The aim of Work Wise Week and National Work from Home Day is to promote modern “smarter” working practices such as agile, flexible, remote and mobile working, as well as working from home. This week we invite Employers, Employees and the Self Employed to use their social media channels to say what they are doing to encourage smarter working referencing #workwiseweek and #nationalworkfromhomeday

 During the week, we will publish a series of guest blogs from some of our strategic partners as well as the heads of organisations who have already experienced the benefits of smarter working.

Implementing a Smarter Working Policy can lead to significant gains in productivity as well as increased work/life balance which is a win/win for Employers and Employees.

Stronger economic growth has clearly boosted the number of people in work, but it has not yet boosted productivity and raising productivity is the real key to long term prosperity in our very competitive world. The question we all have to address is, “How to reach the goal of full employment and create greater productivity and prosperity”.

Increasing labour productivity is not a question of working harder or longer hours, it’s a question of Working Smarter or more productively and that means making the best possible use of People, Process, Premises and Technology. Fully understanding the critical relationships in balancing and investing in these key resources is essential to creating greater business efficiency and generating greater value from working time.

Increasing Productivity means improving performance in all areas. Investing in Development and Training to create an innovative, flexible, highly skilled workforce. Reviewing all key work activities and processes cutting out unnecessary and wasteful steps in the value chain. Reviewing premises needs, improving or reducing to accommodate a flexible mobile workforce and providing the right technology and importantly the training to use it. This will deliver results needed, make us more competitive and push the UK up the productivity league. 

Individual performance matters hugely and the key to achieving a more productive workforce lies very firmly in Leadership and Management styles. To achieve the productivity improvements needed, Culture, the product of attitudes and behaviours needs to change dramatically in many companies. 

Corporate success is not achieved and sustained without first class leadership and communication and that starts at Board level making the right key decisions and then ensuring that strategy is managed consistently at all levels through the organisation. Success is never achieved and maintained without great leadership and teamwork.

Everyone working in an organisation must be involved and benefit from productivity improvement and growth and they must feel valued. Just look what happens to our famous sports teams when the leadership changes! No coincidence that when the leaders change, the attitude and behaviours change as well. The culture shifts and wrong decisions or choices are made; performance and productivity are dramatically affected. No one can predict the future but we surely all help to create it and thinking clearly about how we manage key business resources and measuring the right things does have a huge impact. We really do reap what we sow.

Workplace productivity is about reviewing and developing all the areas where organisations could be working smarter and exploring all the ways that the workplace can become better and more productive. That starts with examining the attitudes and behaviours that prevail in an organisation, reviewing Board Effectiveness and Impact, Building Leadership and Management Capability, creating a productive culture, encouraging innovation, and making better use of technology demands time, but above all needs clear leadership and communication.

Creating the right culture and  environment leads to developing  the organisation’s skills base. Team work leads to thinking about organisation of work and workflow to make things better and add real value.  That’s what Work Wise UK helps to deliver, developing the skills and knowledge, measuring the key drivers of the business and achieving results that will improve productivity and deliver the competitive edge that we are all looking for. 

The Holy Grail of future success really is Productivity and it has eluded companies small and large over many years. Successive Governments have highlighted the issues, incentivised and invested in Industry to find the answers and deliver the results. Despite this we still fall behind other developed countries. Improving productivity means a great deal more than just pulling all the usual financial levers and downsizing the workforce to cut costs, it means a big shift in work place culture. Working Smarter is no longer debatable it is essential and we have to talk about productivity at every level in the work place.

Work Wise Week creates the focus to think about the issues. What are the key drivers of your business?  How productive is your organisation? Are you achieving more output per hour?  Are you measuring the right things? Have you created the right culture for success? Difficult questions to ask, even more difficult to answer without some real investment in time and people. How could new approaches to people management deliver effective change and put you on the road to a more productive future.  Productivity is the Business, can you afford to let it slip?

This week and in the months ahead, Work Wise UK invites all organisations, large and small and from all sectors to participate, share their experiences with others and play their part in helping to create a more productive, smarter working, UK.

Work Wise Week and National Work from Home Day can be followed on Twitter (#workwiseweek and #nationalworkfromhomeday)