Staff to return to council offices - but reception desks will remain closed

By Dylan Davies   |   News editor   |
Tuesday 24th May 2022 8:44 am
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Canfolfan Rheidol
Cyngor Syr Ceredigion’s office in Canolfan Rheidol (Ceredigion County Council )

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COUNCIL staff will start to return to offices in Aberystwyth and Aberaeron from next month – but the reception desks will remain closed.

Ceredigion County Council has announced that office-based staff, who have been working remotely during the pandemic, will be returning to council offices in Aberystwyth and Aberaeron from next month, following a hybrid work strategy, which the council says is ‘devised to compliment the benefits gained from working from home while delivering some face to face services more efficiently’.

The reception desks at both offices will remain closed however with the council’s contact centre, Clic, remaining online and by phone.

Ceredigion County Council said: “Clic, the council’s customer contact services has adapted over the pandemic to ensure a continued service online and over the phone throughout despite working remotely.

“At the height of lockdown, the contact centre dealt with 85,000 calls and 13,000 emails.

“As a result of its efficiency, customer contact services will remain online and over the phone, and the reception desks at Canolfan Rheidol and Penmorfa will remain closed.

“Other appropriate face-to-face services will be phased in during the pilot.”

Penmorfa Ceredigion County Council Aberaeron
Ceredigion County Council headquarters at Penmorfa in Aberaeron (Cambrian News ) (Cambrian News)

The pilot scheme, which is set to run for 18 months, is being rolled out for staff who can work as effectively remotely as in the workplace but, due to certain responsibilities, will benefit from attending a workplace setting at certain times during the week.

One of the aims of the pilot will be to increase public-facing spaces that are welcoming and accessible to our customers.

Ceredigion County Council said in a statement: “Where possible, many of the UK workforce have worked from home since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“What was a challenge for many at the start, due to technical requirements and creating office space in homes, soon become a positive way of working with many benefits gained from this agile way of working.”

The council says that working from home has seen a reducation in traffic on our roads, reducing our impact on the environment and improved the work-life balance of staffm who spent less time commuting.

In a staff engagement survey, 80 per cent of Ceredigion County Council staff said that working remotely has helped to improve their work-life balance.

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