Monday 22 July 2024
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Council workers to split working hours between home and office under proposals

Nottinghamshire County Council plans to move to a hybrid working model by October in a bid to save money and increase employee efficiency.

The move comes as part of the authority’s Hybrid Working Strategy, which looks to find more effective ways of managing its workforce after the pandemic.

Changes will begin coming into force after the final easing of lockdown restrictions and when working from home guidance comes to an end. At present this is planned for July 19.

The changes will lead to some staff becoming flexible workers, spending a ‘blend’ of time between their home and office.

Others will become full-time home workers, with the remainder either returning to the office permanently or working within the community.

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It follows a survey of 2,248 council employees in April which found around 50 per cent of workers see themselves working between a mix of home and office work.

A further 32 per cent believed they should be mainly home-based, with six per cent office-based and 14 per cent working within the community.

Documents published as part of the strategy suggest around 3.5 million fewer miles were travelled while staff worked from home, reducing travel spend by around £1.6 million.

The authority also reduced its carbon emissions by around 1,000 tonnes in the same period.

The documents, published ahead of the council’s policy committee meeting on July 15, state the move will “increase the council’s efficiency and effectiveness”, while also improving the productivity of staff.

The plan says: “Whilst working through the Covid-19 pandemic was challenging, this has provided us with the opportunity to review the way we work and build on the progress of our Smarter Working programme, which was already under way prior to the pandemic.

“This includes the ability of many more employees to work remotely or from home, utilising technology more effectively.

“The council will use the learning from the pandemic and feedback from employees to provide a springboard for new ways of working in the future.

“The hybrid working model will give people flexibility, empowering them to balance their work and home lives whilst ensuring that service priorities are met.

“Employees will remain accountable for their work outcomes but have greater freedom on how, where and when their work is delivered.”

If approved by the policy committee next week, the scheme is expected to be fully implemented by the end of October 2021.

However, prioritised council services are due to begin implementing the model later this month.

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