General Article What's in a name?

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That the world of work is changing is undeniable. But how should we refer to the new and flexible working practices that are evolving?

There are many words and phrases used to describe the changes: Flexible Working, New Ways of Working, Agile Working and Smart Working are the most commonly used phrases. For aspects of the new ways that use technology to work beyond the workplace there are words and phrases like Telework, Telecommuting, eWork, Location Independent Working, Workshifting and several others besides.

And sometimes flexible working is presented as being synonymous with ‘Family Friendly Working’ to emphasise the role of these new ways in assisting work–life balance. Often these are linked with options like maternity and paternity leave. This is quite a dominant mode of thought in some of the HR literature, academic research and some government policy areas, but it is really too narrow and lacks sufficient business focus to be widely accept

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