I’ve frequently discussed my love for ISO standards in this blog. I’ve yet really to discuss a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) like PAS 3000 for Smart Working. Until now!
PAS’s are developed usually a bit quicker with a different model to that of a British Standard (BS) or International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard that we are all familiar with. This is due to a requirement for speed or response to changing market conditions. They can also be a starting point that evolves later too – PAS 55 for Asset Management evolved into ISO 55000 which allows forward-thinking organisations to get on board with best practices from an early stage. And you know how we feel here about forward-thinking organisations!
Smart Working vs Hybrid Working
The PAS 3000:2015 Smart Working – Code of Practice document was produced well in advance of the pandemic. Like many things buzzwords evolve, you can take it as read that Smart Working and Hybrid Working are one and the same. If we had to give a little more of an opinion on that, you could argue Smart Working is focussed on that flexibility of workspaces, the ability to work from home or on the road and much more comprehensive than Hybrid Working.
The term Hybrid Working has popped up due to the pandemic and as we all slowly make a return to the office and realise that getting on dirty, trams, trains, busses or being stuck in traffic on a boring commute isn’t worth your time 5 days a week. So, you’d be safe to define Hybrid Working as how much time you spend in a dedicated office vs how much time you spend working from home.
Interestingly, back when telephone systems were a thing, in the murky world of Unified Communications, we discussed Smarter Working. None of this stuff is particularly new, we certainly said the same at the beginning of the pandemic. The technology, tools and everything were already there. Partly why so many companies could mobilise so quickly to remote working. There just wasn’t a great incentive to enable that. Now we’ve all had a taste of live without a commute, how ready are we to go back?
PAS 3000:2015 Smart Working Code of Practice
There will be a few different viewpoints on Smart Working and Hybrid Working depending how you functioned during the pandemic:
- Remained open and in the office / business premises
- Remained open with a split of people and time spent between business locations and home
- Changed to completely remote working
Each of those different scenarios will change how you start looking at things. I know businesses that went to completely remote working who are cramming everyone back into office locations in an attempt to go back to the way things were. I also suspect there are businesses that are really giving this some thought – they remained open and, in the office. However, to attract future staff they’re going to have to offer Smart Working for fear of losing out on good hires to competitors!
PAS 3000 isn’t a standard per-se, it’s a code of practice and why I really like it is that it gives different aspects and considerations. So, if you’re scratching your head wondering where to start, then you can read it quickly to look at things like:
- Principles of Smart Working
- Leadership and vision aspects
- People, workstyles, and culture change
- Smart working environments
- Technologies for Smart Working
- Wellbeing and sustainability
The arduous work of what you need to consider has already been done. I’m not sure how obvious the aspect of wellbeing and sustainability is to most people when they’re wondering how to implement smart working styles, but it’s an important one to tick off. Without the document I’m not sure I’d have even thought of it.
In the Smart Working project’s, we’re involved with, we use PAS 3000 as our jumping-off point. Specifications and standards are always an effective way of defining a common language in a project. All the terms, buzzwords and such like are defined in the document – which makes life that much easier! Whether you’re talking Smart Working, Hybrid Working, Remote Working, Smarter Working or some other Working that uses technology to not be in a physical office and still work. Then the chances are we’re all talking about the same thing. Having that document that an organisation adopts to find a definition, a name then ‘own’ it, is very important.
Unleashed as a Technology and Business Process consultancy are very much here to help organisations like yours on the journey to whatever way of working you’d like. If you want to discuss how we can unlock the potential of tools you may already have or simply just bounce some ideas from us. We’re here and always happy to have a no-obligation chat first.