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Smart working characteristics, tools and good practices
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Smart working (SW) definition

Learning outcomesClick to read  

At the end of this module you will:


understand smart working (SW) and its advantages and disadvantages

recognise SW good practices

be able to choose proper tools and technology for SW

be able to establish a well-balanced work/private lifestyle

understand how to manage SW environment


Defining smart workingClick to read  

What is Smart Working?

Smart Working is a business-focused approach to flexible working that delivers more efficiency and effectiveness in work organisation, service delivery and organisational agility, as well as benefits for working people.

Key features are management by results, a trust-based culture, high levels of autonomy, flexibility in the time and location of work, new tools and work environments, reduced reliance on physical resources and openness to continuing change.

Smart working vs:

  • Teleworking/remote working
  • Flexible working
  • Hybrid working
  • Agile working
SW principlesClick to read  

  • Work takes place at the most effective locations and at the most effective times
  • Flexibility becomes the norm rather than the exception
  • Everyone is in principle considered eligible for flexible working, without assumptions being made about people or roles
  • Employees have more choice about where and when they work, subject to business considerations
  • Space is allocated to activities, not to individuals and not on the basis of seniority
  • The costs of doing work are reduced
  • There is effective and appropriate use of technology
  • Simplified collaboration and connectivity virtually everywhere means sharing information and working with others regardless of location
  • The processes people are asked to work with are continuously challenged to make sure they are fit for purpose
  • Managing performance focuses on results rather than presence
  • Smart Working underpins and adds new dimensions to diversity and equality principles
  • Employees have the opportunity to lead balanced and healthy lives
  • Work has less impact on the environment.
Smart working tools and technologies

Setting up a smart working placeClick to read  

Setting up a SW place

  • Smart working as a way to offer new working environments, i.e. attractive and inspiring work environments to support new work styles.
  • Traditional offices  vs. smart office environments.
  • Benefits of creating smart working place.
  • Desk-based tasks: the need for offices is less for ranks of workstations, and more for a mix of other functional spaces.
  • Relevance of understanding the amount of space needed in the office and the mix of different kinds of spaces.
  • Protocols for ensuring  that space-sharing works effectively.
  • Creating activity-based work settings.
  • Considering the needs of staff with disabilities.
  • Clear desk policy.
  • Booking system.
  • Moving from paper-dependency to electronic-based working.
  • Office space should be be prioritised for human interaction, not storage.
  • The relevance of ergonomics of smart working.
  • Managing noise impact and considering ‘soundscaping’ as a necessary feature of the smart working environment.
  • Managing the needs and challenges of working outside the office.
  • Workhubs.
Tools and technologies for SWClick to read  

  • Why do we need SW tools and technologies?
  • Which tools and technologies should you choose?

Collaboration and communication tools and technologies: Zoom, Slack, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Join.me, Loom, TeamViewer

Work management tools and technologies: Basecamp, Trello, Asana, Accelo, Calendly, Toggl, ProofHub, Calendar, Every Time Zone, Harvest GitHub, Facto HR, Doodle

Software for cloud storage services and technologies: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive

Password management and technologies: 1Password

Note-taking tools and technologies: Evernote, Notion

Boosting productivity tools and technologies: Brain.fm, Shift

Smart working good practices

Identification of good practicesClick to read  

  • SW should be considered as a normal way of working.
  • It is relevant to find a proper balance between face-face interaction and virtual interaction.
  • Constant training of employees should be a norm.
  • It is important to consider the age groups of employees when implementing smart working.
  • Employees should be encouraged to create a dedicated workspace free of distractions.
  • Achieving expected work results is more relevant than place, time and manner of working. The importance of setting a KPI (key performance indicator).
  • Employees should be stimulated to become knowledgeable workers able to search for relevant information and select/use proper technology.
  • Need for keeping regular interaction with employees.
  • Relevance of stimulating employees as well as managers to react quickly and be concise as much as possible.
  • Maintaining sufficient focus on managing the risk in security challenges.
  • The relevance of promoting/creating a healthy workplace.
Balance between smart working and personal lifeClick to read  

Setting up the balance between SW and personal life is important and should be fostered by the organization by:

  • Awareness-raising sessions for all levels of staff
  • Specific training in Smart Working techniques for managers and teams
  • The development of team charters or protocols to involve employees in designing and enforcing their own team arrangements for rolling out Smart Working practices
  • Incorporating Smart Working techniques and principles in leadership development programmes and other relevant professional training
  • Ensuring that recruitment policies support the development of a Smart Working workforce and culture
  • Ensuring that performance management, reward and other people policies support the development of Smart Working.
  • Importance of setting up a work schedule in order to balance the working time and free time of an employee.
Smart working and wellbeingClick to read  

Building a SW environment that enables employees’ wellbeing:

  1. Evidence of a positive relationship between work flexibility, health and wellbeing.
  2. Relevance of good business sense to take care of health and fitness of employees.
  3. Promoting flexible working practices that can reduce absence and in particular reduce stress.
  4. Option of remote working and online attendance at meetings is beneficial.
  5. Two broad areas for promoting health and wellbeing through workplace facilities:
  • providing wellbeing centres, fitness facilities and areas for relaxation;
  • creating working environments for everyday work that maximise wellbeing.
  1. Relevance of paying attention to acoustic and wider sensory environment.
  2. Biophilia.
  3. Putting noise in the right place.

Threats of SW:

  • Normalisation od working long hours
  • Being under extreme stress, especially if we’ve been doing it for a long time

How to help yourself:

  1. Take a brake
  2. Pay attention to your feelings
  3. Reprioritise
  4. Consider your alternatives
  5. Make changes.
Summing upClick to read  

Accepting SW as a normal way of working.

Creating SW places to bring new working environments and thus many benefits.

The selection of proper SW tools and technologies is of vital importance.

Rather than measuring work time, achieving expected work results is more important

SW: need for knowledgeable workers able to search for relevant information.

Positive relationship between SW, health and wellbeing.


Keeping a healthy work-life balance is crucial for employee’s productivity.




Smart working; Hybrid working; Virtual world; Wellbeing; Flexibility; Management; Workstyle; Technology


The objectives of this module are to define smart working and differentiate it from other work types and to get acquainted with SW principles and good practices. The participant will be able to manage setting SW place and choose proper SW tools and technology. They will get familiar with the relevance and specifics of SW in relation to wellbeing and a well-balanced work.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understanding smart working and its advantages and disadvantages
  • Learning smart working good practices
  • Knowing to choose proper tools and technology for SW
  • Being able to establish a well-balanced work/private lifestyle
  • Being able to manage SW environment

Content index:

Smart working characteristics, tools and good practices

Unit 1: Smart working (SW) definition
Section 1: Defining smart working
Section 2: SW principles

Unit 2: Smart working tools and technologies
Section 1: Setting up a smart working place
Section 2: Tools and technologies for SW

Unit 3: Smart working good practices
Section 1: Identification of good practices
Section 2: Balance between smart working and personal life
Section 3: Smart working and wellbeing


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