Civil Service Live 2014: Exploring a day of smarter working -- Phase 1: It all begins at home

Change will be a constant theme at Civil Service Live 2014. How do you cope with a changing workplace? You cope by being flexible, by being able work with agility, being able to work and be productive at anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Sure, that sounds good. But what does that actually look like? If you want get a practical demonstration of flexible working in action, Microsoft will be exploring a day in the life of the modern civil servant at Civil Service Live, London, along with SMART Technologies and furniture provider Flexiform .

Let’s start the story at the beginning, with your trip to the office. If you could change your commute, what would it look like?

Your office might be just a few miles from your house, but in rush-hour traffic it can feel half a world away. The drive isn’t just long; it’s tense. By the time you get the office, you’re already drained.

The drive takes ages, so you try taking the train. But then you’ve got to battle the early-morning train crowds. You’d love to get a little work done, but forget about finding a seat on an 8 a.m. train. You spend the entire ride packed like livestock, listening to loud phone conversations and trying to avoid awkward eye contact with your fellow passengers. Typical.

There is a way out of all that madness. But it doesn’t involve a secret short cut or a helicopter or leaving the house at 5:00 a.m. in a desperate attempt to circumvent the entire nightmare. The answer to being more productive in the morning is, paradoxically, to leave the house later.

Now, before you switch off thinking that your boss would never approve you starting at 11:00 – remember that leaving the house later doesn’t have to mean starting work later. With the right tools at your disposal you can start on time, get more done and waste less time commuting.

Imagine this: You wake up, have a shower and eat a little something -- all the usual stuff. But instead of leaving for the office in the wee hours, you open up a Surface Pro 3 around 9:00 and begin the day working from home. You use the quiet time to read up on the latest news using Bing and then you use OneNote to review your notes from the day before.

Once you’re all up to speed, you use Lync to dial into the first meeting of the day. You can share documents with the other people in the meeting, present slides and note action items for later, just like you always do. Then around 10:00, after the traffic has evaporated and the trains have decongested, you can step out the door with energy and purpose.

Of course, you’ll still have to actually get to the office. Is there a better way to put that time to use? You bet there is – but that’ll have to wait for another post.

Want to learn more? Visit the Microsoft stand at Civil Service Live London on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th July at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. You’ll be able to take a mini tour of a ‘day in the life’ of the modern civil servant. This 20-minute tour is a fun way to learn how civil servants can get more done by working where they’re most productive.

 Learn more about the event and e-mail if you’d like to arrange a meeting.