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Our modern workspace

We're creating a flexible working environment which supports you to provide high quality services for our residents and communities.

Changing the way we use our office space will allow us to balance flexibility with delivering our services. This may mean working from home some of the time or using different types of office space in different locations so you can collaborate with colleagues and partners, liaise with customers or concentrate on a particular task.

To help us reshape the space we have, we've worked with managers to understand the kind of work your team does, how you want to work and how much space you need. That information has been used to plan and allocate space into different zones. These zones will be adapted over time as we start to use the space, find out what works, identify things that need improving and continue introducing new technology.

Initially, we're working on plans for County Hall but this approach will be rolled out to other office locations across the county in the near future.

Workspace zones

We'll be organising all of our office space into one of 3 zones:

  • team zone
  • shared zone
  • facilities zone

You'll be able to use each of these zones at different times depending on the work you're doing.

Team zone

This will be an area specifically assigned to your service department for work and storage. The space could include desks, areas for you to 'connect and meet' and storage for documents or equipment. Your team can choose how best to make use of the available space which can be used alongside the shared zones.

Each desk will be set up with:

  • monitor (adjustable height)
  • cables to connect the monitor to a laptop
  • laptop riser
  • keyboard
  • adjustable chair
  • USB hub (to accommodate a mouse, headset and keyboard)
  • network cable connected to the USB hub

The ICT kit has been standardised so the appropriate cables will be available. ICT kit will only be provided on a limited number of desks.

Please do not remove any of the equipment from the desk. Any ICT equipment that goes missing from team zones will need to be replaced at the expense of the team responsible for that zone. If any additional equipment is required then this will also need to be ordered through Halo and paid for by the department.

Bins will not be provided in team zones. Instead you will need to take your waste to the kitchen areas, print and recycling hubs or community hubs. Having centralised waste bins will allow us to increase the amount we recycle and reduce the number of plastic bin liners that are used.

Shared zone

These areas will be available for use by colleagues from any service area and will include workspaces and well as formal and informal collaboration space such as meeting rooms. Initially, some of these meetings rooms will be set up with additional ICT to enable hybrid meetings to take place. This means that people can join a meeting virtually as well as being physically in the room.

Shared zones could include the following types of spaces:

Community hub

Community hubs are dedicated flexible, non-confidential spaces with multiple uses, such as:

  • relax and refuel
  • group meetings
  • catch up with a colleague
  • team presentations
  • creative, collaborative space

IT equipment will not be provided in these spaces but community hubs will either have wifi capability or network cables.

Food should not be eaten at desks to ensure they are kept clean, instead you should use the refreshment areas provided in community hubs or the basement breakout area. These will include comfortable seating, tables, chairs and day lockers.

You can use day lockers to store personal belongings during the day whilst you are in the office. Lockers should be emptied every evening and the key left in the lock.

Shared touchdown space

This will be desk space for you to drop in and use between meetings. You'll be able to use your own laptop in these areas however there will be no additional ICT kit provided. We're currently exploring options to make desks in these shared areas available to book.

Shared meeting room

Tables and chairs will be provided in these meeting rooms. Find out how to book a meeting room.

Hybrid meeting room

Standard hybrid meeting rooms will include:

  • table
  • console
  • large monitor
  • speaker
  • microphone
  • video camera

These rooms will be set up with MS Teams capability allowing meetings to take place with some colleagues physically present in the room and others working remotely.

Find out more about how to book and use a hybrid meeting room.

Facilities zone

The facilities zones will be areas that include all the things that support you to do your job such as:

  • toilets
  • kitchens and refreshment areas
  • lockers
  • wellbeing spaces
  • recycling bins

These can be used by all employees as and when they need them and will no longer belong to a specific team. They'll be managed by the facilities management team.

Kitchens will have cupboards and fridges for employees to store equipment and refreshments for the day when they are working in that zone. Fridges will not to be located within offices.

Our short and longer-term plans

Adapting our workplaces is not something that can be done quickly and will involve ongoing adaptations and improvements to ensure the space meets our needs. Initially, the focus is on creating the zones outlined without making any changes to the fabric of the buildings or investing heavily in new furniture. We will, however, be improving our ability to hold hybrid meetings by installing new ICT equipment in a number of rooms at County Hall.

Our longer-term plans will look to make further improvements to workplaces to make them more flexible, support your wellbeing and reduce our carbon footprint.