Collaborative workspace in central Birmingham Credit: GPA
A high-tech office in Birmingham that houses 20 government departments and agencies has been ranked as offering the best work experience for public sector employees in the world.
The Government Property Agency’s center in England’s second city has been renovated from disused commercial space to create what it describes as “modern, digitally connected and inclusive workspaces”. It houses 1,700 employees from 20 government agencies. Officials began work on the building from July 2021, with the site officially opening in July 2022. Its creation has enabled “streamlining” savings of £2m per year, according to GPA.
In addition, the location has received globally recognized certification after receiving a score of 76 out of 100 from office surveying firm Leesman. This places the center as the best work experience for UK public sector employees and in the top 2% of the 7,300 world office buildings assessed for the Leesman Index.
Leesman+ is a globally recognized certification awarded to world-class workplaces after rigorous study, analysis and testing. The GPA has become the second public sector building globally to achieve the standard, joining the Competition and Markets Authority.
To receive certification, buildings must “create a high benchmark and provide valuable information about the quality of the features, services and infrastructure that matter most to the people who use the building.”
Leesman surveyed both office staff and those who visit more flexibly from other offices.
Tim Oldman, founder and CEO of Leesman, said: “Stephenson Street’s fantastic workplace experience rating score from the Leesman Index is a testament to GPA’s tireless effort to put public sector employees at the center. of your workplace design strategy. And it shows that functionally outstanding contemporary workplaces are certainly not exclusive to the private sector, proving that user-centric and evidence-based approaches deliver excellent return on investment.”
Dominic Brankin, GPA Director of Workplace Services, added: “GPA is incredibly proud to know that we are providing a truly qualified work experience for public servants. We all navigate our way through new ways of working that have evolved at alarming speeds. But we always work hard to keep the focus on our clients and customers to make sure we create great places to work. Our Leesman+ certification is proof that we are delivering on what we promise.”
The GPA facility opened as part of the GPA hub program, which is relocating civil servants from small offices to up to 50 large hubs equipped with the latest technology. The program has saved more than £170m a year through building closures in London alone, the Cabinet Office said last year. However, the GPA had to change its plans for the program last year to reflect lower post-Covid office occupancy rates and MPs described the plan in December as “messy”.