Case Study: Staffordshire County Council boosts employee satisfaction through a ‘smart working’ rollout
"Since launching our Smart Working project, staff are no longer restricted to their desks. They are free to work anywhere around the office, at home even ‘on the go’." – Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire County Council are on a mission to achieve smarter ways of working, greater levels of collaboration and trust - all key areas of focus.
A survey conducted in September last year, revealed a lack of access to the correct technologies limiting their workforce from working flexibly.
Staffordshire County Council wanted to boost productivity and enable flexible working.
Staffordshire County Council were searching for a solution to address an agile working policy (also known as ‘Hotdesking’). Targus were able to demonstrate that users can arrive at any ‘enabled’ desk location and work in a manner that is both familiar and comfortable to the user, with the ability to connect any device to their traditional desk set up which included external monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and network connection.
This requirement came with a number of challenges including the ability to cater for Staffordshire County Council’s (SCC) existing laptop estate (legacy users) which represents a mixture of various device manufacturers and machine models, plus the ability to allow users of new devices to connect into the same familiar soundings. The other additional complexity was regards to power delivery and how SCC could allow users to charge all their various devices at any desk without the need to carry additional power cables.
As a result of our recommended solution, SCC commissioned Targus to roll-out its dual video @ HD with built-in power universal docking station - ACP71EU suite, office-wide, upgrading the majority of their workstations and supporting both new and legacy devices, with the installation of over 1,000 universal docking stations.
"Staffordshire County Council is a prime example of just how innovative organisations across the public sector can be. In today’s employment landscape, it’s essential that staff feel they have the option, and also the technology available, to work both remotely and flexibly.
As the public sector is under considerable pressure to consolidate its real estate to cut costs, the reduction of various organisations into smaller premises is inevitable. With all of these organisations having their own networks, hardware and IT systems, there will no doubt be technology challenges to overcome. Yet, Staffordshire really is leading the way with setting the standards for other councils and government bodies, showcasing the unmistakable benefits smart working schemes can bring to an organisation."
Head of UK Corporate Sales at Targus
Since implementing the new technology, Staffordshire County Council has reissued the survey, seeing the following results in the last nine months:
10% increase in the number of employees that feel they have an improved work / life balance
15% more employees believe they are able to work anywhere in order to deliver business-critical services
17% growth in the number of staff that are able to access the technology they need to work from different locations
When surveyed again in July this year, 93% of council employees felt they had a good understanding of what smart working is, and what it means for them and their role.
"We were pleased to be introduced to Targus who came to visit and listened to our challenges; they suggested a comprehensive solution and provided evaluation products which helped us to prove the effectiveness of the solution in a ‘proof-of-concept’ pilot. As part of the process we tapped into their technical support team who were very helpful and supportive and made it possible to confirm that this was the best option to deliver our hot desking ambitions. The ongoing support has been exceptional and enabled the deployment of the Targus docking stations to be fast and effective with all our users now able to fully benefit from ‘smart working’ at any desk."
ICT Project Manager, Staffordshire County Council
"Since embarking on our smart working project, staff are no longer restricted to a specific desk. They are free to work anywhere in the office, at home and even ‘on the go’, while maintaining relationships with colleagues and clients and staying on top of workloads. Previously, there was a misconception that if you weren’t visible at your desk, you weren’t working. People now know that this isn’t the case.
Not only have Targus helped us provide our workers with more flexibility which in turn improves productivity and reduces wastage they’ve also helped us to work more closely with partner organisations by working in an agile way without being tied to a location or a desk. Increasingly we are also seeing a growth in the use of collaborative meetings using video communications; not being in the room no longer means you can’t be in the meeting and meetings can now be less formal, quicker to set up and ultimately deliver better and faster outcomes while reducing wasted time and costs."
Head of ICT at Staffordshire County Council
"The ability to attend meetings and share files/ presentations via SKYPE, ability to organise workload so that elements of role that require intense concentration can be carried out via Touchdown/Home in a quieter environment/less distractions which relieves pressure and stress. It is also great for a home/work balance."
"Increased productivity when out of the office, between meetings. Flexible working in other offices and areas. I also now have the ability to use technology to deliver training to young people. I have a mechanism to access the internet to support young people with all things linked to Employability, Education and Training."
"Smart working has had a huge impact on my life, I am able to use the 2 hours per day travel time to attend the gym and other fitness classes, I have lost weight, have been able to have surgery and most importantly my diabetes in remission and I have been taken off all diabetic medication, all for gaining 4 hours per week travel time back to use on myself."
"The flexibility has enabled me to achieve a better work/life balance and the trust we are given to carry out our work in different locations has made me appreciate the County Council as an employer."
Stories from Staffordshire County Council user experiences
Having enabled around 3,000 members of staff to work in new ways, Staffordshire already has plans to place further orders with Targus to accommodate its growing employee base.
The project has been such a success in Staffordshire County Council’s Stafford central offices, the ‘Smart Working’ initiative will be rolled out across other districts.
“I have had first-hand experience that the Targus docking solution has helped to support our project objective for ‘smart working’ across Staffordshire County Council.”
John Henderson, Chief Executive, Staffordshire County Council
Download full PDF version of the case study - click here