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Smart work is already here – US companies are pioneering a flexible and efficient future of work

23 Oct 2017
Employment & Social Affairs

The way we work is changing as everything goes digital. 

To facilitate more flexibility and efficiency for their employees, many companies have turned to smart work initiatives.

'Smart working' refers to measures which improve efficiency at work and promote professional flexibility. These initiatives can include the reorganisation of workspaces to encourage socialising, the use of advanced technologies for remote collaboration and training for current, as well as future employees, to meet a company’s needs.

US business is at the forefront of implementing smart work initiatives, with several of AmCham EU member companies spearheading programmes in the US and Europe.  On 17 October, Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU delivered remarks at a smart working conference in the European Parliament, where she highlighted the importance of smart working measures for US businesses in Europe.

 

Many US companies are pioneering smart working measures in their businesses

 The HP Foundation developed an online tool that gives users access to free courses on basic business and IT skills. So far, it has over 600,000 registrations worldwide. A similar programme from CISCO provides free courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to over 130,000 students in Poland. These companies are providing vital skills and are preparing workers for the demands of the modern workplace.

Another example of smart work is the digital career coach that one US data-processing company has developed. It helps employees identify their next job opportunities, develop personal goals and learn on the job.

US companies are taking advantage of smart work and help prepare current and future generations of workers for a digital world. Put differently, smart work should be synonymous to a smarter workforce.

Policy measures need to encourage smart work

To make the best of smart working, policy actions will need to provide certainty and predictability. Companies will need a regulatory framework that allows for flexibility and innovation while avoiding any unforeseen regulatory hurdles. In order to make the most of smart work, a constructive, open-minded dialogue between policy-makers, industry and employees will be crucial.