New Smart Working Code of Practice announced

26 January 2016

BSI, the business standards company, in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, has announced PAS 3000 Smart Working a new code of practice to help support organizations in the implementation of Smart Working principles. It is sponsored by the Cabinet Office on behalf of the Smart Working Charter Steering Group of industry, academia, institutions and other public sector bodies.

The code of practice pulls together for the first time best practice from across the world and across disciplines to enable organizations to move from principles to standards and benchmark themselves against high performers.Smart working principles acknowledge that technology and flexible working patterns are changing the way we work for the better, creating modern workplaces that support more flexibility and collaboration and provide staff with a better work/life balance. This, in turn, results in greater productivity and efficiencies for the employer.The announcement was made on the same day as the second annual ‘The Way We Work Awards’, a Civil Service awards programme recognizing teams across government who have created smarter ways of working.

The awards shortlist includes major UK wide programmes such as the one from the Ministry of Justice creating 24 commuter hubs to reduce the need and expense of lengthy journeys and truly supporting the work/life balance agenda. Smaller specialist initiatives are also represented such as one taken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to make sure that specialist resources, such as language translators, could securely carry out the work from home instead of travelling into London.

Smart Working has become more common in recent years across the private and public sectors and can play a key part in meeting the challenge of doing more with less. This move towards Smart Working is supported by new technologies which allow more mobility of work, legislation encouraging flexible working and new trends in workplace design.

The Code of Practice  is intended for use by the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, for large organizations and small. Leaders and managers in employing organizations and those charged with implementing Smart Working programmes will find it particularly useful.

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office said:“I have been impressed and inspired by what has been achieved so far across the Civil Service, and the TW3 awards helps to recognise and celebrate smart working programmes across government.

“The new standard developed by BSI and Cabinet Office will establish good practice across a range of disciplines for the first time and will help to turn smart working from an art into a science.”

Scott Steedman, Director of Standards at BSI said:“In the competitive business environment, more and more organizations are realizing the importance of unlocking their full potential. Smart Working provides opportunities for greater flexibility and mobility through new technologies and concepts in workplace design, means a further step on that journey. Smart Working is about harnessing the potential of flexible working in a strategic way, to deliver benefits both for the business and for employees. Employing effective practices is a key goal for all businesses, and Smart Working is not restricted to one sector, it is applicable to all businesses regardless of size or sector.”

It has been developed using a consensus-based approach with input from such organizations as: Agile Future Forum, AMA Alexi Marmot Associates Ltd, Cabinet Office, CIPD, Department of Health, Henley Business School, Local Government Association, Microsoft, Ministry of Justice, Morys and Company, UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, Vodafone and Working Families.


Notes to editors 

 2016 TW3 awards shortlist

  • TW3 Leadership Award - Ministry of Justice, TW3 Team /  Ministry of Defence, DBS Executive Committee
  • TW3 Workspace Award - Ministry of Justice, Commuter Hub Team / HM Revenue and Customs
  • TW3 Technology Award - Foreign and Commonwealth Office Translation and Interpreting Team / Cabinet Office Technology Transformation
  • TW3 Culture and People Award - 6th Battalion The Rifles / Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Ways of Working Team / Intellectual Property Office #adaptive
  • TW3 Leadership Award. Best example of leadership in Smart Working -  Ministry of Justice, TW3 Team.

MOJ TW3 estates are a small, highly professional, highly motivated team that have been working nationally with a variety of departments and councils, supporting Cabinet Office on the Smart Working and One Public Estate initiatives. This is in addition to significant existing work priorities delivering substantial savings and providing numerous smarter work opportunities within the Department

  • Ministry of Defence, DBS Executive Committee.

Defence Business Services (DBS) was formed in July 2011 to bring greater efficiency within the MOD’s Corporate Shared Service environment. DBS has exploited a unique opportunity to combine the commercial acumen of the private sector with the diversity and experience that a joint civilian and military team offers. The resultant Executive Committee (EC) promoted smart working to achieve short, medium and long term goals.

  • Workspace. Best optimisation of property portfolio for Smart Working.

Ministry of Justice, Commuter Hub Team.Commuter Hubs have been introduced to provide people with a better work-life balance, reduce demand for expensive space in central London and improve use of existing local offices at no extra cost. The judges were impressed by the team’s approach in reshaping the Department’s property portfolio to support its TW3 smart working strategy; giving people and teams much welcomed choice and flexibility while also making significant savings.

  • HM Revenue and Customs.

HMRC is transforming into a smaller, smarter and highly skilled organization fit for a digital future with substantial investment in the ‘Building our Future’ (BoF) programme. The aim is to create modern, adaptable working environments that will support the digital infrastructure, staff collaboration and development.

  • Technology. Best utilization of technology to enable mobility and collaboration - Cabinet Office Technology Transformation.

A choice of lightweight devices and pervasive Wi-Fi sets people free to work in their own way. The judges were impressed by the focus on users – providing technology that people love – which allows them to choose where and when to work in the best way free from unnecessary constraints, and at cheaper cost.

  • FCO Services Translation and Interpreting Team.

The FCO Services Translation and Interpreting team has recently adopted an innovative technology solution (Cirrus360) that enables them to work flexibly on secure material. This technology has materially increased the team’s capacity, accuracy, and response times and removed the barriers to collaboration.

  • Culture and people. Best culture of Smart Working organization - 6th Battalion The Rifles.

6 Rifles is an Army Reserve Battalion with company and platoon locations spread across 9 sites spanning 7 counties. The vast majority of its members do not have access to the MoD IT system which further restricts official communication. To meet this challenge they have created a number of ‘Defence Connect’ sites hosted on the Defence Gateway to communicate with soldiers and connect them across the Battalion.

  • Intellectual Property Office #adaptive.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. The IPO Board challenged staff to devise changes that would help the organization work smarter and be better able to adapt to changing future demands.

  • Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Ways of Working Team.

In April 2015 the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published the ‘How We Work’ report. The report was based upon quantitative and qualitative surveys of every team in the Department. The judges were impressed by the BIS team’s willingness and courage to take time to review progress and gather evidence widely to understand how next to take smart working to the next level and then to act on the findings.

TW3 Key Principles

 More information on TW3 key principles can be found here.

2015 TW3 award winners:

  • Corporate Leadership Award - The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
  • Technology Award - Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
  • Workplace Award - Department of Health
  • Culture and People Award for geographic spread of locations - the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)
  • Culture Leadership Award Winner - Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)