UK - New work practices get equality backing - Bringing about a work style revolution through smarter working practices

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Publication date: 24 July 2007



(2007), "UK - New work practices get equality backing - Bringing about a work style revolution through smarter working practices", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 20 No. 3.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

UK - New work practices get equality backing - Bringing about a work style revolution through smarter working practices

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has signed the Work Wise UK concordat supporting the adoption of new smarter working across the UK. The EOC joins many other signatories such as the CBI, TUC, British Chambers of Commerce, BT and Transport for London, all pulling together to bring about a work-style revolution which will make the UK the most progressive economy in the world.

The agreement states: “This concordat brings together the signatories in a joint statement supporting the development and implementation of smarter working practices and as an example, and encouragement, to others to do likewise. The goal is to increase significantly the use of these practices by 2011. Such advancements will not only benefit companies, communities and individuals, but the UK economy as a whole, making it more productive and competitive in the global marketplace.”

At the signing, Jenny Watson, chair of the EOC said: “The Commission is fully committed to promoting smarter working practices – for the benefit of all. This is not just a working parents issue – flexible working practices can increase productivity and competitiveness and should be available to anyone struggling to achieve a work-life balance, whether this is to provide care for an older relative or pursue a passion for sky-diving. Society must catch up with the reality of modern life.”

Phil Flaxton, Work Wise UK’s chief executive, said: “Today’s work culture is from another era. Not only is it wanting in terms of efficient use of resources and the impact upon the environment, it discriminates against those who have a family, who have aged relatives or who have a disability.”

“Organizations are beginning to realize that not only are they failing to tap into a valuable skills pool, but by adopting new smarter working practices, they increase productivity in the workplace as a whole.”

Organizations and employees across the UK, both public and private, are being invited to take part in the second annual Work Wise Week (16-22 May 16) to continue helping create a “smarter” working Britain. The week includes a number of events and National Work from Home day on Friday, 18 May. During the week, organizations will be encouraged to participate in smarter working practices, such as allowing staff to stagger their commute and working from home.

Work Wise UK, a not-for-profit initiative, is in the first of a five-year programme to promote the wider adoption of smarter working practices, such as flexible working including compressed working hours and nine day fortnights, working from home, mobile and remote working, to bring about a workplace revolution, similar in impact to the Industrial Revolution which Great Britain led in the nineteenth century.

Both the public and private sectors agree that the benefits of smarter working are enormous: apart from the positive implications on employees’ work-life balance and traveling time, the improvements in productivity will help the UK meet the competitive challenges presented by the emerging economies, such as India and China.

The aim is for thousands of other organizations to sign the concordat, via the Work Wise web site ( over the coming months, demonstrating their commitment to revolutionizing the workplace.

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