The future has arrived
Most significant change requires a sharp shock to set it into motion. The last year has provided that shock and organisations around the world have responded rapidly to new ways of working. Local authorities have of course not been exempt from these changes and in many cases have been very creative in responding.
Whereas the previous expectation was that the majority of employees should be based on-site, this assumption has forever changed. Leaders have come to realise that remote employees are productive and, in many cases, are working longer hours than before.
Employee requirements: the other side of the debate
For many, remote working provides a better work-life balance (home schooling not withstanding!). Many of us would probably want the ability to be in the office for two days a week – mainly to meet our social needs and to communicate with colleagues in a way that doesn’t typically happen online.
Nevertheless, the realisation that people can be productive in a remote setting has set many minds thinking about possibilities of living somewhere idyllic yet still being fully employed. The appeal of freedom from a lengthy commute is clear, and some people will remain wary of public transport for some time to come.
Councillor using Connect Remote on a tablet
Technology has responded quickly to the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic. There are many tools to facilitate online meetings, collaboration and connecting.
As employers make savings on offices, they will be required to invest some of these savings into technology and providing home workers with necessary equipment.. For local authorities, one of the clear challenges is how best to combine remote and physically in-person participants in council meetings.
Enabling hybrid council meetings
At Public-i, our core business is (and always has been) helping councils to communicate effectively with citizens. Over the past 18 months, we’ve developed a Hybrid meeting capability for our customers so they can combine remote and present participants effectively.
Remote and local members can see and hear each other.
Without this capability, the council has to manage two separate meeting rooms simultaneously (the remote participants and chamber participants). This is clearly not ideal.
With our Connect Hybrid solution, both physically present and remote team members can participate, engage and vote seamlessly. This is the first solution of its kind and we’re proud to be leading the way for future council meetings.