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The Way We Work - frequently asked questions

About the building

1. Is there a date set for the move to the new building? 

Yes. We are planning for the moves in to the new building to be undertaken during October, November and December 2018.

2. What is the ratio of desks to staff in the new building? 

During phase one of Smarter Working we aimed to achieve a 7:10 ratio. Plans for phase two are for a 6:10 ratio of desks to staff through reducing the need for staff to come into the Colindale offices. These reductions will be achieved through the introduction of new processes, new technology, and greater opportunities to work away from the main office. Workstations at Colindale will be a mix of desks, breakout spaces, quiet areas, and meeting spaces. Not every workstation will be a standard desk.

3. Who will be moving to the new offices? 

Current plans are for all staff, and partner staff, based at Barnet House and the North London Business Park Buildings 2 and 4 to be based in the new building. The exception being the Registrars service, which is planned to move to Hendon Town Hall.

4. How many floors will my service be allocated in the new building? 

The allocation of space to services and teams will take place in 2018. Change managers from each service will be involved in this process and will provide more information once it is available.

5. Will the Colindale office be open 24/7 if staff want to work flexible hours?

The opening hours of the new building are not yet established

Engagement

6. Can we see what questions other staff have submitted as it may trigger other thoughts and questions?

Yes. This FAQ is a living document and will be updated regularly as new questions and issues are raised. Please email your questions to thewaywework@barnet.gov.uk (available to Barnet staff and all partners).

7. Who should I speak to if I want more information?

Us! Please email the team at thewaywework@barnet.gov.uk and we’ll do our best to help. Staff from partner organisations can also use this email address.

The answers to the questions we’re asked will appear in FAQs like this one. We’ll also use the comments and suggestions to inform decision making and future engagement activities.

Parking

8. What will the parking facilities look like at Colindale?

There will be 192 dedicated spaces available. 142 at the RAF museum and 50 at another nearby site, which is yet to be identified. The museum is a ten minute walk from the new building in Colindale. There will also be five disabled bays immediately outside the new building in Colindale.

9. Will there be a charge to park in the provided parking spaces?

Who will be able to park in the spaces provided, and the cost, are yet to be determined. Staff who need to use a car to do their job will be able to do so.

10. Are any other parking spaces planned for staff use?

There are no other parking spaces at the Colindale building. Please see the preceding questions for more information about parking.

11. Will there be a CPZ in the area?

The introduction of new Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) is subject to a legal process which includes consultation with those affected and is not at the discretion of the local authority. There are plans for a CPZ which will include the planned building in Colindale, but this is subject to the same process as any other CPZ.

If a CPZ is introduced it will mean that there is no parking without a permit on the streets immediately around the new building.

Commuting

12. Has the council taken into account where staff and partner staff live?

Yes. Data on where Barnet staff live has been collected and used to inform these plans and assess their impact but the new location of the building was driven primarily by a strategic decision to regenerate the Colindale area.

13. There are no direct buses that go from Barnet, Whetstone, or Finchley – will the bus routes be altered?

We will engage with Transport for London (TfL) as part of the introduction of the new building and the wider regeneration scheme across the Colindale area to request that public transport links are the best they can be and meet the needs of residents and our staff.

14. Will there be a shuttle bus?

A staff travel survey will be launched this summer and the information gathered will be used to inform future decisions. We will work to identify how we can best support the travels needs of our staff, both in getting to and from work, and in travelling for work purposes.

15. Why are three bus routes mentioned in connection with the new building?

The 186, 204, and 303 are the bus routes which stop immediately outside the new building. See where the bus routes go:

https://tfl.gov.uk/bus/route/186/

https://tfl.gov.uk/bus/route/204/

https://tfl.gov.uk/bus/route/303/

Cycling

16. Will Barnet provide access to a bicycle purchase scheme?

Yes. A scheme is being introduced from November 2016 as part of the employee benefits delivered through Unified Reward.

17. Will such a scheme extend to electric/specialist/custom bicycles?

Please refer to the operators of the scheme in November.

Remote working

18. Are there opportunities to work from home?

Yes. The Smarter Working programme will provide staff with the right tools to work efficiently in and out of the office.

19. How will the use of display screen equipment (DSE) be monitored when staff work from home?

Staff have a responsibility for their own welfare. Barnet’s staff are already trained to conduct their own DSE assessments using a tool on the corporate intranet.

The relevant policies and training will be revised as the number of staff working flexibly, and the amount of time they spend working away from the office, increases. Line managers will continue to be responsible for ensuring staff are properly trained and supported.

20. Is there a home working policy?

Yes, although the current policy only applies to staff who always work from home. These staff are known as home workers.

All existing HR policies are going through a process of consultation and review; this includes the home working policy which will be updated to take the move to Colindale into account. The current policy was written before the decision was made to move to Colindale.

Occasional working from home or other remote locations will be addressed under a separate policy which will be developed in advance of the office moves.

21. Working from home is sometimes slow / difficult. Will this be resolved?

We will ensure that the right technology and infrastructure will be in place before staff move to the new building. As with any IT infrastructure, there will still be issues, but remote access will be tested properly and will be fit for purpose.

Hubs and touchdown spaces

22. Are any of the sites highlighted in the presentations and video where the hubs will be?

No. The symbols on the map were a random selection of Barnet locations across the borough.

23. Where will the hubs be, and are there opportunities to work in hubs instead of the new building?

There are plans to identify hubs and touch down locations around the borough. The hubs are planned to be locations where residents can come to meet with us to receive targeted support and services. The majority of hubs are planned to be next to touch down office spaces.

Touch down office spaces are also planned where staff can sometimes work when appropriate, for example when meeting clients in the area or in hubs situated in the same building. However, the Colindale offices are planned to be the main base for services where many staff will come into work and where team meetings will take place.

The vast majority of staff should therefore expect to come to the offices in Colindale at certain times. A Family Friendly Hub will also be established in the east of the borough including both an office base for some of our family services, and also suitable facilities for meeting with children and families.

Working with partners

24. I now work for a partner organisation. Will I have the same opportunities as Barnet’s directly employed staff?

Colindale is planned to be the base for all of Barnet’s staff and the staff of all major partner organisations currently based at Barnet House and the North London Business Park. This includes CSG, RE, Barnet Group, Barnet CCG, and Cambridge Education.

However, Barnet’s partners are independent organisations with their own terms and conditions, policies and practices.

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