Member Article

SMARTER WORKING REVOLUTION GAINS MOMENTUM WITH ADVICE FROM UK CHAIR

NEWS RELEASE - 27 April 2010 SMARTER WORKING REVOLUTION GAINS MOMENTUM WITH ADVICE FROM UK CHAIR Some of the region’s leading companies involved in the smarter working revolution advocated by the Work Wise North East (WWNE) campaign, met the UK chair of the campaign, David Lennan, when he visited the North East recently. In a discussion forum hosted by law firm Dickinson Dees, directors and senior managers from ten major employers from both the public and private sectors shared their experiences of introducing smarter working practices with a view to identifying best practice and helping each other to overcome any barriers. Organisations participating in the forum included Teesside University, ARK Associates, Gateshead Council, Government Office North East, BT South Tyneside, Fabrick Group, One North East, Business &Enterprise; North East and Northumberland County Council. The Work Wise campaign has been running in the region since 2007 with the support of steering group partners, such as BT, One North East, Northern TUC, North East Chamber of Commerce, Government Office for the North East and Dickinson Dees. As a strategic response to the difficult economic conditions, the campaign has really begun to gain traction with many more companies now showing a keen interest in its policies, as project director, Sarah Stewart, explains: “More and more employers are starting to recognise the benefits of adopting smarter working practices ? particularly in terms of boosting productivity and cutting costs in areas such as accommodation. The introduction of smarter working also helps improves work~life balance for employees and importantly, enables companies to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission, all of which are persuasive arguments in the current climate.? David Lennan, a former HR director of both Nat West and Surrey County Council, endorsed the on-going success of the Work Wise campaign in the North East and said how encouraged he was by the number of organisations embracing smarter working as a strategic response to the current economic situation. Mr Lennan also took this opportunity to introduce the newly revised Work Wise Standard, which is a mark of excellence for those organisations that actively plan and promote smarter working. He said: “The Work Wise Standard is increasingly recognised as the mark of a modern employer aware of the benefits of flexibility and new ways of working. In revising the Standard, we are responding to client and public sector demand to stimulate the progress needed in the green agenda and to reduce energy consumption. Along with the original seven elements, we have therefore included a new, eighth element in the Standard ? an energy audit - which focuses on energy consumption and CO2 emission.? Sarah James, an Associate in the Employment Team at Dickinson Dees, played an active role in the forum. She commented: “Dickinson Dees are not only great supporters of flexible working themselves, but our leading employment law team also advises employers right across the country on how they too can achieve flexible working for their employees. “Ensuring our staff are able to work smarter whilst managing their work-life balance is very important to us for many reasons. The option for staff to work with more flexibility such as allowing working from home and part-time or reduced hours, opens up opportunities both for our staff and for the firm outside of the normal 9-5 existence, and brings many benefits to our clients.? ENDS For more information contact Philippa Clothier at Clothier Lacey & Co Ltd on 0191 273 9897 Photo caption: (L to R) Simon Roberson, Chair of WWNE, Sarah Stewart, WWNE Project Director, Sarah James, Associate, Dickinson Dees LLP and David Lennan, WWUK Chair shared smarter working best practice at a recent Forum IMGP7867.jpg NOTES TO EDITORS Work Wise North East is a public:private partnership promoting the benefits of smarter working for employers and the region as a whole. Launched in 2007, Work Wise North East was the first regional partnership to be established as part of the national Work Wise UK campaign. The role of Work Wise North East is to raise awareness of the benefits of smarter working and to provide advice and support for employers wishing to introduce smarter working practices. By raising the profile of the region as an emerging force in smarter working, the campaign is also helping to promote the North East as a great place to live and work. The campaign is funded by One North East, Government Office for the North East, North East Chamber of Commerce, TUC Northern, BT, Dickinson Dees and the Work Place Travel Plan Co. In-kind support is also provided by the Association of North East Councils, EEF Northern and ncj Media.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Louise Kitchingham .

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