Main Library redevelopment staff floor

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					IS P&R: 10.12.09                                                                            C

                                    Information Services
                             IS Planning and Resources Group

                                      10 December 2009

                         Main Library Redevelopment: staff floor


Brief description of the paper
The paper describes the timescale and a process for planning the 4th floor (staff floor) in the
Main Library redevelopment.


Action requested
For discussion to ensure that the process is good.


Resource implications
Does the paper have resource implications? Yes

If ‘Yes’, in which section(s) of the paper are they described?

The costs of the project will be through E&B; but there are many hidden costs for IS in a
project which will require 300 staff to move. The most important issue is about creating
good space in which IS staff can be productive.


Risk Assessment
Does the paper include a risk analysis? No, but there are risks with getting the space
wrong.


Equality and Diversity
Does the paper have equality and diversity implications? No, but there are issues which will
be addressed through the design process in consultation with Viki Galt.


Originator of the paper
Sheila Cannell
Director of Library and Collections

1 December 2009


Freedom of information
Can this paper be included in open business? Yes
IS P&R: 10.12.09                                                                              C
                        Main Library redevelopment: staff floor

Current timings for the 4th floor—the staff floor—of the Main Library redevelopment are that
the construction work will commence in February 2011, with completion 30 weeks later in
September/October 2011. While these dates may slip a little, we need to start more detailed
planning now with a view to having a confirmed and detailed design by summer 2010. The
construction contract will be let some 6-9 months before construction start date.

The plan is for the 4th floor to house approximately 300 IS staff in open plan working. I have
recently been at a conference, and have been reading about, open plan working. It is
undoubtedly the case that we can get this right or wrong, and I would like IS P&R to work
together with IS staff to ensure that we get this right, and create exemplary space in which
effective working can happen. A key requirement is involvement of staff in the design—but it
is difficult to involve every member of IS staff. A proposed phased approach is outlined
below.

There are a number of, sometimes conflicting, requirements for office space. These include:

      Space where staff can concentrate with no disturbances
      Space where staff can collaborate in a variety of settings
      Space for confidentiality
      Space where staff can have “downtime”

Each of these requirements needs to be carefully though through to provide the optimal
environment for each activity. However, unlike some office environments, we cannot provide
enough space for everyone to do all of these activities at one time; and we need to decide
which is the most important. It seems likely that we should designate each person’s desk as
“concentration space” and provide sufficient other space for the other functions of
collaboration, confidentiality and downtime.

In successful open plan environments—and there are many very successful such offices—
the expected behaviour is supported by a well thought through set of protocols, covering
necessary (and not unnecessary) behaviour patterns. Environmental issues, such as
lighting, furniture and ventilation must also be addressed sensitively. It is also a requirement
to maintain flexibility for changing working patterns and teams in the future.

At the same time we need to be aware that there will be differing requirements for IS staff,
depending, crucially, on the work which they do—but also on many other factors, eg age,
gender, behavioural patterns, need for privacy etc.

I would like to propose a three stage process for working on the 4th floor for the benefit of all
IS staff. The whole process will be backed up by a communications plan to ensure that all
relevant members of IS staff are aware of the work.

Phase 1: Decision making about who will be on the 4th floor. IS P&R should be responsible
for which 300 staff will be included on the 4th floor, and this will need to be confirmed very
early in 2010. The following staff will probably not be included: Helpdesk staff, CRC staff,
museums and galleries staff, staff based at library sites, ITI staff based at KB, EDINA & DCC
staff.

Phase 2: Selecting a small team (about 10-12 people) to work on the design of the space.
This team should be made up of those who respond to a call for volunteers, but should be
selected to cover various demographics—age, gender, division, type of work, level,
behaviour pattern. These individuals should be “well-connected” into IS, and would be
IS P&R: 10.12.09                                                                          C
expected to talk to their contacts about the work. This group will visit office space
(preferably in Edinburgh) to learn from the experience of other office space developments.
This group will help with the design process and with the establishment of the protocols
mentioned above. The group will report regularly to IS P&R and via a newsletter to all IS
staff.

Phase 3: At a later stage, when the detailed design is completed, one member of staff from
each team will be designated as responsible for working with their colleagues through the
detail of their team area, eg for detailed furniture requirements and seating arrangements.

The communications strategy will involve presentations about the work and a web
newsletter to all staff involved. One event would involve a presentation by Estates and
Buildings on the environmental issues in the Main Library.

IS P&R is asked to approve these proposals.

Sheila Cannell
December 2009

				
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Description: Main Library redevelopment staff floor