Workplace reform goes slow

The majority of civil servants – 61% – have not seen faster progress on reforms to create a modern workplace since this agenda was highlighted as a priority by the cabinet secretary last July, according to a survey carried out by CSW.

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By Suzannah.Brecknell

18 Feb 2014

The survey, run in partnership with business communications company Unify, asked respondents whether they’ve noticed “any added momentum behind the push for a modern workplace since July”.

Nearly half, 45%, said they had not noticed the agenda “moving up the priorities list” while a further 16% said progress “appears to be stalling”. Just over a quarter, 26%, said there are “signs that this agenda will be making faster progress”; just 6% said “things are moving quite fast now”.

Respondents were also asked to comment on progress against the three main elements of the modern workplace agenda (see graph above). They were able to indicate not only progress already made, but signs of change to come (see table below for full responses).

They reported most progress on the flexible working agenda, with 31% saying they’d seen substantial progress and a further 15% saying that while progress had been slow to date, they “can see work underway to hasten it”.

Just 14% had seen substantial progress in improving IT tools, though 28% said they could see plans to speed this up. The worst performer was the move to unify departmental security systems: 39% said the agenda “does not appear to be making progress in my organisation”, and a further 28% said there had been slow progress and there were no indications that this would speed up.

The modern workplace agenda has three main elements. Please rate the current rate of progress for each of these:

  Flexible working Substantially improving IT tools Streamlining security requirements to be less burdensome for staff
 I have seen substantial positive change, and I can see more on the way 10% 7% 3%
I have seen substantial positive change, but I’m not aware of plans for more 21% 7% 6%
Progress on the ground is slow to date, but I can see work underway to hasten it 15% 28% 19%
Progress on the ground is slow to date, with few indications of work to hasten it 18% 25% 24%
This agenda does not appear to be making progress in my organisation 27% 31% 39%
Don't know 10% 2% 9%


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