Issue details

Return to the Worksite and Introduction of Hybrid Working for Council Staff

During the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government introduced a requirement for everyone to work from home where possible.  A large proportion of the Council’s office-based workforce began working from home in March 2020 and have continued to do so since that time. 


This report requests authorisation for a partial return to the worksite from February 2022 for that cohort of staff who have continued to work from home throughout, and the introduction of a flexible ‘hybrid’ working style enabling the benefits of working from home to be combined with the advantages of being in the worksite and the necessary expenditure to support this transition, primarily for the purposes of purchasing additional office furniture and improvement works to Wi-Fi capabilities in the Council’s office estate.


This proposal will enable a balance to be struck between the benefits that many employees have experienced of working from home with the benefits of being in the worksite, including opportunities for collaboration and closer team-working and best accords with the views of our employees as expressed in a survey conducted in spring 2022. Providing a clear planning assumption of a 40% of time being spent away from home working allows for a managed return to the worksite, whilst still enabling local flexibility to take into account the differing needs of teams and individuals across the organisation. The additional expenditure required to support the return to the worksite is proportionate, and aspects of it (e.g. upgrade of our Wi-Fi capability would have been required in any event). It will also have a small positive benefit on the city centre economy, supporting business recovery.



Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure/savings > £500,000;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 21/12/2021

This decision will be taken under urgency procedures.

Reason for urgency:
To avoid delays to council staff returning to the workplace.

Scrutiny Committee: Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee;

Decision due: Not before 19 Jan 2022 by Leader of the Council

Lead member: Leader of the Council

Lead director: Executive Director, Operational Services

Department: Resources

Contact: Nathan Rodgers Email: Tel: 27 35621.

Date agenda documents available: 18/05/22