Revolutionising the workplace with activity based working
The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) provides support and advice to the Premier and Cabinet and leads the public sector in delivering the NSW Government’s priorities. DPC consults and works closely with other NSW Government departments, the Commonwealth Government, business, and the community to ensure the Government’s responses to community needs are effective.
In 2014 DPC was part of the Central Government Relocation Project that involved moving three government agencies – DPC, NSW Treasury, and Ministers and Parliamentary Services – to a single premises at 52 Martin Place, Sydney. The move to the new premises saw the relocation of approximately 1,300 government staff from all three agencies across 20 office floors.
Prior to the relocation DPC was spread across a number of locations within the Sydney CBD, with a working environment that offered few opportunities for collaboration between deskbound colleagues, and with legacy technology that made it difficult to improve the situation in any meaningful way.
‘One in four people had an office,’ said John Clark, Executive Director, Corporate Services, DPC.’“It was just corridors and offices; you could go weeks or months without actually seeing people from other parts of the organisation.’
According to CIO David Schneider: ‘About two years ago, IT was the worst rated indicator in terms of staff satisfaction. Prior to moving to 52 Martin Place, we had quite legacy technology, which created a lot of problems and a lot of difficulty for staff to work collaboratively.
‘The objective of the department in undertaking the relocation project, was to improve collaboration and communication across staff. At the same time, we were moving into a smaller footprint, so the executive team was attracted to the idea of implementing activity based working.’
Brian Walshe, General Manager, End user Computing, Dimension Data, said: ‘Activity based working allows us to get higher levels of concentration of people but actually create a better outcome, by changing the way we lay the office out and by making people internally mobile.’
‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity where you get to actually revolutionise and completely change over the technology landscape. Our motto from the beginning was the idea of being able to work anywhere anytime,’ enthused David Schneider.