Benchmarking and Quality Marks for Remote working

Benchmarking and measuring quality are standard practices these days in both the business and non-business world.

For goods we have the Kitemark symbol indicating they’ve been tested against safety and performance criteria. The Kitemark has been around since the early 1900s and is owned and operated by the British Standards Institution (BSI).

For organisations we have ‘business improvement tools’ like Investors in People marketed as a way to “transform your organisation’s performance by targeting your chosen business priorities“. One of the big aims of the indicator was that the organisations carrying it would in turn be the sorts of places people would want to work in.

The government runs QA schemes for all sorts of things including the Quality Assurance Scheme for Carbon Offsetting (QAS) and the recent quality mark for pensions.

I’m no expert but it’s clear that measuring quality is a cottage industry that can only continue to grow.

And as for benchmarking, well we are inundated with league tables for everything under the sun, from schools and MP expenses to fridge freezers and wireless providers.

So what about remote working?

Currently the main standard out there is the Work Wise standard, a standard for the adoption and deployment of smarter and more flexible working practices, launched back in 2007.

Organisations wishing to gain the standard will be assessed according to criteria that benchmark their adoption of flexible working practices. Awards against the Work Wise standard will be based on the amount of flexibility for the workforce, the levels of self-determination that employees have and operational benefits derived by the organisation.

A detailed overview is provided in pdf format.

As for benchmarking, well there was the Remote Worker awards I attended which judged organisations alongside individuals. Details of the 2010 awards are now on the Remote Employment site. However there doesn’t seem to be any tables of who employs the most remote/home workers and how organisations compare on the flexible working front.
Most of my data is gleaned from the UK National Statistics office. Not a particularly fun task!

So is there something out there I’ve missed?

I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who can offer me any more in this area.


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