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  • Working without wallsAn insight into the transforming government workplace

  • More than seven miles of internal walls were removed as part of theTreasury redevelopment project. This physical change was symbolic of much deeper cultural, business and technology transformation within theTreasury, where numerous time-bound organisational barriers were removedto support the more agile and dynamic organisation that is evolving todayPaul Pegler, Her Majestys Treasury

  • Tim AllenAdryan BellRichard GrahamBridget HardyFelicity Swaer

    front cover and leftHM Treasury

    Working without wallsAn insight into the transforming government workplace

  • Crown copyright 2004ISBN 0-9521506-2-X

    The text in this document may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium providing that itis reproduced accurately and not used in a misleadingcontext. The material must be acknowledged asCrown copyright and the title of the documentspecified.

    All images are Crown copyright except whereseparately acknowledged.

    Any enquiries relating to the copyright in thisdocument should be sent to:HMSOLicensing DivisionSt Clements House216 ColegateNorwichNR3 1BQ

    F 01603 723 000E [email protected]

    Oce of Government CommerceTrevelyan House2630 Great Peter StreetLondonSW1P 2BYT 0845 000 4999E [email protected]

    The OGC logo is a Trade Mark of Her Majestys Treasury

    Designed by DuffyPrinted by WhiteThis book is printed on chlorine free 75% recycled paper with 25% from renewable sources.

  • Contents

    Foreword 4About this book 5About the authors 6

    part 1 Why government workplaces are changingchapter 1 The evolving government workplace 8chapter 2 The business of government 10chapter 3 Using the workplace to drive business change 12chapter 4 Government trendsetters 15

    part 2 Themes of influence and changechapter 5 New workstyles 22chapter 6 Openness, communication and collaboration 30chapter 7 The less-paper oce 36chapter 8 Identity and expression 42chapter 9 The drive for quality in design and procurement 48

    part 3 Ensuring long term successchapter 10 Managing cultural change 56chapter 11 Maximising and sustaining the benefits of change 64chapter 12 Lessons learnt 75chapter 13 Postscript 78

  • Foreword

    Workplaces are changing, and nowhere more so than in the UK government today.These changes are bringing better environments using new technology, improvedprocesses, more focused and intensive use of resources, and the potential for muchgreater flexibility; all of which is helping to reform and improve the delivery of publicservice. Reform of Britains public services is at the centre of this governments agendaand my vision is for a civil service that transforms its own ability to deliver and acts asa catalyst for change throughout the public sector.

    There are real cultural changes happening at the heart of the civil service that areaecting what we do and how we do it. We recognise that our workplace aects theway we work and the sense of pride and value we feel as individuals and teams. Theprojects outlined in this book are a real measure of the enthusiasm and commitmentthat my colleagues and I have for developing the work environment that will helpdeliver the objectives we have been set.

    My own experience, as the champion of the Treasury redevelopment project, confirmsthere are tangible benefits to be gained from workplace and organisational change.The Treasury project illustrates vividly the way the geography of an organisation canreinforce its culture and its management aims. Through the new building we havemanaged to create a sense of a modern, outward looking department, an organisationwith an appetite for change. The building has developed a sense of inclusiveness,breaking down traditional hierarchy.

    It has promoted communication, both formal and informal and has encouraged flexibleways of working. Above all it has fostered a feeling of self-confidence and presented anattractive image to the talent we need to recruit.

    Co-produced by the Oce of Government Commerce and the international workplaceand design consultancy DEGW, this book oers good practice advice, thinking points,successes and learning based on expertise and experience willingly shared by thecontributors for the benefit of others. I trust the examples described here will be thefirst of many.

    Sir Andrew Turnbull, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service, May 2004

  • About this book

    The UK government workplace has taken a variety of forms, from the opulence of its early incarnationsto the more familiar drab and dreary post-war towerblocks with their long dark corridors and rows ofcellular oces. Its work environments have not,however, been often considered as either innovativeor progressive. For a large part of the last century itlagged behind the private sector which has tended to occupy better buildings, with better fit-outs, thatbetter support their working practices.

