • Scoping the particular benefits for your organisation, identifying opportunities and constraints
  • How to build the business case
  • Aligning Smart Working with your other strategic priorities
  • How to promote an innovation mindset by taking a Smart Working continuous improvement approach
  • The elements of a Smart Working culture
  • How to address with specific challenges and resistance
  • Developing the vision to underpin a future programme.

The session is ideal for including as part of Senior Leadership training or away days.

We know that Smart and Flexible Working programmes that do not have buy-in or support from the top tend to fail or deliver minimal returns.  So why not get the Senior Team and corporate vision aligned from the start?

Managing Smart Working

When Smart Working is introduced, managers need to learn to manage in different ways.  Our one-day workshop for managers covers:

  • Understanding Smart Working: what other organisations are doing, their reasons for making the change and what they are achieving
  • The role of the manager in implementing and supporting change
  • Introduction to managing new ways of more mobile and flexible working – what’s the difference?
  • Management by results rather than presence
  • Promoting virtual community and developing a trust-based culture
  • Rethinking meetings and collaboration for Smart Working teams
  • Guidelines and protocols for virtual teamwork and interaction with office-based workers
  • Dealing with anticipated problems and issues.

The sessions are highly interactive, and can be customised to reflect your particular programme aims, policies, practices and terminology.

Smart Work Teamwork

Both managers and team members can sometimes worry about the impact of new and less familiar ways of working.  Our Smart Work Teamwork workshop is designed to enable team members to address the issues and challenges in a positive way. The outcome will be that they understand the nature and practices of remote/distributed/virtual teamwork better, and can design their own solutions for more effective teamwork.

This workshop covers:

  • Advanced practice in flexible and remote working: some insight into what other organisations are doing, their reasons for making the change, how they organise and manage remote working and what they are achieving
  • Working more flexibly and remotely: analysing what is different
  • Barriers and perceived disadvantages – and how to deal with them
  • Working with less direct supervision: roles, responsibilities and issues
  • Communications best practice, including both behaviours and effective use of technologies
  • Guidelines for virtual teamwork and team-building
  • Team protocols or charters
  • Managing the work/life interface
  • Best practice in mobile working and home offices – set-up, ergonomics, health and safety.

The aim is to help employees take their thinking forward, challenge assumptions, understand and buy into remote working, and become more confident about making the necessary changes and adopting the new ways of working.

The workshop is designed to be as interactive as possible, to encourage participants to engage with the issues and work through solutions.

Further information and costs

The basic cost of a one-day workshop is £1600 (+ expenses + VAT)

A half-day workshop is £900 (+ expenses + VAT)

Where there are a series of workshops, or additional services are bought as part of a package, there may be scope for a reduction.

If extensive customisation is required entailing additional work or visits in preparation, there may be additional costs.

Contact Andy Lake to discuss your requirements and for a quote:

+44 (0)7967 500135