Open-access content 13th November 2008
I cannot believe that a few weeks ago we celebrated our first year in our new head office at Bishop's Stortford.
20 November 2008
I cannot believe that a few weeks ago we celebrated our first year in our new head office at Bishop's Stortford. Can a change of office really make a difference to the daily advance of providing professional services to the membership? The answer has to be a clear and resounding yes.
The centrally-sited office close to both the rail and coach station is also only 10 minutes from Stansted Airport. However, the real benefit is simple open plan working that aids communication and collaborative working, supported my modern voice and data systems.
My experience is that many not-for-profit and third sector organisations suffer from the most appalling working conditions, similar to our former head office in Saffron Walden. Cramped working drives a silo mentality and detracts from open and innovative thinking.
So, one year on, staff and visitors comment about the pleasant working environment which underpins our staff attraction, retention and motivation policy. With a soft furnished break out area, meeting facilities and kitchen and rest room plus a boardroom, we notice a significant effect on efficiency and increased motivation.
The footprint of senior volunteers has increased dramatically aiding the formal and informal meetings between staff and members. We have also noticed the uptake in staff and managers taking the opportunity of working from home and benefiting from a more flexible working pattern.
A recent staff survey showed that the move to new offices has really helped deliver on our promises to the staff and that staff satisfaction is being maintained at a very pleasing level. This has prompted us to look at our staff organisation and evaluate the talent pool within the existing institute staff structure; a major part of our medium term strategy. Both the board and executive realised that if we are to continue to deliver on the major elements of our business plan, we must have the right infrastructure in place.
Looking back over the last year in our new head office, we are in good shape to weather the external environment and financial pressures that we are all facing. Maybe, just maybe, we are seeing that facilities management through buildings, people and technology is the new HR.