The key was communication, communication, communication. To the lowest level of the organization in order to ensure staff would support the moves. The other key factor was that the building remained open during the works and we closed two floors at a time, the building has 7 floors, Basement to 5). This created a whole new set of challenges and required us to decant staff around the building whilst ensuring work could continue. The key concern of the staff was “Will I come in to work and end up not having a desk to work at?” – We have conducted many workstation utilization surveys which show that nationally the average desk is occupied approx 68% of the time. Hence our move to a 7:10 ratio. In the end we have a building with 444 workstations that houses 640 staff and at any time the building has at least 40 to 50 workstations that are free. We never expect there to be any day when a member of staff will not be able to come to work at the new Becket House and not find a desk on their assigned floor. We aim to ensure nationally that all our staff in whichever building they work are working at a similar density.
One aspect of our property change plans is the amount of money we need to spend to ensure the buildings we are keeping can be better utilized. I have mentioned flexible desk sharing and the size of desks. The other issue is the desk suppliers. We have begun to use companies that supply re-modeled desks, in many cases our old curved desks (1800mm x 1600mm) from buildings being closed are sent away to be cut down and come back the size we want. So the old antiquated furniture of yesterday becomes the new sleeker furniture of tomorrow. The photos above are taken on different floors of the same building in West London. Our aim is that the new desks in the photo on the left will be the last new desks we will ever purchase. The more we establish and embed the process for re-using stock from buildings being closed the more we can drive down the costs of even the remodeled desks. It is possible for us working with HOPG procurement colleagues to aim to get the cost of the desks on the right down to approx £125 each. There are even greater savings to be made by having old office chairs re-furbished, re-covered and repaired rather than buying new. As an example over 230 chairs now in place at Heathrow and Dover originally came out of buildings being closed in Croydon. The cost of a new chair is approx £245. The cost of a refurbished chair with a new 5 year guarantee is £35. So in this one example we saved £48,000 by not replacing the sorely needed chairs at the Port with brand new.
Linked to our surrendering of the Communication House lease early , and forming a key part of our Greater London Estate Consolidation Programme was our need to centralise our operational teams in Central London within a single building. This project highlights what it is possible to achieve within a tight timescale and with the support of enablers and with significant buy-in from our staff and managers in our Central London offices. By the end of the project we had re-designed Becket House completely so it could cope with more than double the numbers of staff. The photo on the left shows what it was, a busy and cramped office. The presiding view was that the building was for all intents and purposes full. However 4 months later we had re-designed it and the photo on the right shows the result. (To be fair, with no staff in it, but the building has had 640 staff working in it since April this year and the performance of our teams in London, inc caseworkers has not been impacted by working to a greater density and at smaller desks. The new desks in the photo on the right are 1200mm wide. (Unfortunately they were brand new and not re-modeled because of the timing of the works was based around the need to be in a position to exit Communications House to benefit from the deal with the landlord. If we had had the benefit of more time we would have used remodeled desks however the contractual agreements with the suppliers were not in place at the time.
Carolyn Spencer, Head of Property at UK Border Force - Estates rationalisation
FM and property event – 19 April 2013UK Border Agency/Border Force Case Study:Effectively Rationalising Central Government PropertyCarolyn Spencer - Head Border Force PropertyGrant Beresford - Home Office General Property
UKBA/BF Case StudyThe UKBA/BF Property Strategy & AimsThe Strategy:“to create a streamlined property portfolio which delivers a modern sustainableenvironment, whilst delivering efficiency savings and continuing to meetoperational needs enabling all staff to work in reasonable conditions whilstcontributing to business efficiency.”2Aims: Reduced property costs – rents, rates, service charges, utilities,on-going maintenance Reduced carbon emissions Reduced IT and telephony costs, security guards and messengerfunctions A smaller estate with better utilised buildings bringing teams andfunctions closer together
UKBA/BF Case StudyHow the strategy is being delivered3Being delivered through: Establishing clear need both now and in the future, aligning propertyand workforce plans Changing office culture and environment, flexible desk sharing, openplan offices for all, clear desk policies, storage requirements, desksizes, floor lay-outs Rationalising the estate, closing buildings, reducing footprints, sharingwith OGDs Re-gearing leases and surrendering lease breaks on essentialbuildings Increasing energy efficiency of buildings, optimising performance ofvoltage/boilers, collocating teams to reduce travel, using re-modelledfurniture rather than new
UKBA/BF Case StudyEstate rationalisationCompletedCroydon Consolidation – vacated 6 properties (2008 – 2011)Liverpool - vacated 6 properties to move into a single building (2008 – 2011)Glasgow/Rotherham/Solihull/Plymouth/St Ives – vacated 8 properties (2009 –2011)OngoingGreater London Estate Consolidation (GLEC) – reducing 28 properties to 12(2010 – 2014)PlannedManchester consolidation – reducing 5 properties to 2 or 3 (2012 – 2014)Birmingham consolidation– reducing 3 properties to 1 or 2 (2012 – 2014)4
UKBA/BF Case StudyProperty Asset Management5Looking forward to identify what properties will continue to be essential fordelivery then negotiating early via partners to generate improved terms andincentives equivalent to £12.5M so far.For example: Re-gearing leases saving up to £9M during the life of the new leases Deferring break options saving up to £230k Removing break options saving up to £410k Surrendering a lease early generating a cash benefit of £3M
UKBA/BF Case StudyGreater London Estate Consolidation (GLEC)6Objective:To consolidate from 28 into 12 properties and achieve savings whilstminimising impact upon business delivery during the programmeCosts:The Agency will need to spend £37.2 million to deliver the expected savingsSavings: Reducing London annual accommodation gross running costs by£17.1 million per year by 2014/15 Total spend, including dilapidations, recouped by Q3 of 2014/15 Reducing London floor space by 33% and reducing London gross rentand rates by 39% Total net benefit to taxpayer by 2023/24 is £174 million(undiscounted)
UKBA/BF Case StudyGLEC – staff moves and property closures - start7
UKBA/BF Case StudyGLEC – staff moves and property closures - end8
UKBA/BF Case StudyGLEC ethos9To achieve the transformation required: Comprehensive engagement strategy with staff and managers fromstart to finish to obtain buy-in Dynamic and responsive requirements gathering to ensure teams candeliver their business in the new environment Understanding and responding to HR issues e.g. static desk users,travel Enablers having the capacity to deliver the accommodation and ITchanges needed Changing the working environment to small size desks, new floor lay-outs and new flexible desk sharing ratio’s averaging 7 desks :10 staff Making the retained buildings fit for purpose with an up-front investmentto increase power, air-conditioning, server capacity, andrefurbish/improve communal areas
UKBA/BF Case StudyNew desks v re-modelled desks10New desks Re-modelled desks£470 each £250 each
UKBA/BF Case StudyGLEC - Becket House (London Bridge)11Pre-transformation – 4 operational buildings in Central London Becket House (London Bridge) – 330 staff Communications House (Old Street) – 170 staff Angel Square (Islington) – 105 staff Custom House (Thames Street) – 35 staffPost transformation – 1 flag-ship building, fit for purpose and better utilised Becket House – 640 staff
UKBA/BF Case StudyGLEC - Customer Service Improvements12