Underpinning just about every Smart, Flexible or Modern Working project that I’ve seen in the past few years has been an overriding business imperative: save rent.

This isn’t something that is a universal organisational need. Speaking with experts in the field, in much of the United States, for example, it’s far more common to find Smart, Flexible or Modern Working projects that are underpinned by an overriding business imperative to save travel costs.

Either way, these are laudable business aims. The challenge comes, though, when technology is seen as the answer (rather than the harder yet softer challenge of getting people to change behaviours). Technology is rarely the answer in isolation.

Successfully introducing new technology to reduce needs for physical (office) space depends on three key elements: getting the technology right, changing people’s working behaviours and getting managers to be effective managers when they don’t have everyone in the workplace all of the working day.

This isn’t something a CIO can do in isolation. Partnerships need to be formed with HR, L&D and Facilities, as well as with operational management, to have a chance of success.


I’ve recently launched Stamp London’s first physical product – a set of playing cards called CIO Priorities. You can find out more about them here, and order a set for yourself here (or simply download the PDF and print them out).

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