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People are often attracted to various workplaces because of the benefits and conditions, but many of these benefits and conditions had to change as a result of  the pandemic. For some, working remotely was already on the cards, but for others, they had to adapt and change their practices very quickly.

This paper brings together the perspectives of senior executives from three local government regions, one in the UK and two from Australia.

Whilst two of them had to change many of their practices as a result of COVID-19, one of them is so remote that the pandemic barely affected them, but their remoteness is as much of a regular challenge as any pandemic. The lessons and adaptations these councils have made and continue to make are relevant to all employees, regardless of where and how they work.

Key takeouts:

  • People are often attracted to workplaces because of their location and conditions
  • The work of all local councils is very diverse and not all of it can be done virtually
  • The Borough of Brent is a large council in London and they coped remarkably well with the changes brought on by the pandemic
  • The City of Vincent in Perth was partly prepared for the pandemic because they had already discussed remote and flexible
    working arrangements
  • The Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands off the coast of WA is so remote, with its own challenges, that the challenges of a pandemic were barely noticed
  • Embedding the new ways of working flexibly after the pandemic is over, is the new challenge