Blog

Peter Thomson blogs regularly about the changing world of work and how WiseWork is helping organisations to benefit from new working practices. This site also hosts blog contributions from Wisework Partners and other guest bloggers..

Civil Service Home Working

The government has just announced that thousands of civil servants will be allowed to work from home over a seven week period covering the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This has attracted negative media coverage, implying that the Civil Servants will be having an extended holiday and that the wheels of government will grind to a halt. This is based on the mistaken assumption that people working from home are less productive than those coming into the office. But the results…

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Anywhere Working Week

This week is Anywhere Working Week (see http://www.anywhereworking.org/2012/anywhere-working-week-27th-february/ }. It’s being promoted by the Department for Transport, supported by a variety of sponsors who are interested in spreading the word about mobile working. One of they key triggers behind this initiative is the Olympic Games. The government is trying to persuade employers to allow people to work from home, or a remote location, during the peak fortnight of the games. The aim is to reduce commuter traffic by 30% and…

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UK Government Recognises Value of Flexible Working

It seems that at long last the message might be getting through. Instead of seeing flexible working as just a ‘family friendly’ provision, a government minister has now recognized that it can also deliver massive cost savings. Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, announced this week that the government could save £15 billion per year by adopting flexible working and home working practices. He based this on a report just published by the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum chaired by Matthew…

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Future Work – book now published

I’m pleased to announce that I am the co-author of a great new book – “Future Work: how businesses can adapt and thrive in the new world of work“. It’s been almost two years since I teamed up with Alison Maitland and we embarked on this project. Alison has a background as a journalist, having worked for the FT, and has written many articles about Flexible Working and related management issues. She has also co-written a previous book “Why women…

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Social Media – why ban it?

ACAS have recently issued guidance for employers on social networking and managing performance. They point out that the use of social media is allowing many employees to work remotely, which offers unique challenges for performance management. They also say that it blurs the distinction between work and home life, with many employees available at home and while travelling. This has led some employers to put more emphasis on managing the tasks an employee performs rather than managing the time they…

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It’s Work Wise Week

It’s Work Wise Week in the UK this week. (May 16th – 20th) This is an interesting time to reflect on how we have progressed in the six years since the WorkWise Uk initiative was launched. I remember being involved in the first year and the organisers coming up with a problem. The Government Minister who was due to launch the week was only available on a Wednesday. So I was one of the people who suggested that this was…

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Why does the government insist on linking flexible working with maternity?

Looking back over my previous blogs, I see that in July 2008 I pointed out the discrepancies between maternity and paternity provisions in the UK and hoped that they would get changed. Today at last I see that the government is starting a consultation process on the idea that parents can share the leave between them. see http://tiny.ly/X7gZ This looks like a step in the right direction, but included amongst the proposals is the extension of the right to request…

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The Book is Written

I’ve been quiet on this blog for the past year whilst I’ve been busy writing a book. I teamed up with Alison Maitland who has an excellent record as a journalist (ex – FT) and co-author of another book ‘Why Women mean Business”. Together we took most of a year to gather together the information and write it up. We interviewed over 60 people, mostly senior leaders in major organisations and have included many cases studies in the book. We…

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World Cup Fever

Earlier this year we had travel chaos in the UK because of a few inches of snow. Businesses closed down for several days, and industries started counting up the cost of the disruption. Then as the sun shone through we soon forgot the snow and went back to business as usual. Some people learned a lesson and thought about contingency plans for the next time it happens but many just decided we have to live with it. Soon after this,…

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Obama promotes flexible working

This week the White House hosted a Forum on Workplace Flexibility. Michele Obama started it off giving some of her personal experiences in trying to balance family pressures and a career. There was then a panel discussion and the event ended with a great speech from the President pointing out the benefits of flexible working, not just for individuals but for employers as well. It can all be found on YouTube ( see http://bit.ly/ObamaFlexibility )and there is a report from…

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