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EU Project

KA220-VET - Cooperation Partnerships in Vocational Education and Training

Project: Work Smart-Hybrid Working (WorkSmart)

AGREEMENT NUMBER – 2022-1-IE01-KA220-VET-000085332

​Start date: 31-12-2021 - End date: 30-06-2024

Following the impact of the COVID pandemic working from home, or hybrid working, will become "the norm" for many companies in Europe says global workspace provider International Workplace Group (IWG). 

Staff spending part of the week working from home is becoming normal for some firms, according to data. A survey (2021) by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that 84% of managers said their companies had adopted some form of hybrid working around 2/3 of which had been prompted by the pandemic. The CMI encouraged firms to embrace hybrid working as ‘best practice’ with Chief Executive Ann Francke saying companies will need to ‘blend’ their approach.  

Given this situation workplaces need to iron out issues with their remote working capability e.g., IT systems, as accessing these systems from home can be a serious challenge – not least because of the network pressures and outages reported by some internet and mobile network providers during the early weeks of nationwide remote working.

With many employees owning smartphones or tablets for personal use rather than laptops or desktop computers, the switch to remote working where company-provided IT was not available has left some employees unable to work. Due to a surge in demand for laptops, one major insurance company eventually had to let staff take their desktop PCs home with them.

Technology, which is vitally important, is a major stressor for people if technology fails. Some of these systems staff will be using for the first time, so it’s really important where you’re having large-scale shifts to homeworking that IT departments really make sure that people have the tools they need to do the job. Can they print at home, for example? A lot of people don’t have a printer.

Employers need to undertake a 'technology audit' of those staff that have been designated as working from home and provide the necessary training and support to ensure staff become competent using new technologies.

Having little control over what condition employees’ personal IT equipment is in could also present cyber security risks for businesses. Ben Griffin, director at cyber security firm Computer Disposals, says employers need reliable tools to keep workers’ productive and company data safe.

“First, you’ll need to assess your technology infrastructure. Are things like bandwidth and storage capacity at levels that can handle regular remote operations?” he says. “Security is crucial too. VPNs can be used to establish secure connections and communications between remote employees and the company’s IT computer network, while multi-factor authentication strengthens the stronghold you have over your remote security.”

Remote working policies need to be defined and procedures put in place to ensure smooth operations if technical difficulties arise.

These technology issues make it vital that both staff and Managers need appropriate training and support to make working from home technologically effective and efficient.


The 4Civility Institute (Ireland) - PROMOTER
Greek Exporters Association (SEVE) (Greece)

EOLAS (Spain)

In order to address the identified needs the project comprised 3 Outputs.

  1. Hybrid Working - Manager Handbook.

  2. Staff Training Programme (for those employees working from home).

  3. Working from Home - Support Platform that brings together all project outputs.


This project developed support materials in the following 2 important areas:

1.    Work – how and where we do our jobs.
2.    Home – how and where we live.

A general Manager Handbook and Staff Training Programme has been developed. The Handbook will support Managers and details the steps they need to take to protect their business as they allow their workforce to work from home e.g., be careful when opening emails, think carefully when using social media etc.

The Manager Handbook and staff online Training Programme are intended to inform and educate the new ‘work from home workforce’….. What to do and what not to do …  including:

  • training on the ‘safe use’ of IT (digital hygiene, identifying viruses, scammers etc)

  • working with customers over video conferencing

  • links to ‘external support’ resources

  • how to identify, and support, staff mental health issues that working remotely can cause e.g., FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

  • Zoom fatigue: remote working brings new wellbeing challenges.

  • Employee trust and empowerment will drive new ways of working - Office hierarchies have been transformed by the pandemic, as decision making have become delegated, and everyone began working flexibly and remotely.

  • Online workplace bullying.


A series of Self-Assessments Tools has also been developed and includes such things as, ‘assessing active listening skills’.


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