About the Smart Work Network
The Smart Work Network is a peer collaboration network for practitioners implementing Smart/Agile/Hybrid/Flexible Working within their organisations.
Our mission is to develop, share and promote best practice in implementing Smart Working, in order to maximise the benefits to individuals, organisations, society and the environment.
Why are we needed?
- There has been an upsurge in interest in smarter ways of working – in particular remote working – during the pandemic.
- But for many organisations, the response has been reactive and tactical. Now there is a strong need to adopt Smart Working in more strategic and holistic ways.
- It’s particularly important that modernisation creates ‘good work’ and great places to work, wherever people are working
- Implementing Smart Working requires coordinated action across disciplines – People, Workplace & Technology – which can be challenging.
- The Network provides a way for those leading change to share experience and best practice, and prevent organisations from reinventing the wheel.
How the Network works
The Network is free to join for people in eligible organisations. That’s organisations with 100+ employees that are implementing Smart Working, or intending to do so. It’s not a network for selling or trying to gain work.
The network has frequent meetings per year, showcasing what members have been doing, exchanging knowledge, and exploring specific topics of interest. It is free to members to attend meetings. We have both closed meetings for members to discuss work-in-progress, and open meetings. Meetings focus on case studies of implementations, thought leadership (e.g. interviews with authors), research summaries and explorations of specific topics. Meetings are currently virtual.
Members also have access to a secure area in this website with discussion forum, special articles, etc, and receive periodic emails with news updates.
It is supported by the voluntary efforts of a small group of people (see below) and a small number of funders to cover essential costs, like the website.
We are very grateful for support from the following organisations. These are all committed to sharing information and new ideas around new ways of working and best practice for modern workplaces.
Saint-Gobain Ecophon are specialists in workplace acoustics. As well as providing products and solutions for acoustics, Ecophon has a commitment to research and to sharing best practice. Ecophon has a global team who focus on gaining new knowledge in workplace acoustics and how it affects us, either by conducting their own studies and research projects, or by monitoring and collating research done by others. Members can access some of their pioneering research, e.g. on psychoacoustics, in the Resources section (login needed)
Ecophon produces the Acoustic Bulletin which provides a global platform where end users, architects and acousticians can access knowledge, opinions and solutions for room acoustic design.
The role of the MillerKnoll Insight Group is to share the MillerKnoll group’s research with clients and designers globally. They do this by speaking at conferences and running workshops and seminars in their own design centres as well as online and at dealers’ and clients’ premises.
MKIG’s regular virtual seminar series are a great complement to the activities of the Network, focusing on key issues facing the new world of work.
The Smart Work Network is an initiative of Flexibility.co.uk Ltd, which manages the membership and other practical aspects of running the Network. Flexibility.co.uk aims to inform and stimulate debate about the changing world of work.
Since 1993 Flexibility has brought together research and opinion about innovations in employment practice, organisational development, technological change and public policy.
Andy Lake, Founder of UK Smart Work Network and Co-Founder of the European Smart Work Network.
Andy is Director of Flexibility.co.uk Ltd, and author of numerous publications including the management book Smart Flexibility: Moving Smart & Flexible Working from Theory to Practice and the Smart Working Handbook. He founded the Smart Network in 2007.
As well as participating in numerous implementations of Smart Working, Andy has led or been involved in numerous UK and international research projects, exploring the impacts of new ways of working on business society and the environment.
Philip Vanhoutte, Co-Founder of the European Smart Work Network.
Formerly Managing Director of Plantronics Europe & Africa, Philip is a passionate champion of Smart Working. He is author of The Smart Working Manifesto. Philip acts a mentor to numerous companies developing on Smart Working principles.
He is also a Founder of Ozadi, which has a mission to improve the happiness and health of us all through the adoption of nature as an integrated component of our work life.
Ben Hutchinson, Co-Founder of the European Smart Work Network
Ben is Director and Enterprise Agility Coach at JCURV, and a specialist in change leadership and cultural change.
Prior to that, Ben was Director of Change Programmes at Thales, where he played a leading role in developing Thales’ Smart and Agile ways of working programmes.
Ben is passionate about modernising working practices to improve productivity, innovation and the work experience for all. He regularly chairs our online sessions.