The council is to launch an agile working pilot as part of a longer term strategy to consolidate its estate that could include the sale of some of its buildings.
“There is an opportunity to consolidate our buildings footprint, generating capital receipts from any buildings that are sold and also focus our resources in a much more effective way”, a Bury Council report said.
Under the pilot, agile workspace for council workers will be provided within parts of the town hall and 3 Knowsley Place for staff who cannot reasonably work from home.
The pilot is expected to launch in the new year, if Covid-19 infection levels allow for a return to the office. It is part of a council initiative to adopt a flexible working approach.
If successful, the pilot would result in the authority requiring less office space in the future. prompting a consolidation of the council’s property estate.
Many of the buildings are in a “state of disrepair” due to lack of maintenance, the authority said. It would cost “millions of pounds” to bring the estate up to standard, a move that would not be cost effective, it added.
The council estimates that it could save £500,000 on energy and utility bills this year as a result of homeworking.
Bury also reported that staff absentee rates between April and August 2020 were down 50% compared to the same period last year.