Cambridgeshire County Council are moving from central Cambridge to a new build 13 miles outside Cambridge. They have 700 staff and the new build was designed pre covid with 350 small desk positions. Portsdown have worked with the project team to re-design how the space works which has reduced the desking positions to 220 and provided open flexible spaces to support a new ‘Hybrid Office’ for social interaction and collaboration. This is complemented by booths and video booths for meetings and focused work.
The project started with a survey of the staff and it was soon apparent that the traditional banks of desks would no longer work in supporting the future vision of the council and the new ways of working that were now available following the implementation of new technology that had allowed almost all staff to work from home. Flexible and collaborative furniture is now being installed instead, to support staff in a new social environment that will better support hybrid working and attract hesitant staff back to the workplace with a better quality and exciting workplace design.
Areas are designed to support social interaction and the new importance of inclusive meetings with colleagues both in person and via video call. These hybrid meeting places have been carefully considered to weigh up the balance of privacy. Mobile barriers help to reduce sound travel and create visual privacy, and flexible mobile furniture allows distance to be maintained safely and comfortable for all. We have looked to ensure that whether you are dialling into a meeting or attending in person you are equally able to contribute and be seen as well as well as being heard.
The added option of working outside and meeting in the new external courtyard (weather permitting) has not been overlooked and a stunning garden design with feature benches that would brighten up any outdoor space will give that much needed break from the inner space that we have got used to whilst working from home and garden.