February 26th 2019


7th January 2019
' Nominations Open '
30th January 2019
' Nominations Close '
12th February 2019
' Shortlist Announced '
26th February 2019
' Awards Ceremony '


Corporate leadership

The Nominees

Project and Programme Delivery (PPD)

In July 2018, Project and Programme Delivery (PPD) volunteered to pilot a challenging Smarter Working target of a 7:10 desk ratio, proving that this could be achieved at pace, with no loss of productivity.

PPD’s Senior Managers lead the way as Smart Working champions, using various communication channels to embed new ways of working, protocols and behaviours within their teams.


Previously, North Lincolnshire Council worked within discrete areas; space was allocated to teams or according to management structure. Typically, business as usual was coming in to work at a desk, attending meetings in designated rooms and going home at the end of the working day.


In 2017, DIO began a keen push to reduce the size of the estate and better collaborate with our customers. The Executive Committee recognised Smarter Working as a key enabler to DIO’s wider strategic programmes.  There has been a complete shift in the way leaders work within DIO as they actively adopt Smarter Working behaviours themselves. Individual offices have been removed and turned into meeting rooms and you're now more likely to see a member of the Executive Committee working at a breakout space than in a private office.


The Nominees

Multi-site estates refresh programme

DHSC has undertaken a significant programme of estates refresh over the past year. Moving to a new London headquarters at 39 Victoria Street and commencing a full refurbishment at Quarry House Leeds, all aiming to achieve space efficiency of 8sqm per full time equivalent (FTE). The estates programme involved a significant upgrade of the building facilities but was recognised as an opportunity for transformational workplace change and they took a completely fresh view of their workplace.

Our Future Workplace programme

DCMS’ workspace had reached a tipping point.  The fastest growth in the department’s history had led to a chronic lack of space, in a heritage building that’s not easily adapted.  Real issues with morale and productivity began to surface.

It wasn’t possible to expand the floorspace so the Our Future Workplace team - comprising only five people and led by the HR Director - used innovative smart working design, ground-breaking staff engagement and a dizzying whole-department reorganisation to find solutions.  

Office relocation programme

Ofgem had been gradually moving towards a more collaborative working regime, but progress was hampered by its existing workspace, budget and an attachment to 'old' ways of working. They identified an opportunity to move their HQ and embarked on an ambitious programme to embed smarter ways of working.


The Nominees

Smarter Working Programme

Since 2016, the Department for Education (DfE) has grown from approx. 3,000 staff to over 6,000, working across thirteen sites. In this challenging environment, it was essential that new technology was provided and successfully adopted by users.
New mobile technology was rolled out to all staff, and a broad range of training formats were offered to ensure that collaborative software was adopted, empowering staff to work more flexibly.

Common IT Programme

GCHQ faces many of the same challenges as other organisations, needing their workforce to keep up to date with skills, using technology to deliver their mission, whilst collaborating and communicating with each other. They also face additional constraints in terms of legal and policy compliance, and security, while delivering their critical goal to keep Britain safe and secure. 

Open Services programme

In 2016, the Department for Health and Social Care faced ongoing resourcing challenges, with an urgent need to reduce costs and headcount, rationalise its estate and improve its IT infrastructure. At the same time, the Department knew that smarter working was essential to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation and that staff needed to maintain productive relationships, collaborate and ensure effective decision-making.

Culture and people

The Nominees

Modern Council Programme - North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC)

NYCC faces the challenge of providing services across 3,000 square miles of North Yorkshire with a workforce of 7,000 individuals. To get the best out of such dispersed teams, NYCC’s Modern Council initiative involves cultural change at a management, team and individual level. By asking staff to consider ‘What does it mean for me?’, individuals are given ownership of cultural transformation. Team working sessions involve HR Business Partners and networks to further develop teams, and staff are continuously engaged through a range of initiatives such as a ‘Bright Ideas’ scheme.

Merthyr Tydfil Pilot

To test the appetite for Smarter Working in Welsh Government, a flexible working pilot was run in the Merthyr Tydfil office. Intensive staff engagement took place ahead of the pilot period, including the launch of a new multifunctional Business Lounge timed to coincide with the office’s 10th Anniversary celebrations.  HR and TUS colleagues created new, shorter and simplified HR policies, the most significant change being the removal of core hours. Senior leaders engaged directly with teams and individuals, creating an inclusive culture which values the input of all staff.

The OWOW project

The aim of the OWOW programme is ultimately about improving staff experience, modernising ways of working, increasing digital capability and enabling staff to grow and develop while working at the FSA.

Smarter Working Together

The Nominees

Modern Council Programme

With over 7000 staff dispersed across 3000 square miles, engaging staff while delivering savings and driving performance is no small feat.

North Yorkshire County Council has used external tools, including University research programmes and Andy Lake’s ‘Smarter Working Maturity Model’ to develop a toolkit approach for their Modern Council initiative.

Commitment to Smarter Working has released benefits for service users, allowing the Modern Council to reinvest its financial savings into frontline services.

MoJ Smarter Working programme

An early adopter of smarter working, MoJ has shaped its implementation across government. This has been particularly noticeable during 2017 and 2018 and through their active participation in the Smart Working Delivery Board, Programme Board and Practitioner Group. MoJ’s involvement has made a significant contribution to smarter working principles, policy and practice across Government and further afield.


GCHQs active involvement in smarter working across the Civil Service during 2017 and 2018 was being delivered through a combination of bringing the outside in, inside out through greater sharing and transparency and increased collaboration.

Judges Awards