Essex County Council teams up with Microsoft for Anywhere Working Week

Essex County Council is joining forces with Microsoft to support Anywhere Working Week with the creation of a free flexible working space in Anglia Ruskin University on 21 March 2013. The initiative is part of a nation-wide campaign to encourage businesses to review the way people work and to promote the benefits of flexible work-styles.

The Chelmsford event is one of a number of events taking place across the country during the week of 18 March and will involve the creation of a flexible working space for local business people to use and visit. Visitors will have the opportunity to network with fellow or aspiring flexible workers, while the site will also play host to Anywhere Working workshops. There will be sessions with thought leaders on the future of work as well as an opportunity to hear practical advice on how to work flexibly and get to grips with the latest Anywhere Working technology and tools from Microsoft, Regus, Vodafone, UnWork, Intel Nokia, TfL and DfT.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said, “It is great that Essex has been selected to host one of these events. I am always keen to support local businesses any way we can and this event could be a great chance for Essex businesses to network and also find out how to support their employees in enabling a more flexible working environment.”

The event in Chelmsford is one of several taking place around the UK as part of Anywhere Working Week. The initiative is being led by the Anywhere Working Consortium, an association founded by, Microsoft, Regus, Vodafone, UnWork, Intel, Nokia, TfL and DfT two years ago to promote the benefits of flexible working.

“Together with our consortium partners including the Department for Transport, Nokia and Intel, Microsoft has long been a proponent of flexible working,” said Steve Tassell, Anywhere Working Lead at Microsoft. “When it comes to productivity, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for UK businesses. While some may enjoy the office environment, others find they are more productive unshackled from their desks. There’s then a growing number of us who travel extensively to meet with customers partners and need access to information from multiple locations.

“As a result, the way we work is changing. The days of punch-the-clock, 9-5 working are gone. Today’s businesses are dependent on information flows and not on the physical location of an office. With the right technology, connectivity and third space, workers are able stay productive anywhere they decide to work. Governments, policy makers and forward-looking organisations need to explore different ways for staff to be productive, using their imaginations to come up with new views of the future of work so staff are happier, more productive and more creative,” said Naomi Green from the DfT.

In addition to Chelmsford, Anywhere Working events are also taking place in Bristol, Tavistock, Norwich and London.

The aim of the Anywhere Working Consortium is to educate, promote and encourage participation in new flexible working practices. Founded by Microsoft and supported by organisations like, Intel, Nokia, Vodafone, TfL and DfT, the Anywhere Working Consortium’s objectives include helping companies to increase productivity, improve quality of life, reduce impact on the environment and achieve cost savings.

All Consortium members contribute learning’s and offerings that demonstrate the productivity benefits, cost, time and environmental savings of working flexibly. Microsoft understands that technology alone will not change behavior, but unified communications tools, collaboration suites, productivity tools and cloud services offer a way for the vision of flexible working to be realised.

Supporters and partners include WWF, Intel, Regus, Vodafone, WorkingMums, TfL, Nokia and Microsoft. Follow Anywhere Working on Twitter

For further information about Anywhere Working Week or the Anywhere Working Consortium, please visit www.anywhereworking.org and follow Anywhere Working on Twitter.