Abstracts: April 26th, 2006

This special feature from E-Government Bulletin presents a snapshot of how flexible working is being adopted increasingly across local government. The steady growth of flexible working generally across the public sector is tied to the development of new technologies such as mobile computing and the Internet including using the Internet to make phone calls. As well as quoting examples of successful flexible working, the feature explores other issues that are involved such as organisational efficiency, property use and employee satisfaction. Management culture is particularly significant and some managers are finding difficulty in changing from managing attendance to managing outputs.Examples of successful flexible working include homeworking by 200 staff in High Peak District Council following a one year pilot. An investment of 2.3 m pounds has been made in the project which will result in half of the council’s accommodation being used flexibly, sold or leased.

Surveyors, housing and rent officers in the London Borough of Brent now use mobile devises and a global positioning system allows managers to know the location of staff at any time.

Surrey County Council uses a variety of approaches to flexible working including mobile devices and a nine day fortnight.

Hampshire County Council is piloting mobile working in social services. This is freeing up workers to spend more time with clients and resulting in improved working across organisational boundaries.

Salford City Council uses flexible working as part of a strategy to improve its benefits services. Productivity has increased 15 % with sickness rates 35% better than office based staff.

Published by E-Government Bulletin and available at: http://www.headstar.com/egb/special/flex-si-apr06.pdf