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Agile Working and Public-Sector Organisations: Why are councils doing it.

There has been a growing demand that employers create working environments that offer employees more flexibility, tools to collaborate efficiently and greater control over their work/ life balance.

Due to the marvels of modern technology, particularly in unified communications and security, this is no longer a futile, wishful request made by exasperated staff everywhere. This growing need has led to a rise in the creation of smart working principles which includes finding new ways of working, for example ‘Agile Working’. Agile working is about the work you do and how well you do it, rather than the place you go to every morning to clock-in. It is the idea that employees can work from anywhere, at any time by providing them with the means to securely access the corporate network whether they are at home, on a train or another remote location.

An example of how Agile Working was trialled and phased into a public-sector organisation is the work we did with Middlesbrough Council. The Nowcomm team were invited to speak at an event held by Middlesbrough about a solution we designed and implemented for their health and social care division (read more about that here), in addition to this they also spoke about how they’ve replaced their existing working model with Agile Working. They headlined it with, ‘Work isn’t a place you go, it’s what you do’, which is a succinct description about what Agile Working aims to achieve. It was initially trialled on a voluntary basis, placing workers into four roles; Home Workers, Office Workers, Agile Workers and Mobile Workers.

Middlesbrough Council is one of many public-sector organisations who are introducing Agile Working, under new government requirements for councils to amalgamate their facilities and offer Agile Working to employees whose roles can accommodate it. In addition to the benefits to employees, the agile working initiative presents cost-saving incentives as the less people working in council buildings the less cost incurred to the council, through utility bills, furnishing etc.

The Agile Working trial received an overwhelmingly positive response as part of their phase-1 rollout to 520 employees who volunteered. An additional 250 people have expressed interest in being part of the phase-2 rollout, of which the aim is to deploy the solution carefully and securely across the entire organisation.

Brief Technology Overview:

The Technology used to implement the Agile Working initiative was Cisco Jabber for Windows, a unified communication tool that consolidates voice, video, instant messaging, presence, screen-sharing, document-sharing and more to enable seamless collaboration between all workers, whether they’re home workers, office workers or agile.

You can learn more about Cisco Jabber for Windows here.

If you’re organisation is working to implement an agile working solution like Middlesbrough Council, and would like more information about Cisco Jabber and advice about how to phase the client slowly and securely across all company/ organisation devices, you can get in touch with Nowcomm by sending an email Here

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