Hot-desking

J Woodward made this Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by East Devon District Council.

Dear Ms Symington,

I would like to make a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am also making this Request under the Environmental Impact Regulations 2004 which require disclosure on the part of Local Authorities.

> Could you provide me with a precise definition of 'hot-desking' and what type of jobs would be covered by this?

> Exactly how many jobs at EDDC are applicable for “hot-desking” and working from home?

> Exactly how many posts currently being held at Knowle are earmarked for 'hot-desking'?

> What studies have been undertaken to ascertain this information? And who exactly have undertaken these studies?

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Jeremy Woodward

East Devon District Council

Thank you for submitting a request for information. We will respond to your request as quickly as possible, within the 20 working day statutory deadline under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For updates on this case, please quote your unique reference number 101000333592 .

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Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

Mr Woodward

 

Thank you for your request for information. Your request asks specifically
about hot-desking but we do not use this phrase because it does not
provide organisational clarity about the workstyle. The figures below were
compiled in consultation with our Heads of Service and relevant managers. 
We used the following workstyles to gain consensus about the types of
workers we have:

 

100% office workers means 100% office based

100% mobile workers means mobile around the district

100% Homeworkers means 100% based at home

Flexible workers means either work/home or work/mobile

Touchdown desks are for mobile workers to touchdown in the head office.

 

 

 

Category Number of Workers/Posts FTE
100% Office Workers 104 86.74
100% Mobile Workers 58 51.65
100% Home workers 1 1.00
Flexible Workers 259 240.19
Touchdown Desks 69 N/A

 

I hope this is helpful.

If you feel dissatisfied with the way we have responded to your request,
please contact our Monitoring Officer at
[1][email address] or on 01395 516551

 

You may also approach the Information Commissioner for advice at
[2]www.ico.gov.uk or on 0303 123 1113.

 

Regards

 

 

Kate

ext 2617

 

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Dear Ms Symington,

Thank you for your reply.

I should like to respond:

1) I would concur that there does seem to be a lack of 'clarity' with regard to the phrase 'hot-desking'.

However, this is a term which has been used by Town Councils in East Devon:

> On behalf of Seaton’s Voice, Mrs Manley thanked Members for their positive comments and support. Concerns from STC were acknowledged and it was hoped that they could embrace the notion of the Group’s ‘virtual office’ and ‘hot desk’ proposal with regard to the Town Manager, whom, it was envisaged, would spend a great deal of time out of the office.
www.eastdevon.gov.uk/oscc_180310.pdf

Furthermore, the County Council refers to this term:

> Devon County Council staff to 'hot-desk' to save millions
By Western Morning News | Posted: November 13, 2012
A multi-million pound saving scheme at Devon County Council could see its staff no longer guaranteed their own desks.
http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Devo...

2) The District Council's proposals for relocating from Knowle focus on calculations that fewer desks will be necessary in future:

> 7.0 New Build Office Running Costs
7.1 Calculation of anticipated running costs of a new build office assumes the following:-
2. The number of staff employed in the new facility will remain at the current level. It is understood desk spaces will be reduced to allow for modern working practices.
4.0.0 Office accommodation requirements
4.1.0 Engagement
4.1.6 The Corporate Organisational Development Manager is investigating the potential for staff to work in more mobile and flexible ways. Work Smart is the council’s name for its home, mobile and flexible working arrangements for staff which will be developed through the Council’s management team and subject to consultation with staff and fit with operational requirements. It will involve more staff working away from the office or dividing their time between the office and another location. In doing so EDDC hopes to have a more flexible workforce and service delivery available and accessible to customers around the district. More desks can be shared, storage space reduced, communal and shared space more effectively provided and less traditional office space overall will be required. Initial staff survey work, Member requirements and office layout planning has resulted in an office size projection that involves a mix of communal space, meeting space, reception area, 250 desks and Council specific space such as the Council Chamber itself. This leads to an overall total floor space of 3,352m2.
Further detailed operational and design work will be conducted to refine the mix and usage of that space.
www.eastdevon.gov.uk/cabinet_agenda_1707...

In other words, whilst the term 'hot-desking' is common parlance
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_desking; http://www.businessdictionary.com/defini...,
it seems that the District Council prefers the term 'Work Smart'.

In view of this, I would like to resubmit my original request:

I would like to make a formal request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. I am also making this Request under the
Environmental Impact Regulations 2004 which require disclosure on
the part of Local Authorities.

> Could you provide me with a precise definition of 'Work Smart'
and what type of jobs would be covered by this?

> Exactly how many jobs at EDDC are applicable for 'Work Smart'
and working from home?

> Exactly how many posts currently being held at Knowle are
earmarked for 'Work Smart'?

> What studies have been undertaken to ascertain this information?
And who exactly have undertaken these studies?

3) On the other hand, with regard to the reply you gave me, the terminology used here appears to be 'Touchdown' rather than 'hotdesking' or 'Work Smart'.

I have several questions with regard to this:

> Are these numbers you provide for the current arrangements at Knowle? And what are the numbers for the proposed new HQ at Skypark?

> What does 'work/home or work/mobile ' mean in regard to 'flexible workers'? Does the 'work' mean 'office'; or are workers able to carry out their work at home and/or when mobile as they see fit? Is there not a category of 'office/mobile' missing?

