As government agencies shift away from their remote-only work environment brought upon by the pandemic, state and local leaders discover the benefits of more flexible work schedules or locations led by service delivery.


During a government-technology event hosted by Adobe on May 10, Michael Rossman, the chief human resources officer for Hennepin County, Minnesota told attendees that workforces everywhere are currently going through their biggest upheaval.


With two-thirds of the Hennepin County’s 9,000 employees working remotely at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rossman said his office collected data to see if there had been any significant lapse in services to its constituents.


“After working this way for a while, we complied data via a survey of our workers. We wanted to see where we were succeeding in serving our clients and where are the gaps. I think we were expecting a stoppage of service, but that didn’t happen,” Rossman said.


One reason for this is that even before the pandemic, the county had already migrated most systems into cloud platforms and had pursued more mobile-friendly work environments, according to Glen Gilbertson, Hennepin’s chief information officer.


In response to that success, Rossman said county elected officials adopted a hybrid work environment framework, embracing greater use of technology in delivering services. This shift also factors in the county’s climate-change strategies because “having fewer employees on-site over time shrinks our physical footprint,” he added.


“[Agencies and offices] have about one-half, one-third of the space they did before the pandemic. We can save money and divert to services rather than spending it on bricks and mortar,” Rossman said.

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