Digital Transformation

Civil servants moved away from Whitehall to minimise Games disruption

The Croydon Hub will accommodate 150 civil servants as the public sector looks to avoid Olympic travel chaos

In recent years, employers have largely been able to choose whether or not to subscribe to the latest remote working trends depending on the possible benefits for their business, but the disruption the Olympics is expected to bring has made taking such measures a necessity for some firms.

And while managers make frantic last minute decisions in regards to the extent of the flexible working practices that they’ll employ during the Games, it seems that the public sector has attempted to set an example by moving civil servants out of central London to avoid the travel chaos that has been widely predicted.

Creating newly furnished office space in a government-owned building for the cost of only £6,000, the Cabinet Office has said that up to 150 civil servants will be based in Southern House, Croydon, for the duration of the Olympics.

Known as The Croydon Hub, the initiative is designed to reduce the potential for productivity and performance to be negatively affected by the Games, and reflects how having staff work away from their traditional base can be an effective means of tackling periods of upheaval.

"This Croydon hub will help reduce pressure on London’s transport network during the Olympics," said Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office.

Considering the benefits of cloud networks, modern data sharing and backing up files online, the belief appears to be that the output of civil servants will not suffer as a result of their relocation as they will have access to the same systems that they do in Whitehall.

"The hub at Southern House is a sign of how in future work can be delivered for the government from places outside the Whitehall centre, using modern technology and flexible styles of working," added Jon Rouse, chief executive for the London Borough of Croydon.

With the opening ceremony set to kick off tomorrow (27th July), the hope will be that the business continuity plans made by both public and private sector organisations will prove effective.