> Are there 'Touchdown' desks located at other offices, such as at Exmouth? I believe the District Council has committed to such a presence: have these 'Touchdown' desks already been provided at such locations?

> Could you provide a definition of a 'Touchdown' desk. Does this entail a computer on the District Council's own intranet?

> Could you provide a definition of a 'mobile' desk. If 100% mobile workers are 'touching down' at the HQ (Knowle or Skypark) then it is not possible for them to be 100% mobile.

> How did you arrive at 69 'Touchdown' desks on the basis of a staff of 259 employees?

> Lastly, I would like more information about numbers not provided in your reply. What are the figures for office occupancy? How many staff have or need their own office? How many share offices? What is the range of sharing?

Again, I must ask for clarification and do so by resubmitting my original request:

I would like to make a formal request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. I am also making this Request under the
Environmental Impact Regulations 2004 which require disclosure on
the part of Local Authorities.

> Could you provide me with a precise definition of 'Touchdown'
and what type of jobs would be covered by this?

> Exactly how many jobs at EDDC are applicable for 'Touchdown'
and working from home?

> Exactly how many posts currently being held at Knowle are
earmarked for 'Touchdown'?

> What studies have been undertaken to ascertain this information?
And who exactly have undertaken these studies?

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Woodward

Dear Ms Symington,
Your reply to my series of questions is now long overdue.
I would be grateful if you could reply fully and promptly.
Thank you.
I look forward to hearing from you.
With best regards,
Jeremy Woodward

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

This is an automated reply.

 

Please note that I will not be able to respond to your message until
Monday 22nd September 2014.

 

If you wish to make a complaint or submit a request for information under
the Freedom of Information Act, please refer to our website at
[1]www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

Mr Woodward

Our system shows that this request was responded to, and closed, on 15th July?

I can send a copy of our response if that would be helpful.

Regards

Kate

Mrs Kate Symington
Information and Complaints Officer
East Devon District Council

01395 517417
www.eastdevon.gov.uk

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P Freeman left an annotation ()

Hmm - their system shows it, but the WDTK system shows otherwise.

And they could have included the previous response (if it exists) in their "we have already responded" response rather than making you request it again.

Dear Ms Symington,

Thank you for your reply. You state that your 'system shows that this request was responded to, and closed, on 15th July'.

Indeed, on 15th July you did reply - but I have since asked you for further clarification.

Perhaps you have forwarded me further documentation in the form of spreadsheets to my private e-mail account: however, I have checked this and cannot find any further information from you on this matter.

I would be grateful, therefore, if you could reply in full to my series of requests from 22nd July.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Woodward

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

This is an automated reply.

 

Please note that I will not be able to respond to your message until
Tuesday 6th January 2015.

 

If you wish to make a complaint or submit a request for information under
the Freedom of Information Act, please refer to our website at
[1]www.eastdevon.gov.uk or phone 01395 516551 during office hours.

 

The Council offices will be closed from 1pm on Wednesday 24th December,
re-opening at 8.30am on Friday 2nd January. Details of our emergency
out-of-hours contacts can be found on our website at
[2]www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

 

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Dear Ms Symington,

I received an automated message on 30th December and would be grateful if you could answer my query of the same date in person: namely, that you might well have forwarded me the information requested but I am unable to locate it.

Thank you if you could clarify.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Woodward

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

Mr Woodward

The response to this request has been sent and the request has been closed for some time now.

Our responses to your additional questions are below:

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We are developing new ways of working at EDDC underpinned by new technology. Worksmart is the name we give to new ways of working at EDDC and over the next few months we will be agreeing our Worksmart Strategy.

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All jobs because it is part and parcel of good management practice to make sure work takes place at the most effective locations and at the most effective times, respecting the needs of the task, the customer , the individual and the team.

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You have misunderstood the term worksmart but this is explained in the first answer.

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We have referenced what other public sector councils are going.

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These numbers were put together in August 2013 to provide a basis for calculating space required for the new headoffice.

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When we develop our worksmart strategy, which we will do in consultation with staff, we will be working to refine and gain consensus for definitions of different workstyles but at present anticipate it will be something along the lines of:
Office based
Mobile – out and about most of the time
Flexible – between home and office
Homeworker – typically works at home 1 day or more per week

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This will depend on what is decided with regard to our head office.

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It entails a computer that can access our network securely.

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See above

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This was on the basis of the work we undertook with managers but this will need to be updated.

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EDDC staff are currently restricted to a variety of cellular office spaces across the Knowle. Teams and functions are impacted upon by current building constraints. The new and modernised offices will be both open and also able to be flexibly partitioned in response to best work practice and operational requirements. Internal layout and staff locations will be determined by the Strategic Management Team in liaison with managers and staff.

I trust this answers your questions.

Regards

Kate

Mrs Kate Symington
Information and Complaints Officer
East Devon District Council

01395 517417
www.eastdevon.gov.uk

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P Freeman left an annotation ()

This must be a record - 7 3/4 months to get answers to the actual questions that were asked.

Unless of course (as they used to say on "That's Life"), you know better...