There’s going to be a lot of talk at Civil Service Live 2014 about flexible working. But what does that term really mean? Too often the phrase is just a dressed-up way of talking about working from home. And working at home is definitely a part of the picture. But it’s not the whole story.

Flexible working is about being able to work with agility, being able to be productive at anytime, anywhere, on any device. And we really do mean anywhere – even in transit.

In our last post, we talked about how civil servants could make their commutes shorter and easier by staggering their workday and starting from home. But the changes don’t stop there. If you take a later train, it’s easier to find a seat and get a little work done on the go.

We all know that train time is great for reading – there’s something about the click-clack of the rails, combined with the desire to avoid awkward eye contact with strangers. Lots of people read books or newspaper or Tweet on their phones. But there’s no reason you couldn’t catch up on a little work reading too. All you need is a Windows 8 tablet (or maybe a Surface Pro 3, for example) and a nifty little app called Draword PDF. With Drawboard it’s easy to review reports and memos. You can make notes and even fill in forms using a stylus. Suddenly time you would have wasted checking Facebook or watching cows whiz by is now time you can spend getting stuff done. Now that’s being flexible.

By the time you get to the office, you’ve already had a meeting and done all your prep work for the day. Your commute was shorter and easier and you’re still picking up steam.

Can you keep working flexibly while you’re at the office? You bet – but that’ll have to wait for another post.The Microsoft Smarter Working Experience will be ready to welcome you at Civil Service Live London on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th July at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre.

Along with SMART Technologies and furniture provider Flexiformwe look forward to showing you how the modern civil servant gets more done wherever they are. You’ll be able to take a mini tour of a ‘day in the life’ of the modern civil servant. This 20-minute tour is a fun way to learn how civil servants can get more done by working where they’re most productive. See you there!

Learn more about the event and e-mail ukps@microsoft.com if you’d like to arrange a meeting.