When we talk about flexible working, we usually assume that you’ll be the one working out of the office. We talk about the devices and services you’ll use when you’re working from home or from a train or from the field and how they’ll help you be as productive as possible wherever you are. But at Civil Service Live 2014 we’ll show you how flexible working is more than a tool or a service; it’s an attitude. What’s more, it’s an attitude that can help you get more done even when you’re in the office.

In earlier posts, we’ve talked about how you could work flexibly from the home and from the train. We talked about how you could work flexibly if you lost access a critical device. But now you’re in the office. You and your beloved Surface Pro 3 are reunited. And it’s meeting time.

Just because you’re now the one in the office and leading the meeting, that’s no reason to dispense with your flexible working attitude.

When you walk into a conference room today, you need to think about engaging the other people in the room – but also the people who attending the meeting remotely. Technology can help erase the boundaries between the office and other environments. You can connect your Surface Pro 3 directly to your conference room’s A/V system, since it’s got a USB port, unlike most tablets. You can then connect to a virtual meeting via Lync and share your presentation with people in the field.

One of the most common barriers to engaging with a meeting remotely is the difficulty in asking questions. Without a presence in the room, you can’t raise your hand or catch the speaker’s eye. But with Lync, voice communications, instant messaging and file sharing are all part of the same platform – so people attending the meeting remotely can ask questions via Lync and the speaker can respond to them at the appropriate moment.

Are key players missing from the meeting? Are you going to need to refer back to this conversation later? You can even record the meeting in Lync and then save it to OneDrive, making it easy to keep the entire team on the same page.  

The meeting is a success and you’re feeling good – but before you can call it a day, you’ll need to make a little field visit. Can you be every bit as productive from the field as you are in 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.