In conversation with Martin Sellar
Martin is the Government Property Agency Programmes Director and will be speaking on the panel Delivering smarter ways of working through smarter workplaces at the Public Sector Solutions Expo on 26th June 2019.
What are the challenges you have encountered to implementing smarter working initiatives?
The challenges have been varied, but the main ones have been related to people, culture and behaviour. Changing the way people approach their working style and their concept of a workspace is often not recognised as a truly transformational shift in people/culture, workspace and technology. This means that the effort required to implement it is often underestimated.
The Croydon Campus has been very successful, can you highlight one aspect of that project that stands out as a major success?
The major success of the Croydon Campus is that all those involved have now adopted the smarter working practices that were put in place. This was so important because, as highlighted above, it requires a lot of effort from everyone in the environment to shift attitudes and culture as well as understand and implement new working pathways.
Where would you like to see technology utilised to further improve smarter working in the future?
Getting the technology basics right is fundamental to the success of smarter working. Providing all people with mobile technology solutions that they know how to use and exploit and that enables them to work seamlessly from the location of their choice should be the aim of any organisation.
What projects are you working on in 2019?
As the GPA Programmes Director, I’m the Senior Responsible Officer for three interrelated programmes within the Government Property Agency – the Smarter Working, Government Hubs and the Whitehall Campus Programmes. The GPA Smarter Working Programme is currently working with all 43 government departments to guide, support and challenge them during their own smarter working implementation.
We’re using PAS3000: Smart Working Code of Practice for our benchmark – and in line with the Government Estate Strategy published last July – we’re attempting to deliver a challenging target of 70% of departments having implemented smarter working by the end of 2020, with 100% by end of 2022.
To do this, we’re building a network of smarter working professionals across government; we’re creating toolkits that draw on and promote good practices and we’re encouraging people at all levels of organisations to adopt ways of working based on the outputs people deliver, not just where they deliver them from. Achieving this will be key to enabling the Government Hubs and Whitehall Campus Programmes, which will provide civil servants across the UK and in central London with multi-departmental, high quality workspaces. Together, these three programmes will help to create great places to work for civil servants.