Abstracts: October 6th, 2008

This guide on smart working has been published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Research by the Institute revealed that smart working is still an aspiration rather than a reality in the UK. This is despite 92 per cent of respondents to a survey believing that a smart working approach has a positive impact on performance.

Smart working involves managing the work environment to release employees’ energy and drive performance. The key is changing management mindsets from “command and control” to embrace a greater degree of freedom, flexibility and collaboration. Jobs can be designed in a way that maximises individual motivation and organisational effectiveness. Smart working is about much more than implementing flexible working, hot-desking or new IT systems. It is about a fundamental change to the assumptions that shape the working relationship.

Eighty-seven per cent of respondents see smart working as a thoroughly modern phenomenon and believe it has more relevance for organisations today than in the past. More than 90 per cent believe the concept will become more relevant in future.

But the reality is that the working lives of most employees are still a long way from being “smart”.

The guide outlines areas of focus or levers that organisations must apply to achieve smart working, referred to as the ‘four pillars’ of smart working: management values, high-performance work practices, physical working environment and enabling technology.

The guide is available from CIPD. http://www.cipd.co.uk