Staffordshire County Council (SCC), consistent with many local authorities and government agencies across the UK, established the Castle House Hub to support its Smart Working initiative – providing employees with a centralised, modern and smart office space. The Castle House Hub was designed to also host Newcastle-under-Lyme Police Authority and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council staff. The implementation is part of the Council’s Smart Working strategy – its cultural approach to embedding digital at the heart of everything it does so that they can get the best out of all resources.
SCC retained Matrix Booking to build and implement a room booking system that would ensure all meeting rooms at the hub were straightforward to book, requiring little to no training and easily accessible for all designated users across the three organisations. The Matrix Booking system was implemented within weeks – ready and waiting for the teams based at the Castle House Hub to utilise as soon as the new hub project was ready. Once the setup was complete and training delivered, alongside integration with the SCC Single Sign-On solution (in place to make passwords and users easier to manage), the system was handed over to staff.
“The introduction of the Matrix Booking desk booking system was nowhere near as challenging as I had imagined it would be. I had anticipated a period of steep learning with queries and questions galore but in reality, it couldn’t have been simpler. From day one, colleagues were able to go into the system and book desks. Its been a critical factor in positive culture change here at Staffordshire County Council with colleagues engaging quickly with the system.”
Pamela Moffat – Senior Organisational Development Business Partner at Staffordshire County Council
Matrix Booking delivered a solution that covered bookings for all 25 meeting rooms at the Castle House Hub and following the successful introduction of the solution, SCC requested Matrix Booking add car parking bookings to the system, which was fully delivered and in use within days of the request.
As part of SCC’s commitment to getting the best value from its estate so that as much money as possible is invested in supporting its residents, the organisation concluded that the Matrix Booking system was the ideal tool to support its Smart Working strategy as it seamlessly combines all required resources into one application.
To demonstrate how Matrix Booking would improve SCC’s workplace – the team introduced the solution on a trial basis for 50 desks at the SCC head office located at No. 1 Stafford Place. A solution enabling users to book via the web, mobile or by using a Floorplan Kiosk.
The impact and benefits of Matrix Booking
After the successful trial with very positive feedback from staff, and less than one month later, 1,000 desks across four floors at No.1 Stafford Place were added to the Matrix Booking solution. Kiosks were also set up on every floor, each featuring the relevant floor plan used to locate where people are sitting, to book desks immediately and also in the near future. Over 2,000 users are now making approximately 15,000 desk bookings a month.
The increased levels of Smart Working (or hot desking) supported by the introduction of Matrix Booking are helping SCC improve overall employee satisfaction and make cost savings which can be redirected to frontline services for local people – by maximising available resources. The health and care team are now exploring how the system can be used for Care Bed booking which would simply not have been considered without its introduction as part of the Smart Working approach.
Users of the Castle House Hub and No.1 Stafford Place now have a more flexible way to book meeting rooms, desks and even car parking spaces using a single application. Bookings can be made in advance via the web or on the go with the Matrix Booking mobile app. Those users who arrive at the hub without a desk can review all available desks using the kiosk located on every floor. The Matrix Booking system has been key to driving a positive behavioural change in the way the Council use its collective workspaces.