Location Independent Working Conference (April 2009)

“…Work is not a place where you go but rather something you do”

Morgan R.E. (2004) Teleworking: An assessment of the benefits and challenges, European Business Review

David Morris introduced the day with a series of concise slides explaining the concept and also that his project was a 3 month pilot.  A series of presentations took place that gave different perspectives from the institution.

The Basics

  • LIW Is a formal recognising that work does not just take place on the campus and supports people in working from other locations.
  • LIW staff give up their offices but have “touch down” spaces on the campus.
  • Training the staff and managers involved in the pilot was essential.

Some Myths

  • Everyone is doing it anyway.
  • LIW is for everyone.
  • It’s a recipe for avoiding work.
  • LIW staff are never around and the rest of us can’t talk to them.
  • LIW people get left out.
  • Non-LIW colleagues carry the can.

Expected Benefits

Individual

  • Improved Work-Life Balance
  • Reduced commute time
  • Reduced travel cost
  • Reduced Stress
  • Legitimisation of home working

Employer

  • Improved work flexibility
  • Improved recruitment (good working environment attractive to potential employees)
  • Reduced absenteeism and stress

Environment

  • Lower Carbon Footprint
  • Reduced congestion and transport burden
  • Improved teaching quality and innovation in teaching

The Process

At Coventry all staff went through a process to support them and the scheme. This involved Consultation with staff > Briefing Sessions > Expressions of interest > Decision Making (is LIW appropriate for members of staff) > Training > IT Consultation (what staff needed) > T & Cs (formal LIW Policy) > Set up and Start up

At Coventry….

120 people attended briefings, 52 expressed interest, 35 participated (25 academic, 10 non academic)

Lessons they learned

  • Have a senior champion – who believes in it
  • Create LIW spaces, both big and small (promote cross dept etc)
  • A formal system is essential
  • Training is important
  • Dispel the myths
  • Process for storage of University owned material.

The Day closed by looking at the “costs” of LIW
There was a caveat placed on the data in that individual costs can very enormously. In terms of carbon saving it was predicted that a saving of somewhere between 133kg and 785kg.

At Coventry University it estimated that, per member of staff, a notional saving of £1,061 could be made, per annum. This figure includes start up costs of the scheme, office space, heating etc.

Further details http://cuba.coventry.ac.uk/culiw/

An interview with the Project Manager Dina Shah

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