Allowing for flexible working could save the British Economy £11.5billon per year and technology can help drive greater productivity
With several Whitehall departments’ budgets expected to be decreased by George Osborne, the public sector must focus on boosting productivity and efficiency in its workspace rather than just focusing on the cuts.
These cuts announced in the Summer Budget will cascade further austerity into the regions and public sector organisations will need to find innovative ways to keep improving, workplace technology expert and CEO of Condeco Software, Paul Statham says.
On some measures, Britain is now around a fifth less productive per worker than the G7 average, and 40 per cent below the US. However, the public sector must empower collaborative working if they wish to grow productivity.
The office is changing due to more demand for a flexible office and staff increasingly working collaboratively. New Research by Ernst & Young (EY) discovered that the British economy could save £11.5billion if everyone who wanted to work flexibly could do.
Paul Statham, CEO of Condeco Software, comments: “Public sector decision makers will of course be looking at ways of saving money, but the leading organisations are looking beyond the cuts and are concentrating on building a truly smart office as they look to boost staff productivity and the efficiency of the workplace.
“This is what the leading public sector organisations we are working with are doing. For example, Nottingham City Council implemented our software and found that it saved millions of pounds and increased workspace efficiency and sustainability. The technology also helped them develop a better working culture based on teamwork, and created higher productivity.
“Technology, like the solutions created by Condeco Software, can help create more flexible working environments, which research has proven can save the UK economy billions of pounds. But an intelligent office allows people to work seamlessly with each other, which in turn can help create a more output-driven office, creating value for the company.”
Condeco Software worked with the city council to help it consolidate six separate buildings into one efficient workspace, helping it save £3.9 million. The council used Condeco Meeting Room Booking Software and Condeco Desk Booking Software as it moved to a new city centre office.
Condeco Software discovered that when staff were working across the six locations only half of the workstations were occupied at any one time and formal meeting rooms remained empty for 40 per cent of the day. It was also revealed that the number of workstations could be reduced without any adverse impact on the business – it would be perfectly feasible to reduce the desk to occupant ratio from 100% to 70%. In other words, there could be 7 desks for every 10 people.
Office workers, on average, are wasting 47 minutes each day where they could be productive because organisations are continuing to use rigid desks and that is making it much harder for people to work together. According to research, workers waste 14 minutes per day waiting for feedback from colleagues, seven minutes co-ordinating meetings, eight minutes walking to meetings, seven minutes waiting for latecomers, six minutes looking for people and five minutes waiting to get meetings started.
Paul comments: “The rigid desk is a thing of the past and organisations must implement changes, otherwise they will continue to waste inordinate amounts of valuable time each day. Businesses which implement a flexible working structure and empower collaboration will find that productivity is boosted.
“People’s best ideas come when they are working together or bouncing thoughts of one another. So, creating a space which allows this to happen, without interruptions, will mean a better quality of work, a more efficient and less frustrated workforce.
“What decision-makers should be thinking about is investing in the future. Nottingham City Council showed a forward-thinking approach and proved technology can help drive efficiency in the workplace, and create a culture which reflects the changing demands of staff.”
Condeco Software’s latest response to the issues facing the workplace has led the company to create Condeco Sense, a market first in sensing technology that enables business leaders to access accurate, real-time data on how their workspaces, meeting rooms and breakout spaces are used. A single Condeco Sense study with 1,000 sensors produces 22 million lines of data in one month. Within a year of deployment in 13 different countries, Sense has identified over 600,000 sq ft of wasted office space.