Smarter Working Project


Phase 1 - Preparatory work

Following on from the team brief in September, the Council agreed at their meeting on 28 September 2022, that the implementation of the Flexible working policy and the review of office accommodation should be taken forward under the project “Smarter Working”. This project will take forward actions, using our lessons learnt through experience of the interim hybrid working arrangements in place for the Covid response, to achieve the vision

“Moray Council will create progressive, dynamic and sustainable working environments that empower our workforce to succeed and deliver excellent services, using technologies and workstyles that enhance communication, collaboration and improve wellbeing”

What does this mean for you?

We need to evolve the interim hybrid working into a more permanent way of working. A key part will be self-assessing your individual circumstances for hybrid working and your home work station. This information will be the basis of discussion with your manager about what arrangements will work best for you balancing these against the needs of your service. There will be opportunities to consider the space, furniture and equipment requirements such as increased space for collaboration, networking and creativity as well as other more functional considerations.

The smarter working programme continues apace (there’s a more comprehensive update in the last edition of Connect if you’ve not seen it already).

As we move into the next phase we’re bringing some guidance around tidying up our offices in preparation for the next phase.

Phase 2 – Sort out and clear away anything unnecessary for service delivery

Why do we need to do this?

Many of us haven’t been working in our offices in the way we did prior to Covid. Although we’ve had a clear desk policy in place for some time now is the ideal time to make sure we’re adhering to it.

The legal requirement for everyone to vacate the office at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic way back in March 2020 happened so quickly many personal items were left behind. As were paper files and reference materials that were relevant at that time, but that may now be out of date or have been superseded. Some services have already considered this on their return to hybrid working, however some haven’t yet started.

To establish a smart and pleasant working environment we need to “declutter” and clear any personal items or obsolete paper files that are now out of date and no longer required.

By doing this now it will:-

  • make it easier to implement any changes that arise out of the consultation and engagement with services around smarter working. The less items that need to be moved the quicker and easier it will be to adapt.
  • be a good opportunity for teams to get together in person if they haven’t done that much recently.
  • enable teams to consider if they still require any paper files or multiple items or if they can be rationalised.

The types of things that need to be reviewed to check they’re current and required are:-

  • Paper, consumables etc. – In the HQ campus, If you think you’ll have a lot of paper to dispose of then please contact facilities Gary Munro in Facilities or for assistance so that necessary arrangements can be made to provide wheelie bins/skips dependant on volumes. Facilities and Cleaning staff should not just be expected to deal with extra volumes of paper recycling or waste – this will need to be disposed of in the appropriate cages in the Councillors car park:-
    • Green bin – general waste
    • Blue bin – Cardboard
    • Brown bin - Paper
    Facilities staff will provide advice if required.
  • Confidential waste – If you think there will be a need for extra capacity than normal use you’ll need to request this prior to starting. Depending on volume to be disposed of this this action may require careful scheduling.
  • Other recyclables – please dispose of personal items appropriately but any office ancillaries deemed as surplus to requirements (fans, risers, foot stools) please notify

If your service does require additional disposal capacity for your tidy up i.e. wheelie bins for paper, extra capacity for confidential material etc. then arrangements will need to be put in place before you start. Please contact us on with the date you want to do it and what you think you’ll need so we can help make the necessary arrangements.

The council already has a clear desk policy as part of its flexible working approach, however we appreciate that over time, this has not been promoted or monitored to any degree. While we’re considering workspaces for some element of design, reconfiguration and allocation, it’s essential that a tidy up exercise takes place so that the rest of the Smarter Working project can progress smoothly. With finite resources allocated to the project it’s important that this this tidy up exercise should be completed by all services before we finish for the Christmas holidays.

Phase 3 – Smarter Working Project Launch – Dec 2022/Jan 2023

Look out for your invitation to highlight suggestions for inclusion in the smarter working project and timescales for team discussions.

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