ADD2273 Research into new ways of working

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
24 September 2018
Decision by: 
Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director, Housing

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval of expenditure for an externally commissioned research project to inform a new vision for how staff at the Greater London Authority (GLA) work, up to a maximum value of £25,000.

This work is being overseen by the resources and well-being working group, which was established as part of the GLA Senior Management Team’s response to the staff survey carried out in late 2017.


That the Assistant Director - Housing approves:

Expenditure up to £25,000, funding from the corporate contingency budget, to pay for a research project that will inform a new vision for working that make the most of new forms of technology and office facilities at the Greater London Authority.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Well-being and resources was one of the key priorities identified by the GLA's Senior Management Team (SMT) from the 2017 Staff survey. The others are reward and recognition; and Performance, diversity and inclusion.

The Assistant Director – Housing (Jamie Ratcliff) and Assistant Director – Skills & Employment (Michelle Cuomo-Boorer) have volunteered to lead a task and finish group to tackle this area, with sponsorship from Executive Director Martin Clarke.

The initial discussions in the group have focused on flexible working and office space. The Mayor of London is ambitious and determined to do all within his current powers to help make a city for all Londoners, alongside tirelessly lobbying government for additional powers and resources. As a result, the headcount at the GLA has expanded rapidly in recent years with more expansion in the pipeline. This has put significant pressure on the GLA’s existing building and resulted in the leasing of additional office space nearby

It is clear that significant and extensive work has been undertaken by Technology Group and Facilities Management to establish a technology platform for flexible working, support an appropriate range of mobile devices and support a steadily shrinking ratio of desks to employees. The group has concluded that the missing piece is a clear vision of how GLA staff could work in this new environment.

This decision approves the commissioning of some advisory support to help us understand how other organisations have developed interesting, innovative or experimental new ways of working, and to produce case studies that can help to inform the GLA’s vision for how staff should work. This vision could help guide the wider cultural change that is needed to take advantage of the technology platform that has been established and to inform the level of space that the GLA needs to provide for its staff to work in.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The research aims to identify relevant and comparable organisations that have developed interesting, innovative or experimental new ways of working and produce case studies that can help to create the GLA’s vision for how staff should work.

This will need to be underpinned by an understanding of the range of tasks and responsibilities in the GLA which will be developed through group sessions and a limited number of internal interviews. It also needs to account for the geometry of the GLA’s main building.

The expected outputs are:

• Five relevant case studies of the ways in which different organisations to the GLA have adopted for working; and
• Three options for a potential vision in terms of new ways of working, ideally based around a spectrum of identifying the extremes of comparable approach in order to inform the GLA’s internal work on developing a vision for a new way of working.

Equality comments

The public-sector equality duty requires the identification and evaluation of the likely potential impacts, both positive and negative, of the decision on those with protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation) and set out how you are addressing the duties. This duty will be considered throughout the procurement process in line with standing GLA’s recruitment policies.

Other considerations

The specification for this work will be sent to three capable organisations to submit a written proposal, which will be evaluated by the working group along with colleagues from Technology Group and Facilities Management, before being tested at interview.

Financial comments

This decision seeks approval for expenditure of up to £25,000 for the procurement of a research project to inform a new vision for working at the Greater London Authority.

The expenditure will be taken from the Corporate Contingency budget and will be spent in 2018/19 financial year.

Activity table



Contract with selected organisation

1 October 2018

Project initiation meeting

Week commencing 1 October 2018

Evidence gathering and ongoing feedback

October 2018

Submission of draft final report to GLA

1 November 2018

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