"Mammoth task" as council staff move from Town Hall to home working

As many people have adapted to working from home, Sheffield Council bosses are also looking at how things might change at the Town Hall.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 7:00 am

The council has more than 7,000 employees and says it took enormous effort to enable staff to work from home or be redeployed when lockdown suddenly hit.

Council staff will be able to claim reasonable expenses incurred from working at home but offices say there could also be long term savings.

Coun Jim Steinke told a scrutiny meeting: "We are focusing on returning to some kind of normality which is similar to what we had before but do we want things to be different?

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There's an opportunity to significantly restructure things."

Finance officer Ryan Keyworth said one immediate saving they had noticed was paper.

"The piles of paper sitting on desks six months ago are still there and we don't need to work that way any more.

"The council has done an enormous amount to allow work to take place remotely. In March we had capacity for a few hundred people to work from home and now we have capacity for anybody to work from home.

"We have accelerated that at an amazing pace and it has been impressive.

"I don't need to be in the office five days a week. The ability to hold a meeting from wherever you are is really important and we could never have imagined being able to do this.

"That's led to a host of opportunities on where we focus council reserves, how we look at council buildings and what we use them for."

Deputy Leader Coun Terry Fox said the council had organised 6,000 pieces of kit during lockdown.

"As a normal bloke in the street I have been running just to stand still throughout this situation.

"People at the front end have had to make really quick and severe decisions but it's always been about the city and putting Sheffield and residents first.

"It's really been a mammoth task and can't be underplayed. It's been a tremendous effort."

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