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Redesigning where and how council employees work

  • by JW

East Devon Council officers working from home “begs the question about the expensive hot-desking HQ in Heathpark.”


We need to be rethinking our work-places and our working week:

Redesigning where and how we work

Redesigning our spaces after the coronavirus: part two


Of course, many workers are not office-workers – and that includes council workers.

The chair of East Devon District Council shows his appreciation:

Letter of thanks to East Devon key workers and volunteers from council Chairman | This has now been removed from the EDDC website


But many council workers are also office-workers – and are not coming into the office.

Leeds City Council has accomplished quite a massive logistical task:

Coronavirus: ‘We got 10,000 staff remote working from home – in one weekend’ |


Meanwhile, many of East Devon’s employees are currently working from home – which is rather different to five years ago, when this Freedom of Information request was made:

Staff working from home |


In the light of all this media interest in ‘the future of work’, a correspondent writes to these news pages:

“This begs the question about the expensive hot-desking HQ in Heathpark.”


Two years ago, this same question was being asked:


We really do need to reconsider how we work.

Take a controversial example from these parts:

The District Council is spending £10million plus on relocating to open offices:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: Open-plan offices have been found to reduce productivity and impair memory. They’re associated with high staff turnover. They make people sick, hostile, unmotivated, and insecure.

Instead it could look at who will actually be populating these open offices – as it is not actually very clear:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: a net loss of hundreds of jobs
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and increasing staff numbers

Meanwhile, there has been the trumpeting of the so-called ‘Worksmart’ way of doing things – which is also not very clear:

The council’s Worksmart approach will help it to move away from traditional ways of desk-bound working. New ways of working mean that increasingly work will take place at the most effective locations respecting the needs of the task, the customer, the individual and the team. Properly equipped mobile officers will be able to operate more efficiently; the use of surgeries across the district will continue to manage local demand; and an improving website, plus other applications, will offer a greater number of online transactional services.

News – East Devon
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: ‘modern working practices’ >>> Of Worksmart, Hubs and Hot-desking

Perhaps they should also consider rejigging their staff’s hours – as more ‘visionary’ setups seem to be doing these days:
Futures Forum: The four-hour working week, the sharing economy and going beyond the master-servant relationship
Futures Forum: “A shorter working week would make us healthier, give us more fulfilling and sustainable lives and be better for the environment…”

Futures Forum: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’ > Reduced hours for same pay increased successful work-life balance management, cutting stress levels and boosting commitment


photo: Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: District Council …