Enabling Tools work stream

The Enabling Tools work stream sought to harness our existing IT initiatives and discover new technology solutions which would support different ways of working into the future. 

Work stream outputs

Significant improvements have been made to the quality and access to mobile solutions across the University with improvement to services such as the VPN, the ExeNet project to improve network and wireless connections and the rollout of Microsoft O365.

The staff portal which will enable staff to access and share information more effectively is due to launch in the Autumn 2015 and will hopefully become a key tool in delivering an mobile and integrated working environment with less virtual boundaries between teams.

The Enabling Tools work stream has achieved significant improvements in the awareness and take-up of the use of virtual communication tools such as Microsoft Lync (now Skype for Business) which are a key part in developing a flexible, modern workforce. A video was made to increase awareness of Microsoft Lync, using a case study of the SID team.

A trial of the use of Microsoft Lync at the Medical School led to staff members saving an average of 1 hour and 23 minutes per person per day (it must be noted this was a highly mobile project team and not full cross section of workstyles). Staff reported how it made it easier to arrange meetings, share documents, improve attendance and reduce administration. Since the trial, Lync has become more embedded within the Medical School, with dedicated stations supported by the Future Workplaces team set up to ensure that everyone is able to conduct and attend meetings with this technology as required.

The interviews and research conducted as part of the Future Workplaces project confirmed a large amount of informal flexible working is already enabled by our existing technology base but is not always applied and embedded to the same degree. Read more about the research.