Which Smart Working Options Will Work In Your Business?

There are many different elements to Smart Working and not all of them will be a good fit for your organisation.  We recommend that the first step is a feasibility workshop to identify the areas that will work for your business – and crucially what to avoid.

Smart Working broadens talent pools, improves productivity and employee engagement when it is effectively deployed – but there are pitfalls – and it helps if you are supported to avoid these.

Smart Working Options

In your feasibility workshop, we will consider the different types of options that are open to your business.  They can include location, contract types and unique shift patterns and combinations of these.


Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Mobile or Field Working:  an arrangement with varied locations of work including co-working, client or supplier locations or corporate hubs
  • Remote Working: the worker is home based some or all of the time
  • Hub Working: the worker is based in a corporate, co-working or innovation hub – some or all of the time
  • Office Based: the worker is smart-desking, some or all of the time

Smart Contracts and Hours

Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Part-time Day or Week: a regular work pattern where an employee works less than full-time and is paid on a pro-rata basis for that work
  • Job Sharing: a full-time job role is divided into multiple job roles and undertaken by two or more employees paid on a pro-rata basis for their part of the job.
  • Flexible Start and Finish Times: sn employee may vary start and finish times.
  • Compressed working weeks: an employee may work the same number of weekly (or fortnightly or monthly) working hours, compressed into a shorter period.
  • Flexitime and Time-in-Lieu: a rather old-hat and rigid system, where an employee can work extra time over several days or weeks and then reclaim those hours as time off. An employee may work approved overtime and be compensated by time-in-lieu
  • Annualised Hours: employee hours are worked out over a year rather than a week or month.  Employees have to work a certain number of hours per year but bot the employer and the employee have flexibility about when they are worked.  They are often used to deal with business peaks and troughs
  • Gig Contracts: workers are employed on an interim, temporary or retainer basis.  Some workers love this freedom.

Unique Shifts

Some more novel options that we have introduced include, but are not limited to:

  • Term time teams
  • Gym teams
  • Fitbit teams
  • Seasonal teams
  • Winter warmer teams
  • Weekend and out of hours teams


The worker may use a combination of hours, work patterns or locations. For example, mobile workers may attend the corporate office once a week for collaboration while others may work annualised hours from a home or hub base

Importance of Clarity

The trick is to be really clear on the reasons why your business requires smart working.  There may be many.  Pick out the most important – the things that will impact bottom line.

  • If you are clear yourself about the reasons that you want flexible working, then you will easily choose the right options.
  • One size does not fit all. You may need to introduce a hybrid version of flexible working to match different parts of your organisation
  • Clarity will help everyone get used to this new way of working.

Work Happens in Brains – not Offices

Your organisational culture will have to adapt to support successful Smart Working and trust is crucial element of this.  Some Managers are locked in the 9-5, Monday to Friday fix. They may find it difficult to trust people they cannot oversee in the office.

We find that as part of the programme, work is required to shift fixed mindsets to a smarter mindset. Soon your team will understand that  smart workers, work well anywhere. Shirkers will shirk anywhere.

It’s down to people. Where and how they can do their best work. Our language needs to change. We are working, not at work. We are collaborating, rather than meeting in the office.

To build two way trust in your organisation, leaders require a different set of skills when managing people who are not necessarily in the same room.  It is a real skill and bespoke development is required.

At the same time, individuals and teams can sharpen up their smart working skills.  For some, this is a new adventure and we can help them develop the skills they need.

Run a Pilot

Get the nod to run a pilot if you possibly can. Test your plan by running a small-scale pilot scheme for a set period of time. Gather feedback, evaluate and make changes as required.

Every business requires a unique blend of options to match the unique product and/or makeup of the business.  Review the pilot to:

  • Monitor the effectiveness and productivity of smart working.
  • Determine what will work and what will not in your unique business

The results will go along way to deciding your best approach to implementing new ways of working and convincing those at the top of what options will and will not work.

People Experts Matter

There are HR and legal pitfalls as well as the obvious technical or security. Make sure you engage HR advocates early on.  Invite them to join a team who pull together the design principles for your new operating model.

If this sounds daunting then we can help you to devise a smart working strategy and implementation plan quickly. Our proven methods include an intense planning period that will help you to bag the bottom line benefits of a smart working strategy without fuss.

Get in touch

We’ve got a real talent for helping businesses to design and implement smarter ways of operating that achieves improved business performance.
Fill out this little form and we will call you for a chat. But don’t expect us to try to sell to you……that’s simply not our style.  We’re here to help.

Phone: 07976 509551
Email: ideas@smartworkingrevolution.com

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