Working in Walter Bower House

How will the building be managed?
We will soon recruit for the post of WBH Services Coordinator. This staff member will have responsibility for much of the day-to-day functioning of WBH. Their main responsibilities will include: providing a reception service; acting as a conduit for all building communication; and acting as the main reporting officer for building repairs, health & safety etc.

What will the opening hours be?
Walter Bower House is open Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 10pm. The reception is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5.30pm. An alarm will be set on the building between 10pm and 6.30am. You can work in the building at weekends if you let the Security and Response Team know in advance.

What about issues relating to confidentiality for units sitting next to each other? 
WBH will offer lots of areas for confidential discussions or quiet chats (small meeting rooms, quiet rooms, the contemplation room etc). The building protocols will touch on issues of confidentiality and the procedures around dealing with confidential information.

It is worth bearing in mind that all units handle some sort of confidential information so all staff should be aware of the importance of keeping data safe as a matter of course.

Will there be any noise issues, from the biomass plant or the road?
Particular care has been taken over noise levels on the site from the biomass boiler and chipping operations. The boiler flue has an additional sound attenuator fitted and we are effectively treating the new office building as if it were residential to ensure that noise levels will be satisfactory. High-quality glazing and insulated walls and roof should ensure very little noise from the road.

How will mail delivery be handled?
The central mailroom will deliver to the WBH mailroom twice every weekday at around 11.30am and 3.30pm. Mail drop off and pick up lockers will be provided for each unit within the mailroom. Individual units are responsible for picking up and dropping off mail at times that suit their operational needs.

How will stationery be ordered and stored?
There will be stores of standard stationery at each printer station (paper, pens, pencils, post-its etc), which the reception team will keep topped up. Any specialist stationery for unit-specific work will continue to be ordered by the unit as necessary.

How will waste and recycling be dealt with?
The University is keen to embed sustainability as standard across the whole campus. We plan to replace under-desk bins with excellent recycling facilities found throughout WBH – at the tea prep areas, within the main staff room and in the café. The facilities will replicate the Fife system, with bins for dry mixed recycling (paper, card, cans and plastic bottles), food waste and compostable packaging, and general waste. The printer areas will also have office paper recycling facilities.

Click here to read more about the reps’ thoughts for sustainability initiatives at WBH.


What percentage of staff will have a longer journey to work because of the relocation?

The University commissioned a staff travel survey and travel plan, which was carried out by experts from travel consultants Stantec. Analysis of the data shows that overall there will be a 9% reduction in the distance travelled by staff when they move to Guardbridge. It is estimated that around 70% of staff will travel a shorter distance to reach Eden Campus than their current destination and 30% will have to travel further.

What are the parking arrangements for WBH?
There will be a minimum of 223 parking spaces as per planning guidelines. Actual numbers of parking spaces offered will be higher than this, roughly around 300 spaces. An analysis of likely parking demand and supply (using our own travel survey data) shows that the parking is within comfortable parameters.

Is there a formalised policy on the management of car share and will they get priority parking?
Car share is being facilitated by the promotion and development of the University’s liftshare.com website and app. This allows staff to easily find and track car share partners. We also plan to offer specific parking at WBH to those who use the official liftshare programme.

What about the longer commute to drop children off at nursery in St Andrews and then travel back to Eden Campus?
We have been talking about agile/smart working from the outset. It is recognised and has been acknowledged that the relocation of office base will impact on people’s arrangements for issues such as childcare. Managers will be expected to be flexible to accommodate such requirements and to agree such changes to work patterns to ensure that the impact can be managed.

Will there be bike racks and a drying room?
Yes, these will be provided on site.


What will the gym look like at WBH?

There will be a compact but well-equipped gym available for staff within WBH. Click here to see 3D models of the design/equipment available.

Users will need a Saints Sport membership to use the gym. There will be five showers (two in the male changing area, two in the female changing area and one gender neutral shower). Lockers will also be available. There is insufficient space to provide a dedicated room for fitness classes and these will continue to take place at the main Sports Centre.

What will the café be like at WBH?
The café will be the heart of WBH. Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4.30pm, the café will offer a range of hot and cold food, barista coffee, and an ecofriendly Brita Vivreau chilled still and sparkling water dispenser. Remember to bring your own water bottle, cup or mug to help us move towards our goal of a plastic-free café. WBH will operate a cashless café, accepting card payments only.

Click here to see details of the café design and offer.

