Aberdeen council urged to get workers back into the office

Russell Borthwick (AGCC)

ABERDEEN City Council has been accused of hampering its own multi-million-pound city-centre regeneration plans – by continuing to allow staff to work from home.

The chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce is urging the local authority to reverse a policy originally put in place only as an emergency measure to stop the spread of CV19.

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Russell Borthwick has called on the council to bring hundreds of workers back into the Marischal College HQ.

The complex, which is the world’s second-largest granite building, is capable of accommodating 1,300 workers.

Mr Borthwick told the Press & Journal: “Successful city regeneration projects require one main ingredient- people. To live there, to spend leisure time and to work there.

“Meanwhile, the local authority continues to enable swathes of its staff to work remotely.

“Come on Aberdeen City Council, you have an easy lever to build footfall in the east end of the city centre. Pull it.”

Mr Borthwick described the “pulling of the lever” as a “no-cost option” which would “bring hundreds more people into the city on a daily basis”.

He explained: “Added to the productivity, team building, development and customer-service benefits it would bring, surely this is worthy of serious consideration.”

A council spokeswoman told the P&J that working practices are judged by their benefit to the role and to citizens.

She said: “Our city centre offices have staff working from them every day.

“As a flexible employer, we continue to support a range of working styles which includes part-time and hybrid working where the role can support it.”

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