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Devon County Council staff to 'hot-desk' to save millions

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 13, 2012

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A multi-million pound saving scheme at Devon County Council could see its staff no longer guaranteed their own desks.

The authority wants to sell off 28 properties over five years to save more than £10m a year in running costs.

Employees would have to share desks, work from non-council properties or from home, but no staff members would lose their jobs.

The strategy will aim to deliver reductions of 29% in running costs and 35%in occupied floor space by 2017.

In a report the council said it needed to make the savings to meet "significant budget pressure".

The report added: "A 'do nothing' option cannot be considered, as the costs of running and managing the property estate will need to be reduced significantly."

A Devon County Council spokesperson said: "By 2017 we want to reduce the occupied floor space of County Council buildings by 35%.

"We will be making better use of the space we have available by continuing to introduce more flexible working facilities which will allow any member of staff to work at any location.

"Some buildings will be surplus to requirements and we will look to dispose of these to provide revenue savings, reduce our carbon footprint, protect against rising energy costs, reduce our maintenance liability and generate money to fund capital projects across the county."

The council, which employs about 6,000 staff operating out of about 300 buildings around the county, is set to discuss the plans tomorrow.

During the past three years, the council said it had disposed of nearly £10m worth of properties through improved use of existing buildings, co-location with other services and agencies, and identifying buildings surplus to its requirements.

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  • Fuzzyfuzzball  |  November 13 2012, 4:37PM

    There are some Councils in the UK that already do this for the Revenues and Benefits departments. They started the people on homeworking contracts and then monitor their output so they have always worked this way. The issue comes as existing employees people struggle to work out of the office when given a change of environment and there are difficulties in monitoring the workload they get through.