The Office of Government Commerce and workplace change consultants DEGW have launched a publication aimed at modernising Civil Service ways of working

The guide, Working Beyond Walls, outlines a series of measures to ensure the Civil Service ‘adapts to meet the challenges of the modern age’ and ensure Government office workspaces are used more efficiently and operations are more sustainable.

DEGW and the OGC said the guide will ‘encourage new thinking on information and communication technology, styles of working, estate transformation, strategic asset management, sustainable design and human resource issues’.

The guide is intended to lead to the further development in the Civil Service of diverse workspaces and innovative ways of working that deliver greater productivity, attract talent, and ultimately provide better value for money for the taxpayer.

It sets out a series of case studies outlining current best practice, including the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs new offices in Alnwick, Northumberland, which it said provides both flexible working space and sustainable operations.

The guide also considers the importance of safeguarding data security, the environment and developing a healthier work / life balance.

Working Beyond Walls is part of the Government’s ‘High Performing Property Strategy’ initiative, led by the OGC, which sets out the direction for improving strategic property asset management in central government with a view to achieving up to £1.5bn in efficiency savings annually by 2013.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell said: ‘Work is what you do, not a place you go to, and the majority of the next generation of the workforce will be ready and able to work anywhere. Work has migrated beyond the conventional boundaries of time and space into a wider environment and those who manage the government estate should be prepared.’

Bridget Hardy, co-author and OGC’s head of high performing property strategy and implementation, said: ‘This book looks beyond currently accepted norms in relation to innovative flexible workplaces and working practices to offer a vision for the future of work in the Civil Service.’