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Implementing a flexible working project 

This is the third in our series of Flexibility articles on how to implement a successful flexible working project.

In this article we expand the areas of activity set out in the diagram in the first article into a number of key themes.  Each of these themes are then identified with a particular set of aims and benefits.



3. Planning for results

The main components of a typical flexible working project are summarised in the following sections, structured around a number of key themes.  These themes can form the basis for interdisciplinary working groups, set up to examine the potential for new ways of working and to make recommendations.


Share facilities, resources and information:


  • Move from a personalised approach to workspace, support services and filing to a group or team approach


  • Better space utilisation (i.e. less space required overall)

  • Less paper storage - enables location-independence

  • Streamlined access to information

  • Reduced vulnerability to loss or abuse of information.

Work more flexibly:


  • Work wherever and whenever is most effective to get the job done

  • Reduce the conflicts for staff between work and home


  • Improved personal productivity and effectiveness

  • Deliver services where and when they are most needed

  • Greater flexibility in resource planning and management - improved staff utilisation

  • Attract, motivate and retain the best people

Get the most out of technology:


  • Exploit to the full the organisation's technology infrastructure (up-to-date workstations, intranet, integrated messaging, location-independent telephony, remote IT access, etc.)


  • Paper-free processes and distributed team-working

  • Better internal and external communications, including electronic service delivery

  • Improved efficiency and effectiveness from location-independent working.

Streamline processes and reduce paper dependence:


  • Streamline operations through more effective information and communications management and systems


  • Staff can concentrate on front-line work rather than administration

  • Quality and efficiency are improved as information is shared

  • Reduced paper dependence enables mobility and location-independence.

Create a flexible modern office environment:


  • Improve utilisation of office space

  • Create an environment that is conducive to efficient and effective working


  • Lower property and associated facility costs

  • Improved efficiency, personal productivity, team-working, etc.

Enable and support working away from the office:


  • Enable staff to be able to work wherever is best to get the job done - Main office, other office, home, on-site, whilst travelling, etc.


  • Reduced demand for office space

  • Reduced travel - commuting and in-business

  • More time "on the job"

  • Improved staff flexibility

  • Better balance between home and work life.

Equip the workforce for the future:


  • Ensure managers and staff are fully aware of and able to use the new infrastructure, processes, working environments and practices


  • Efficiency, productivity, fewer errors, etc.

  • Improved staff motivation and retention.


Next article: Organisation and management

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