Why is the council developing new ways of working?
Covid-safe restrictions, and budget decisions that will see the council eventually use fewer buildings, mean changes for how we all share office space together. We want to develop flexible working arrangements that combine what’s best about home and office working.
When can we return to offices?
Please do not rush back to offices just yet. It is really important that we keep everyone safe and help protect essential services. We are looking to introduce a staggered return to offices for employees who have requested they would like either some time or full time access to an office.
What’s happening about reducing the number of offices the council uses?
As part of setting its budget this year, the council decided to make £400,000 savings by cutting down on the number of offices we use. We have a huge portfolio of buildings, all of which incur maintenance and heating costs. We will be in a position to confirm which offices we’ll stop using once we have the results from the survey, and have identified how best we can all work together in the long term.
What if I need to go into an office now?
If you need access to an office, please follow the information here and discuss with your line manager in the first instance.
If you need to go into an office, please agree this with your manager and the relevant Site Premises Manager. A number of ‘hub’ offices are available – these have covid-safe measures in place. Please see below.
Please note – as working from home where possible is still happening, some of these offices are not always opened daily for use; if you need to use them, you must contact the Site Premises Manager in advance to ensure access.
|Kilmory, Lochgilphead||David Logan|
|Civic Centre, Helensburgh||Ross McLaughlin|
|Municipal Buildings, Oban||Iain MacKinnon|
|Breadalbane Street, Tobermory||Andrew Penny|
|GWITC, Helensburgh (for IT staff only)||Gerry Wilson|
|Jamieson Street, Bowmore||Gemma Cameron|
|Soroba Road complex, Oban||Pamela Hoey|
|Kintyre House, Campbeltown||Fergus Walker|
|Argyll House, Dunoon||Craig Houston|
|Union Street, Rothesay||Cath McLoone|
What could new ways of working mean?
Most employees have told that they would like a mix of working from home and from an office. Examples of what works in other organisations include touchdown zones, more hot desks, more break out areas for collaborative discussion, private spaces and meeting rooms, and fewer permanent offices and assigned desks.
What are the expectations at the moment for how employees will share offices?
Survey findings show that most employees want to work from home, with some/no time in offices. We expect therefore to move away from arrangements where employees have their own desks and are in an office Monday to Friday. We are developing an approach where desks are available to book for use by different employees as required, and possibly lockers for corporate (business related) and personal (employee belongings) use. It may be that some teams need a different arrangement. The Project Manager will gather information about individual teams’ needs when she meets with managers and Heads of Service.
Making a shared approach work will mean for example adopting a clear desk policy, which is why we are looking into requirements such as storage or confidential spaces.
What’s the timescale for putting new arrangements in place?
There are lots of details to sort out so we expect work to carry on, town by town, over the rest of this year and into next year.
If you need access to one of the Hub offices while restrictions require us to work from home, please continue to contact your manager and Site Premises Manager.
We will update you again as we continue to make progress. If you have any questions in the meantime, you are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the process for deciding how we will use offices in the future?
The plan overall is to look at how we use offices on a town by town basis. This will take into account the needs of employees and members of the public, as well as any opportunities for working more closely with partners. Where capacity and demand allow, we will consider creating a modern public sector hub in each town.