Our Modern Workspace update

Image shows an open laptop

We are making progress in developing long term arrangements for office/homeworking, and are pleased to provide here answers to questions we have been asked.

When can employees return to working from offices?

The national route out of lockdown states that even when we reach level 0, we should continue working from home where possible.

We know from the recent homeworking survey findings that many employees want to keep on working from home, to some extent.

We want to take the time needed to get long term working arrangements right, and expect working from home, for those who can, to continue even if/when restrictions allow a return to offices.

What’s the process for deciding how we will use offices in the future?

Now that we have findings from the survey, our next step is to speak directly with services, to understand in more detail what specifically individual teams need. The Our Modern Workspace Project Manager will be contacting managers and Heads of Service this month about this.

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.

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.

Which town will be first?

We are going to progress a clear desk approach at the Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre this month, as that building already benefits from personal storage lockers and corporate business storage space. If you have belongings in that building, we will be in touch with you about arrangements to collect them.

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. You can find details on the intranet.

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 workingtogether@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Jane Fowler                                                                                Ross McLaughlin
Head of Customer Support Services                                     Head of Commercial Services

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