local government

4th Annual Transforming the Way We Work Forum

local government

08:45 - 15:40

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Central London

This Forum provides participants with an excellent opportunity to examine successful methods of modernising the public sector workplace through innovative, smarter working practices. Attendees will be updated by the Cabinet Office and Government Property Agency (GPA) on the work being undertaken to raise smart working standards across central government departments. Award-winning best practitioners from local government and across the public sector will share guidance on establishing flexible work arrangements, effectively embedding smart working culture into practice and utilising technology to increase productivity.


This Forum is specifically designed for Central and Local Government. Typical job titles will include:

  • Directors of Property
  • Heads of Estate Management
  • Heads of ICT Services
  • Heads of Organisational Development
  • Heads of Delivery and Performance
  • Directors of Estates
  • Facilities Managers
  • Delivery Managers
  • Programme Managers
  • Business Development Managers
  • Business Improvement Managers
  • Business Change Managers
  • Service Transformation Managers
  • Project Managers
  • HR Managers
  • Strategy Managers
  • Heads of Shared Services

This Forum is also open to the wider Public Sector and private sector organisations to encourage networking and facilitate the sharing of best practice.

Key Speakers Confirmed:


Kate Guthrie, Smart Working Lead, Cabinet Office

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Martin Sellar, Smarter Working Programme Director, Government Property Agency (GPA)

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Victoria Nowell, Smart Working Manager, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

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Andy Lake, Author, The Way We Work – A Guide to Smart Working in Government and PAS 3000: Code of Practice for Smart Working

View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Philip Flaxton, Chief Executive, Work Wise UK (invited)

Part 1 – Government Update

Cabinet Office & Government Property Agency


Morning Keynote: Effectively Implementing Smart Working Policy Across Central Government Departments

  • Examining the journey of embedding Smarter Working as government policy and the impact that the PAS3000 Smart Working Code of Practice has had on transforming working standards
  • Outlining how the Cabinet Office collaborates with other departmental Smarter Working Teams and the GPA, including establishing a network of experts and Smarter Working toolkits to enable successful adoption of Smarter Working
  • Sharing examples of best practice innovations implemented across departments to deliver ‘positive people experiences’, such as physical and online hub-working and office facilities focused on activities instead of individuals
  • Highlighting the next steps for the Cabinet Office to ensure innovative technology and working practices are being embedded and raising working standards for everyone across all government departments

Kate Guthrie, Smart Working Lead, Cabinet Office (CONFIRMED)

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Special Keynote: Delivering Transformative Change Through Property and Hub Optimisation

  • Outlining how the GPA plan to implement their on-board strategy for all government departments by 2021, including managing over 1,000 properties and hubs, as outlined in the GPA Business Plan 2018-19
  • Developing government hubs to boost working standards and knowledge sharing, such as establishing a Mini-Hub in Cambridge which accommodates 1,200 civil servants from 14 different departments
  • Highlighting the lessons learnt during major relocating projects such as South Colonnade and Ruskin Square, which delivered 67,000 m2 of Hub office space, housed 8,500 civil servants and generated an estimated £250m of lifetime savings
  • Reflecting on the progress of the GPA towards achieving 70% of departments and other agencies complying with the Smart Code Working Code by 2020 and 100% by 2022, as set out in the Government Estate Strategy 2018

Martin Sellar, Smarter Working Programme Director, Government Property Agency (CONFIRMED)

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Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking

Part 2 – Embedding Smarter & Flexible Working Initiatives


Special Keynote: Supporting Local Authorities to Improve and Implement Smarter Working Practices

  • Discussing how councils can utilise digital tools and technologies to deliver better target services as well as enable greater self-service
  • Highlighting examples of local councils effectively transforming their smarter working methods and the support offered by the LGA, as outlined in the LGA’s Transforming Local Public Services report
  • Outlining the key challenges and opportunities currently faced by councils when implementing smart working practices, including reducing costs and improving employee satisfaction

Naomi Cooke, Head of Workforce, Local Government Association (CONFIRMED)

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Case Study: Establishing a Robust ‘Smarter Working’ Approach to Improving Working Standards in Local Council

  • Outlining how the council started its smarter working journey by embedding their Organisational Development team into the transformation process, engaging with employees and visiting other organisations to review best practice around flexible, agile and mobile working
  • Examining the success of behavior change theory and consistent communication as a process to achieve staff buy in and ensure colleagues understand why we needed to work differently
  • Highlighting the key challenges faced throughout the transformation process and how to overcome them, including dependence on printing and paper processes, manager trust levels and preference for physical presence in the office
  • Analysing the success of equipping the workforce and the offices with the mobile technology, including 
  • employee satisfaction increase by 10.9%, employee work life balance increase by 21% and £1.2 million saving in property running costs over the first 3 years

Pamela Moffat, Senior Organisational Development Business Partner, Staffordshire County Council (CONFIRMED)

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Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking

Part 3 – Ethos & Culture of Smarter Working


Afternoon Keynote: Successfully Embedding Smarter Working Practices into the Ethos of a Government Department