How will storage work and what will be available?
Each staff member will have a lockable storage unit for personal items. There will also be a few available for visitors to use. Internal dimensions of the lockers are 344 mm high by 368 mm wide by 446 mm deep.

The amount of shelving for papers, books etc. has been discussed and agreed with each Service Director. As we move to more paper ‘light’ ways of working, the amount of storage once needed for paper is rapidly reducing. This has been taken into account in the design of WBH. All paper records which need to be kept by the University, either for a specific period of time or for permanent archive will be moved to a new intermediate records store. This facility will be staffed and all records will be retrievable.

What facilities will the breakout room and food prep areas have?
The main breakout room is the place to prepare and eat your own home-prepared food. This room has microwaves, a dishwasher, a fridge, and tables and chairs so that you can eat and take a break from your work. The six tea prep areas and staff room all have Zip HydroTaps providing boiling and chilled water at the push of a button. Tea and coffee supplies will be available here.

Will the toilets be gender neutral?
All toilets will be comprised of self-contained cubicles, each with a toilet, basin, mirror, hand dryer and floor to ceiling walls. This makes the toilets gender-neutral and offers a much higher level of privacy than stalls.

How will the contemplation room be used?
There is a room on the ground floor available for activities that need a bit of quiet time away from work. This could include prayer, meditation, breastfeeding, expressing, emotional time-outs or just general quiet contemplation. You can also use the room for first aid or recovery. The room is bookable on a first-come, first-served basis. You can also drop in without booking if it is free. Treat the space and others who need it with respect. It is not for work activities, phone calls or food.

Smart working and culture

What is Smart Working?
WBH has been designed to support Smart Working. It is about working in the right place, using the right tools at the right time, depending on the type of work you are doing, which may change during a working day or week. It’s also about approaches that facilitate collaboration, use new technology, and which place more emphasis on results than on simply being present.

Click here to read in depth about Smart Working.

If units at Eden Campus are expected to use Office 365, Outlook and Skype, will colleagues in the St Andrews Campus use the same?
The tools in Office 365, including Teams, Outlook and Skype for Business, are available to all University staff. Everyone is encouraged to explore and use these tools to communicate effectively with colleagues.

How will we manage differences in working practices across units?
Managers have the discretion to determine custom and practice in order to deliver the unique services provided by each service unit. Although this will still be the case, managers will have to recognise that such differences will be more visible and it will be important for them to be aware of the potential for the application of different standards. The PSR Forum also created some shared ways of working at WBH: click here to read about this in more depth.

Will there be rules around eating at desks?
Yes, it will be part of the WBH protocols to encourage eating away from desks – it is better for your health and wellbeing, it keeps the workstations clean, and it removes any issue of smells. The staff room will be the place for your homemade curries and kedgeree!

Will there be ‘rules’ and ‘protocols’ for all building users?
Discussing and agreeing ‘protocols’ is a standard part of relocation processes such as this, and it is something that the PSR Forum has spent a lot of time on. The plan is to have information in an easy-to-use and accessible format (print, web or both) ready to share with building users as they relocate. The PSR Forum has already created some shared ways of working at WBH: click here to read about this in more depth.

Health and wellbeing

What health and wellbeing initiatives will we have in WBH?
Click here to see the PSR reps’ health, safety and wellbeing priorities.

Will there be height adjustable desks at Eden Campus?
The space plan has allowed for 20% of all desks to be sit-stand. This high number of sit-stand desks should allow plenty for use by those who need them and also for those who just prefer to use them occasionally for reasons of health and wellbeing.

What are the policies around occupational health?
Staff will take occupational health equipment such as chairs, footrests, ergonomic keyboards and mice with them when relocating. Sit-stand desks will not be relocated as the building will already offer 20% sit-stand desks. The project team is currently working on creating signs that staff can use to ask others not to adjust or use occupational health equipment.

How will the temperature and the ventilation in the building be controlled?
The building system automatically controls heat, light, air and other features. Because of this, the windows don’t open within WBH. However, manually operated roller window blinds are fitted to most windows to prevent glare.

The relocation

How will the practicalities of the move be managed, such as moving data points, telephones and IT equipment?

A move management company will soon be brought on board to project manage the move. The Project Officer will meet with each service director in order to plan the relocation effectively and communicate with staff.

What is the policy on units purchasing office equipment and furniture?
New furniture and equipment purchases should be avoided where possible at this time. Estates Space Planning team holds a stock of spare desks for re-use. Equipment for Eden Campus will be purchased as part of the project.