About Work Wise UK
Launched in 2006, Work Wise UK is a, not-for-profit, campaign and development organisation whose primary mission is to make the UK one of the most progressive economies in the world by introducing Smarter Working practices and increasing the UK’s ranking in the Developed Nations Productivity League.
Improving work place productivity brings real benefit to business, employees and the country as a whole. We help to create the sort of environment where people work well as a team and new ideas can flourish. Work place productivity initiatives and improvements boost the bottom line and benefit everyone. Many organisations who have adopted the Work Wise Way are reaping the benefits of this.
An increasingly complex world means that employers and employees have to use their resources more effectively. Employers seek higher productivity, whilst employees seek to build skills, knowledge and create a better work life. Work Wise UK provides consultancy services and support to implement smarter ways of working. We bring together experience and best practice from the Public, Private and Third Sectors and collaboratively link with government agencies, professional bodies and trade unions to support and implement the broader use of Smarter Working as a modern day approach to working life.
What is Smarter Working?
Smarter Working can take a number of forms. Some are simple with low initial investment whilst others can be extensive organisation-wide workplace and workflow reviews. Smarter Working can apply to any business or organisation from large multi-national companies, the public sector, charities and other 3rd sector employers to small businesses and the self-employed.
In the past decade, a whole range of Smarter Working arrangements have become increasingly widespread. A number of key drivers are responsible for this, but the main ones cited are:
- As a response to meeting recruitment difficulties
- To improve motivation
- To retain experienced staff
- To support equal opportunities
- To improve productivity and reduce Costs
In addition, there has been pressure from employees battling to maintain a satisfactory balance between their work and private life commitments, often referred to as ‘work life balance’, which has been supported by the Government via the introduction of legislation and guidance on flexible working and work-time regulations.
It is increasing clear that Productivity is a key issue for UK Business and Work Wise UK focus attention on the key drivers of productivity when advising on work place implementation plans.
Why the UK needs to work smarter
The structure of our economy and consequently our workplaces has changed significantly. The move away from manufacturing to a more service based economy has placed greater emphasis on “human capital” as individual workers are now an essential part of the product offering in many sectors. This has also meant a change in the structure of our workplaces – increasingly work is no longer time and location bound which presents additional challenges in keeping all workers fully skilled and up to date.
Cultural, economic and social changes are affecting attitudes to how we balance or mix work and lifestyle, where increasing mobility and technology is shifting the acceptance or need for traditional 9-5 work patterns, to be replaced by more flexible ways and periods of work.
Such fundamental change towards what is called ‘smarter working’ is recognised by increasing numbers of inspired, and more trusting employers, but perhaps more driven by generation Y employees who demand a wider, more horizontal attitude to delivering value to their employers rather than simply ‘time at work’- a massive move from the traditional vertical and strictly controlled career paths of the past.
Changing outdated working practices and implementing a Smarter Working strategy provides a real opportunity for Employers to build and retain skills, to give serious thought to the dilemmas of youth unemployment and an aging population and to then set the road map for real work force transformation, creating benefits for our workplace and society.