  • Demonstrating how DCMS has embedded Smart Working Principles into their staff’s daily practices, including the process of successfully balancing employees’ freedom to choose with the responsibility to meet business needs
  • Outlining the process of establishing a training programme to train a team of 24 change-makers and guides, to assist with the adoption of smart working tools and business practices across the department
  • Highlighting how technology infrastructure changes, such as 100% of staff working from a laptop and 60% using mobile devices/phones, have enabled managers to access performance on results rather than attendance
  • Examining how smarter and mobile working practices have impacted recruitment, including the process of recruitment as well as retention rates

Victoria Nowell, Smart Working Manager, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (CONFIRMED)

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Special Keynote: Effectively Establishing a Culture of Smart Working Across the Public Sector

  • Examining how employers can effectively implement a lasting cultural change within the workplace and successfully embed smart working practices into their organisation
  • Outlining the importance of embedding cultural change into the heart of smarter working initiatives, as well as sharing best practice advice on how to achieve this by increasing staff awareness
  • Understanding the importance of effective HR and legal practices when implementing smart working, including the impact transforming internal working has on HR and legal teams
  • Analysing the Smart Working: Code of Practice three years on since its introduction, including how public sector organisations can tailor it to their needs and maximise the impact

Andy Lake, Author, The Way We Work – A Guide to Smart Working in Government and PAS 3000: Code of Practice for Smart Working (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Developing a Robust ‘People Focused’ Strategy to Improve Working Outcomes

  • Outlining the process of establishing a cross-departmental ‘People Strategy’, which focuses on building a resilient organisation, leading and managing change and developing staff skills and capabilities
  • Examining FSA’s journey on establishing and rolling out their change management tool ‘Fit for Change’, including sharing feedback from managers and staff on the impact of the tool
  • Sharing guidance and lessons learnt around managing staff performance remotely one year on since its transformation, including the lessons learnt and challenges faced so far
  • Discussing the possible next steps for the FSA in continuing to transform and improve their working environment to ensure a high-quality service is provided

Adrienne Gault, Head of People Transformation and Org Change and Elaine Donaghy, Business Change Manager, Food Standards Agency (CONFIRMED)

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Case Study: Successfully Establishing an Award-Winning Flexible Working Initiative

  • Outlining the process of creating and embedding a flexible working programme across a central government department, as part of a wider estate strategy, including opening 52 commuter hubs across the country to help staff work effectively from outside their core
  • Sharing guidance on establishing a network of over 120 Smart Working champions to drive behavioural change and challenge colleagues to adopt new flexible practices across the public sector
  • Examining how flexible working contributed £14m net savings a year for the MoJ by optimising prime office space
  • Highlighting the impact of the flexible initiative and embedding a ‘what’ work is done, rather than a ‘where’ work is done approach, such as 80% of staff supporting the new programme

Winner of Working Families Best Flexible Working Initiative Award 2018 Paul Cox, Deputy Programme Manager – The Way We Work Team, Ministry of Justice (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

  According to a 2018 survey by Timewise UK, 70% of employees wanted management to support work-life balance, while 60% wanted a range of flexible working options to be offered by their employer. Furthermore, 73% wanted a workplace culture where people are judged on the work they produce rather than the hours they put in. In addition, a 2017 YouGov survey of British businesses and employees found 89% considered flexible working to be a key motivator for their productivity.

To support the transition to smarting working across central government, the Cabinet Office launched their Shared Services Strategy in January 2018. The strategy aimed at improving the level of integration across the civil service to save public money while also improving services, introducing measures such as the promotion of automation in back office processes and cloud-based technology. Additionally, in April 2018 the government established the Government Property Agency (GPA), to deliver property and workplace solutions across government and transformation throughout the civil service. The GPA set ambitious targets in their Government Estate Strategy 2018, expecting 70% of government departments and other agencies to comply with the Smart Code Working Code of Practice of the British Standards Institute by 2020, followed by a target of 100% compliance by 2022. In addition, a November 2018 Public Value Review by Sir Michael Barber stated that civil service productivity needed to be more open to “disruptive innovation” alongside the creation of a new “public value framework” to benchmark the effectiveness of their spending.

As pressure continues to grow throughout the public sector, as well as growing expectations from both government and employees, it is vital that all public sector organisations transform and expand their Smarter Working practices. Organisations from across the public sector, including local and central government, must come together to share best practice examples on modernising services through innovative technology, flexible working hubs and data-driven working initiatives to improve services and deliver better value for money.

Pamela Moffat, Senior OD Specialist , Staffordshire County Council

An Organisational Development leader of over 20 years, Pamela has spent much of her career working with large, complex organisations facing whole scale change.  She has spent the last 10 years working on cultural change and development programmes mostly relating to the Digital and Smart Working agendas from which she has grown her knowledge and expertise. From shaping strategy to delivery Pamela has played a leading role in Staffordshire County Council’s Smart Working approach over the last 4 years which is beginning to demonstrate real business impact and behavioural change.

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