Promoting Mental Wellbeing at Work

National Institute for Clinical Excellence

NICE have published, “Promoting mental wellbeing through productive and healthy working conditions: guidance for employers”.

 Guidance for those who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for, promoting mental wellbeing at work. This includes all employers and their representatives, irrespective of the size of the business or organisation and whether they are in the public, private, or voluntary sectors. It may also be of interest to professionals working in human resources or occupational health, employees, trade union representatives and members of the public.

 Interesting comments on flexible working and the role of line managers including, “Managers’ ability to manage teams with flexible working patterns may need to be developed.”

 Nomad is increasingly being asked about leadership and management techniques.  Managing a dispersed, 21st century mobile workforce certainly requires new skills.

 This may be an area Nomad should look to explore further in the future.  

 Access the report and slides here.


Mobile Office – The Connected Car

A concept car demonstrating the potential application of next generation mobile networks. Sophisticated touchscreen experiences that promise video and music on demand, gaming, ecommerce, a wifi hotspot, real-time GPS updates, real-time traffic and weather data, and road and vehicle monitoring.

Quite impressive but then again, given future congestion predictions, we’re probably going to need the car to be a [mobile] office more often!

Nomad News

I have been a board member of the Nomad mobile and flexible working forum since 2003 and have long recognised the importance and value of Nomad in terms of promoting innovation in local government and sharing best practice. I passionately believe that mobile and flexible working is going to be critical to the future of local public service delivery.

I’m very pleased to have brokered transitional arrangements with Cambridgeshire County Council to ensure that Nomad can continue. Under new arrangements I will assume the national lead for Nomad and I’m working on proposals to develop a revised and rejuvenated programme, supporting regional groupings including Nomad Scotland.

NomadI am particularly interested in exploring the opportunity to broaden the community to include all of the public sector.

I recently presented on local government experiences to the Department of Health and a Strategic Health Authority and was struck, for example, by the synergy and overlap between work just commencing in the NHS and our experiences in local government. The state of the public purse surely means we need to find ways of collaborating across the public sector and ‘Total Place’ may well prove to be the strategic catalyst we need here.

I also hope to take Nomad into new and emerging areas and to get closer to the leading edge of technological and social innovation.

We face challenging times and I genuinely believe that by working together we can find new and creative ways of delivering services in the future. Widespread adoption of new work styles is going to be critical to that.

The forthcoming swingeing cuts in public expenditure will mandate radical and creative thinking, including around options to deliver services across organisational and geographical boundaries. Changes of this nature will inevitably require remote access to different back offices, effective data sharing and the ability to work across these boundaries in a time efficient way. Mobile and flexible working and associated technology implementations are going to be fundamental here.

Across the wider public sector there is significant opportunity to implement new work styles. NHS community health services, for example, overlap with local authority social care services and present enormous opportunity to take a whole area approach to re-engineering service delivery. Even modest efficiency improvements in these areas could net £billions in savings and there is proven opportunity to implement mobile and flexible working solutions in these and other areas.

Nomad is well placed to support the public sector in implementing change. It seems essential that in striving to deliver efficiencies we avoid duplication of effort and take steps to ensure we share what we find works and, perhaps even more importantly, what we find doesn’t.

 I am in detailed discussions with potential partners and possible sponsors and have been working hard to put Nomad on a sustainable footing. I have also given some thought to a possible future low-cost subscription service as a means to support Nomad’s future.

I would be very interested to hear from others on how you would like to see Nomad progress. Share your views and enter a draw to win an iPod Touch by completing the short mobile working survey, designed with our friends at Public Sector Forums, accessible here.

Alternatively, post comments below or get in touch directly at Please let me know how you think Nomad can help support and develop 21st century public services.

The existing website at remains accessible pending replacement with a new community site, harnessing social web functionality to support a vibrant online community of Nomads.

Community Websites

Presentation on hyperlocal sites and public sector information in the UK;

Get online day to launch in Barnsley, the UK’s new digital capital!

The nation’s third Get online day will take place on Friday 23 October, and Barnsley is set to be at the centre of festivities across the country.

As part of the Totally Online Barnsley campaign (TOBy), the town is playing host to the official Get online day flagship event, split across two UK online centre venues – Royston Community Learning Centre in the morning, and Barnsley Central Library in the afternoon.

They’ll be leading the way for more than 700 other Get online day events taking place at UK online centres nation-wide.

The aim of the day is to encourage thousands of off-line people to be a part of IT, and take their first steps onto the internet. For those already online, Get online day is a chance to find out more about how the internet can save them time, hassle and money – and a chance to pass IT on to other people they think could benefit from online life.

Launching Get online day in Barnsley on 23 October is special guest and new Champion for Digital Inclusion Martha Lane Fox. She said: “In the UK one in every four people still don’t use computers and the internet. Unfortunately it’s the people facing the toughest times who could actually benefit the most from what technology has to offer – from saving money to finding information that could make their lives easier and cheaper. Get online day is a great way for off-line people to take the plunge and get started.

“Barnsley is a fantastic example of how communities can benefit from being online and I’m looking forward to meeting some of those people whose lives have been transformed by the internet.”

Also attending the day will be Barnsley Council Chief Executive Phil Coppard and Helen Milner, Managing Director of UK online centres, the organisation behind Get online day. Both are members of Martha’s expert Digital Inclusion Taskforce, supporting her work as champion.

Phil Coppard said: “It’s great to have Martha here in Barnsley, and to make the town the focus of national efforts to get everyone everywhere enjoying what new technologies have to offer. We’ve set ourselves the ambitious target of getting everyone in the borough online by the time of the 2012 Olympics. Get online day will help us in that, and will help us make Barnsley the digital capital of the UK. I encourage everyone to get involved, and make Friday 23 October a day to remember.”

Helen Milner concluded: “Last year, 12,000 people took part in Get online day. This year we want to reach even more people in even more places, and we want Barnsley to lead the way. If you’ve never touched a computer before, then Get online day could be just the excuse you need. You’ll get loads of support, and with our new gameshow-style taster you’ll get a flavour of what you could do on the internet, and what the internet could do for you. If you’re already into computers, please make Get online day the day you get someone else online! Bring them in, help them onto the internet, or even hold your own Get online day celebration at home.”

Government Goes Mobile 2009

Harnessing Mobile Technologies for Public Services and Mobile Working

24th November 2009, Milton Keynes

I’m chairing this event for Public Sector Forums where we will look at how mobile technology can deliver transformed services to citizens and more effective and efficient ways of working. Delegates will choose to attend one of  two conference tracks taking place on the day;

  • Track One: Public Sector Mobile Working Strategies
  • Track Two: Public Services for Mobile Citizens

Who Should Attend:

Public sector professionals interested or involved in planning, developing and/or implementing mobile working strategies or delivering applications and services via mobile.

Why You Should Attend This Conference:

  • Better understand issues relating to planning, developing and implementing mobile technologies, services and applications for customers and within your organisation
  • Learn about current and emerging trends and developments
  • Gain practical advice, insights and lessons learned from adopters of mobile working and mobile services
  • Engage in interactive discussion of your issues
  • Network and connect with peers facing similar issues

For more information see Public Sector Forums and if you can’t attend on the day you could follow highlights via Twitter (#PSFBUZZ).

Out of Office Message?


I am currently 5 feet or more away from my desk and as I have not noticed that it’s the 21st Century, I have no interest in keeping in touch with what is going on in the world.

Your message will be printed off by my PA and go to the bottom of a very large pile which will probably end up in the bin before I get round to reading it.”

(Thanks to John Popham,  reproduced here following related workplace discussions yesterday).