Public sector management and workforces are working more flexibly than the private sector, both in terms of setting work policies and the communications tools they use, according to a poll of 1,000 workers.
The study of 1,000 workers in the public and private sector across Britain was commissioned by Siemens Enterprise Communications. It suggests public sector is already establishing a top-to-bottom culture of versatile working and improving and maintaining services, more effectively than many private companies, to cope with economic austerity but also to deal with events, like the Olympics, that could disrupt the UK workplace.
The research reveals the public sector is showing signs of adopting more sophisticated ways to collaborate and make efficiencies than the private sector.
Public sector staff are adapting to changing workforce needs and using workplace tools, like unified communications that incorporate staff availability systems.
In contrast, 60% of private sector counterparts do not use communications tools that allow staff to determine a colleague’s contactability. This indicates that local government and other public bodies are formalising systems that boost operational efficiency and cut wasted telephone calls and duplicated processes and efforts.
Siemens Enterprise Communications research found 65% of public sector organisations have agreed flexible working policies with their staff helping create an agile workforce leading to greater employee productivity and making optimum use of office space with hot desking or sharing of resources by departments.
And public organisations have successfully factored in ways of minimising the impact of the Olympic events around the country, for example the football in Manchester or the gymnastics, athletics and boxing in London, on commuting and working hours than private firms. Nearly a quarter of public firms have dedicated Olympic policies while 50% of private firms have not issued any flexible working policies or guidelines.
Alan Kirkham, service director, ICT and procurement at Wakefield Council, said: “In the public sector we are facing tough efficiency targets and we are looking for solutions that support an agile workforce.
“Siemens Enterprise Communications is working with Wakefield Council to support our flexible working policies and aspirations by providing us with modern business solutions including telephony mobility for hot-desk environments and unified communication. These solutions improve communications and underpin productivity, helping us to maintain