1.1. The Future of Public Sector Office Joint Working Group (JWG) was established together by the Greater Brighton One Public Estate (GBOPE) and Strategic Property Asset Collaboration in East Sussex (SPACES) programmes, and with ongoing collaboration with West Sussex One Public Estate.
1.2. The JWG is to enable interested partners to share intelligence, learning and best practice as they consider and develop their new ways of working post pandemic.
1.3. The JWG also seeks to identify any ways in which a One Public Estate approach could support the new ways of working, by understanding the implications on office workspaces and identifying any opportunities for collaboration and/or sharing office spaces across the local public sector estate.
1.4. A report was commissioned to map the approaches to staff working patterns that are being taken by public sector organisations across the GBOPE and SPACES partnerships post Covid-19 and to begin to build an understanding of the implications that this has on future office workspaces.
1.5. The report identified the following shared themes:
· design office space that is activity, rather than headcount focused
· having flexible spaces which include private booths, quiet spaces, social spaces, and formal meeting rooms
· the future workplace offer is fundamentally about people, not buildings
· organisations should take staff with them and be sensitive to the needs of different staff
· undertake staff engagement, identify change champions, provide training and support for managers to adopt new ways of developing and managing staff
· understand the culture of the organization and work with this to make the changes at the right pace
· understand where staff live, how they travel to work, and whether there could be touchdown or other spaces that they could use that are closer to where they live
· sharing spaces is likely to need an inter-disciplinary approach, involving Asset Management, Human Resources, Legal Services, IT, and Corporate Finance
1.6. The JWG recommendations (April 2022) are detailed below.
2.1. Trying to impose a one size fits all solution is likely to be both impossible and counterproductive, but a Set of Shared Principles will provide the JWG with a framework in which to work when identifying, exploring, and implementing collaboration opportunities.
3.1. Develop a Work Programme for the JWG built around the following activities:
· Collating up to date information on partners’ future ways of working programmes, which may now be more fully scoped than when the consultation interviews took place in December 2021/January 2022.
· In particular, capture any work style models that have/are being tested and where learning can be shared, and timetables for implementation.
· Coordinating staff live/ work data mapping by participating organisations, to identify potential areas of high demand for touchdown or collaboration spaces.
· Gathering learning from existing and new initiatives within and beyond the GBOPE and SPACES partnerships.
· Piloting a small number of ‘free desk’ or collaboration spaces that are open to staff from participating organisations.
· Piloting small scale inter-agency booking systems.
· Building links with central Government departments and wider stakeholders, to understand their direction of travel and identify any opportunities within the GBOPE and SPACES partnership areas.
4.1. Build on what already works and extend this where appropriate and at a manageable scale.
4.2. Work with organisations that are best placed to test out new models of office space and collaborations and which can provide mentoring support to organisations that wish to follow suit.
5.1. The plan is for the FWOW programme to provide equipment (consistent with the workplace enhancements) and set-up to pilot one or more shared spaces and provide access and facilities within the city.
5.2. This will be reciprocated by other participating JWG members to provide shared spaces and access to BHCC staff in other locations.
5.3. Preliminary staff live/ work data analysis shows approximately 68% of staff live within the city, 22% live within adjacent local authorities, and 10% elsewhere.