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Distributed work centres

Lead agency: 
Housing and Public Works
Start date: 
April 2016

Summary

The Queensland Government Accommodation office has been successfully piloting Distributed Work Centres (DWCs) in key commuter corridors since April 2016.

The DWC pilot is one of the many ways the Queensland Government is enabling flexible and modern work practices for government employees and helping to position the Queensland Government for a more agile future.

From April 2019, it is envisaged that the DWC pilot program will transition to a business-as-usual model.

What is a DWC?

A DWC is a designated office space in a location that is remote from an employee’s primary office location. These centres have been established in vacant or underused office space in the government’s property portfolio.

Registered Queensland Government employees can work up to 3 days per week from a DWC as agreed with their manager. Employees work their remaining days from their normal office location in the Brisbane CBD.

Locations

The DWCs currently operating are:

  • Ipswich (stage 1—opened April 2016)
  • Robina (stage 2—opened November 2016)
  • Maroochydore (stage 3—opened June 2017)

Logan DWC is due to open July 2018 (stage 4).

We conducted research to identify where the largest catchment of public servants resided and who commuted to a CBD workplace. The results showed Ipswich has the largest cohort of public servants, followed by the Gold Coast and then the Sunshine Coast.

Background

The DWC project commenced in April 2016 and was implemented in partnership with the Public Service Commission. The project seeks to test government’s appetite for agile (mobile working) and trialling future workplace concepts.

The pilot program explores the potential value of DWCs:

  • employee and team productivity and benefits
  • attraction and retention opportunities
  • virtual collaboration capability
  • opportunities provided by emerging technology
  • organisational and leadership support for flexible work options
  • impact on employee wellness.

Benefits

Since the beginning of the project, we have regularly surveyed participants and their managers. The results of these surveys clearly demonstrate the project is meeting its objectives.

The program has a steadily growing membership, with 150 participants from various agencies. It’s not surprising that feedback and testimonials from participating employees and their managers has been overwhelmingly positive.

Employees working closer to home benefit from:

  • less time and cost commuting to and from work
  • better work/life balance
  • greater trust between managers and their team.

The organisation benefits by:

  • reducing absenteeism
  • increasing productivity
  • improving inclusion and diversity
  • creating networking and collaboration opportunities with other agencies
  • supporting agencies’ changing accommodation needs.

Key milestones

We’ll be celebrating the opening of the fourth DWC in Logan (Meadowbrook) in July with an official launch.

Project phase

Implementation

Contacts

Contact name: 
DWC project manager
Email: 
DWC [at] hpw.qld.gov.au