A human resources professional has taken the old saying of ‘Don’t work harder, work smarter’ to the next level, in a new venture to transform how organisations work.
Ruth Gawthorpe, leading a team of experts, has started The Smart Working Revolution which aims to boost businesses and the experience for their employees.
The Revolution will start turning at a free launch in the East Midlands later this month before being rolled out nationally.
Now living in Bramcote, Ruth was originally from Derby, where her career started with management training at Woolworths before becoming head of hr at the American Adventure theme park near Ilkeston. In 1993 she obtained her certificate from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development after studying at the University of Derby.
Ruth became head of hr for the calls centres nationwide of Nottingham-based warranty firm Domestic and General and held directorships until in 2012 she set up Change Directors, transforming businesses here and abroad through engaging and communicating with employees.
In 2013 she developed an injury that confined her to a wheelchair for a year, which led to her ‘lightbulb’ moment’.
“My experience drove me to realise that there are many people in this world who, for one reason or another, can’t do the traditional 9-5 commute to work five days a week,” she said.
“But they still have a variety of skills which can benefit organisations and which companies are looking for.”
She even went to India in her wheelchair to help set up a company’s new office. After ditching the wheelchair but still in difficulty she went to Krakow, Poland, and helped British companies.
Last year she began working as a director of people with Abodoo, a website matching flexible workers with organisations’ needs. Ruth realised the huge potential for businesses from changing how they structure the workforce and the way it operates.
“Flexible working does not just mean accommodating workers’ needs after parental leave,” she said. “It’s a whole range of possibilities such as working from home or localised hubs to scheduling staff hours. Work happens in brains not in offices.”
The Smart Working Revolution encompasses a range of proven methods for implementing new ways of working that Ruth has promoted for nearly 20 years.
It is a membership community that brings together organisations which have successfully used these principles to change how they work and get the best from employees.
“My experience, backed up by various reports, showed that production increased by 13 per cent when smart working is effectively deployed.”
The Revolution includes local and national networking, access to tried and tested templates, and companies can seek to gain a smart-working quality mark to attract workers.
Advantages of smart working are a wider talent pool, improved productivity, reduced overheads, and more satisfied employees which leads to better customer service.
The Revolution tour, sponsored by Abodoo, starts at the offices of Croner, a consultancy in employment law, hr, and health and safety in Hinkley on February 20.