Business and Economy

Campaign encourages businesses to work more flexibly

Working on a laptop

Posted on: 11 March 2013

An event, to encourage businesses to think about the way they work and to promote the benefits of flexible working, is to be held in Tavistock on Wednesday 20 March.

Organised by Devon County Council and the Tavistock Enterprise Hub in partnership with Microsoft, the event supports a national campaign, including ‘Anywhere Working Week’ , (Monday 18 to Friday 22 March).

Tavistock’s Enterprise Hub opened this month, and is one of a network of hubs set up to provide flexible work spaces for home-based and mobile workers, business start-ups, freelancers and entrepreneurs. It gives users access to facilities including WiFi, and to schemes that can help their business.

Visitors to the event (on Wednesday 20 March) can join workshops and hear the latest from leading thinkers on the future of work, as well as receive practical advice on how to work flexibly.  They will also learn of the ‘Anywhere Working’ technology and tools designed by Microsoft, Regus, Vodaphone, UnWork, Intel Nokia, TfL and DfT.

The Tavistock event is one of a number that week in Bristol, Chelmsford, Norwich and London.

Devon County Council’s Leader, Cllr John Hart, said:

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Microsoft and the Tavistock Enterprise Hub to host one of the national Anywhere Working events.

“The Tavistock Enterprise Hub is part of our wider Devon Working Hub network, which plays an important role in supporting and strengthening Devon’s economy.

“This event will showcase just what Devon Work Hubs, including the Tavistock Enterprise Hub, have to offer; a professional working environment, great broadband and the opportunity to work with like-minded people.”

Councillor Debo Sellis, local member for Tavistock,

“This will be a very worthwhile event that will hopefully help employers and employees improve efficiency in the way they work.  It’s great that the Tavistock Enterprise Hub is hosting it.”

Adam Fleet, Managing Director at the Tavistock Enterprise Hub, said:

“With sustainable working at the heart of what we do at Tavistock Enterprise Hub we are excited to be working with Microsoft in hosting the Anywhere Working event for the region. 

“With such amazing talent tucked away in Tavistock this will be a great opportunity to celebrate the technology that enables working in a way which is friendly to the work/life balance as well as the environment. 

“This is a chance to bring those contemporary cottage industries into a vibrant village environment.”

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.

Steve Tassell, Anywhere Working Lead for Microsoft, said:

“Together with our consortium partners including the Department for Transport, Nokia and Intel, Microsoft has long been a proponent of flexible working.

“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.”

Naomi Green from the Department for Transport said:

“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,”

Click here to register to attend the event.

Further information about Anywhere Working Week or the Anywhere Working Consortium is available here

More about Devon Work Hubs is here, or follow us on Twitter @devonworkhubs

For more information about the Tavistock Enterprise Hub, click here

For information

About the Anywhere Working Consortium

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.

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