Work Wise UK has launched a quality mark to enable organisations to gain recognition for introducing smarter working practices in the workplace.
The quality mark will be assessed using the Work Wise UK standard, which has been developed over a 12-month period, in collaboration with the TUC, Transport for London, HBOS, NHS, BT and the Association for Commuter Transport.
The standard itself provides a framework both for organisations that have already introduced smarter working practices and wish to go further, or those that are just realising the benefits and want to start reforming their working practices.
Sir Digby Jones, UK Skills Envoy and former director general of the CBI, said: “The nature of work is changing fundamentally. UK businesses need to understand this, and adapt and evolve accordingly.
“The introduction of new smarter working practices is gaining momentum not only to improve business productivity but also to be able to recruit and retain the staff needed to do business.
“Those organisations which achieve the Work Wise quality mark will be well placed to attract the very best staff, as the labour market becomes ever more competitive and society becomes increasingly aware of the benefits of flexibility and new ways of working.”
Assessment for the quality mark will normally take two days and require an organisation to demonstrate:
- Understanding and use of smarter working techniques as a strategic planning tool
- Staff involvement in defining future strategies
- Vision in planning for the future.
The assessment will determine how effective an organisation is at recognising that smarter working, in its widest sense, contributes to not only organisational success, but employee satisfaction. It will cover the following elements:
- Operational benefits
- Client benefits
- Employee benefits
- Change management
- Legal aspects
- Transport and environment
- Healthy workplace.
Russell Toms, head of standards and assessment for Work Wise UK, said: “Over the last 12 months, we have worked with our partners to develop a standard that embraces both the spirit and practicalities that is ‘smarter working’.
“Even those world class organisations that have contributed to the standard have taken away new ideas and aspirations of how they can do more to promote this important agenda.
“This standard brings together the best in current thinking and provides a framework both for organisations that are already deploying smarter working and want to do more or those that are only just beginning the smarter working journey.”
Further information about the quality mark can be found on the Work Wise UK website.