Issue - meetings

Feedback on Agile & Flexible working

Meeting: 13/11/2014 - Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 39)

Feedback on Agile & Flexible working

A verbal report on the use of agile working in Revenues & Benefits will be provided.


That the information be noted and the officers be commended for their contribution to the development of Agile and Flexible Working.


The Neighbourhood Housing Manager and Revenues Manager provided information on the findings of the pilot on agile and flexible working in their respective areas.  In Housing, the co-location of three teams to one area had resulted in more consistent office cover and central administration support across Housing had helped to increase capacity in some areas.  The pilot in the Revenues service had significantly reduced the office footprint and had reflected positively on productivity and short-term absences.


Both Managers described the effects of moving to a different way of working which involved measuring performance on outcomes, and felt that their teams had benefited through a greater sense of ownership of their areas and had been motivated by the trust given to them.  The increase in productivity had also helped in respect of requests for early voluntary redundancy.  Although it was acknowledged that flexible working was not suited to all posts, the majority of team members had been able to take part and feedback was positive.


Councillor Richard Jones thanked officers for the information and welcomed the measurement of outcomes.


In response to queries raised by Councillor Robin Guest, the Revenues Manager provided information on the reduction of office space achieved by the pilot, the rota system to co-ordinate team members working from home and the document management system to measure work items processed.


Councillor Paul Shotton expressed his appreciation to Housing officers who had recently met with Council Members for their respective areas.


In speaking of the change in culture involved in agile and flexible working, the Chief Executive praised the commitment of managers in encouraging their teams to see the advantages and said that a steady approach had been taken to avoid any negative impact on services.


When asked about contact with members of the public, the Neighbourhood Housing Manager advised that mobile phones were used and she provided explanation on the duty officer rota in place for Anti-Social Behaviour Housing officers together with plans for a single contact number call-handling service.


Councillor Clive Carver commented on the transportation of documents when working at home and the difficulties he had experienced in contacting some Council officers who were working at home.  The Neighbourhood Housing Manager explained the use of mainly electronic documents in the section and the process for diverting telephones.  She added that Housing officers’ work mobile contact numbers had been made available during the Tenants’ Conference and recent ‘meet and greet’ session with Members.


Councillor Marion Bateman took the opportunity to thank the Neighbourhood Housing Manager for her assistance on Housing matters.


The Chair said that she was unaware of any problems contacting officers in the two teams, however this was not the case in other sections of the Council where office cover was not always available.  The Chief Executive said that there was an understanding that those working from home were contactable in some form.


The Chief Officer (People & Resources) referred to the challenges in changing culture to agile and flexible working and felt that successful examples  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39