    Today things are changing. Across government a host of workplace projects are underway that areembracing not just physical change but integratedbusiness, organisational and cultural change. Thework environment is no longer viewed as a passiveoverhead but as a powerful and integral aspectof government business, which, given the rightattention and investment, can significantly enhancethe eectiveness of public service delivery.

    In many ways the UK government is now leading theway in workplace design. It is looked to by overseasgovernments as a model for the future, and isinfluencing the private sector in its approach. Thisbook can be best described as a celebration of theseachievements and evolving good practices and ameans by which to educate and inform thoseembarking on workplace change.

    The book falls broadly into three sections: Part 1 looks at the historical context and the catalysts for change in the government workplace; Part 2examines the current themes influencing the designof these workplaces; and Part 3 explores the practicalaspects of understanding, achieving, and sustainingsuccessful workplace change. Each chapter or sectioncan be read independently for specific informationand learning points, or in sequence as part of thedeveloping story.

    In addition to the main authors, many individuals,organisations and projects have contributed to thecontent and richness of this book. The book has, inparticular, drawn extensively upon the following fivemain case studies which illustrate some of the bestwork taking place in government today, and withwhich OGC and/or DEGW have been closely involved:

    The Government Communications Headquarters(GCHQ) purpose-built oce complex in Cheltenham

    Her Majestys Treasury (HMT) redevelopment oftheir Head Oce at 1 Horse Guards Road, London

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) Main Buildingredevelopment, Whitehall, London (due foroccupation Summer 2004)

    The Oce of Government Commerce (OGC) HeadOce refurbishment at Trevelyan House, London

    The Scottish Enterprise Headquarters purpose-builtoce complex at Atlantic Quay, Glasgow

    This book aims to provide an accessible publicationthat captures and explores current UK governmentworkplace developments and emerging good practicein order to inform, encourage and support widerimprovement and innovation.

    Aimed at senior managers, including permanentsecretaries, chief executives and business changeleaders, as well as heads of estates and facilities,the authors hope the insights from the case studiesincluded in this book will provide a starting pointfor those thinking of embarking on similarorganisational change projects and perhaps also give some reassurance that others have alreadysuccessfully been there, done that and survived to tell the tale.

  • Adryan Bell, DEGW Adryan is director of workplace change management atDEGW and was involved in many of theprojects featured in this book. A formercivil servant, Adryan joined DEGW fromScottish Enterprise, where as head ofinternal communications and change,he led its award-winning Workplace of the Future project. Adryan regularly writesand speaks on workplace topics and hisfirst book Transforming your Workplacewas published in 2000.

    Tim Allen, DEGW Tim is an associatedirector in workplace change managementat DEGW and has been directly involvedwith many of the projects discussed inthis book. Tim worked previously for Boots The Chemists as a project managerin their award-winning head oce co-location project. Tim often speaks on the issues around organisationalcommunications in times of change.

    Felicity Swaer, DEGW Felicity is aworkplace consultant and methodologist.During her time at DEGW she has beeninvolved in a number of governmentworkplace projects. Felicity carried outthe post-occupancy evaluation of the new Treasury building, and is nowworking with the MoD to collectbenchmarking data to support futurepost-occupancy evaluation of MainBuilding.

    Bridget Hardy, OGC A chartered surveyorby profession, Bridget leads the WorkplaceStrategies Team in the Successful DeliveryDirectorate of the Oce of GovernmentCommerce. She leads on development ofOGCs strategy for improving central civilgovernments eectiveness and eciencyin procurement and use of workplaceresources. She is responsible foridentifying and supporting embedding of best practice, and through her widenetwork of contacts within governmentis working to create knowledge sharingopportunities. She is also a leadingmember of the Worldwide Workplace Web W4, an international knowledgesharing network for public sector realestate professionals.

    Richard Graham, OGC Richard managesthe development of property andconstruction best practice and guidanceprojects specifically in the area ofworkspace