What is smartworking?
You may never have heard of smartworking, but the chances are you’ve done it yourself at one time or another. You might even be doing it right now. Smartworking is simply the act of working on multiple devices, from multiple locations.
You might check your emails on your smartphone at home, compile a to-do list on your tablet on the train to work, then boot up your PC to get started once you arrive at the office. This is smartworking – and it’s on the rise.
In our global report on Work Trends due to be released in October, smartworking was found to be an increasingly popular way of working among start-ups. People starting out in a new business venture, entrepreneurs and freelancers are more open to smartworking as is gives them the flexibility and freedom to work wherever, whenever. They might not yet have their own allocated office, so co-working spaces, coffee shops and their own living room become their place of work.
Commuters are also more open to the idea of smartworking. They could transform their 45 minute commute to the office into 45 minutes of productive work, rather than staring idly out of the window or reading the latest crime thriller. Working from home, or closer to home, is also an attractive option.
While there are of course some professions where smartworking isn’t a possibility – in practical crafts or labouring for example - jobseekers consider positions in the arts, creative industries, IT, HR, legal and admin roles are well suited for it.
For many the concept may seem alien, but to the younger generation entering the world of work, smartworking comes naturally. This is the generation who have grown up with smartphones and tablets, so using multiple devices is nothing new.
But will the idea catch on with employers? Will bosses be willing to remunerate their staff for work completed outside office hours, and how will they effectively keep track of time? Jobseekers are more interested in the possibility of smartworking than recruiters are in offering it as an option.
Recruiters don’t think that most companies are ready to make the change. While senior management might be granted the indulgence of working from home once in a blue moon, most offices require their staff to be in work and on time in order to pay them a salary. Creative industries like marketing, sales and communications are where recruiters see smartworking catching on, as these are the industries most suited to a flexible working life.