Home / Case study / Making connections

Making connections

Kean Jones, Chief Technology Officer at the Government Property Agency describes the work the team at the GPA have been doing on connectivity across the estate

The dust is now settling on the great workplace disruption – hybrid models have become the norm for many, with the number of people doing a blend of home and office-based working rocketing from 10 per cent in 2019 to nearly one third of the UK workforce by 2023, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This shift has brought with it a dramatic change in people’s expectations of the office. Employees want more from spaces – more sociability, more flexibility, more connectivity. They expect a seamless experience that unlocks all the benefits of being with colleagues and incentivises a departure from the comforts of WFH.

It’s a story we all know well, but the challenge now is how to deliver offices that fit this brief. At the Government Property Agency (GPA), smarter use of technology and data has been at the core of our strategy to create great places for Civil Servants and put teams at the heart of the communities they’re serving.


For some organisations, the answer to how to meet employees’ new needs has been estate rationalisation – streamlining sites and pulling together dispersed workforces into centralised hubs and campuses which offer the dynamic, collaborative environments that people want. This mentality has formed part of our roadmap too.

Through our Government Hubs Programme, we are creating multi-department centres across the country, bringing together Civil Servants from a variety of different teams. In Darlington, for instance, we are delivering an economic campus which will be home to 1,400 relocated roles and nine government departments, including HM Treasury.

While this approach has its merits, there is a balance that needs to be struck. Recruiting a wide range of talent is essential for any organisation to provide diversity of thought and expertise, and by having a footprint in multiple towns and cities, firms can ensure they are tapping into a broader pool of people. This has been a priority for us, with one of our core objectives being to ensure that government careers are accessible to individuals right across the UK.

So how can occupiers marry a more centralised approach, with greater connections across teams and opportunities for them to collaborate, while maintaining a regional presence? Our solution has been the development and roll out of GovPass, a unified and standardised access system which gives Civil Servants the freedom to work from buildings across the government property portfolio.

About Sarah OBeirne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *