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Northern Exposure

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David Twyman David Twyman | 10:37 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Since Nick's first post about the move north, the TV Platforms Manchester team have had been hard at it. We have recruited new staff, given placement opportunities to new entrants, staff have given talks at universities and engaged with local organisations ahead of our move.

And now the advance guard in the North has another new home. After the vacation of North West Vision and Media from the BBC in Manchester, the Television Platforms team pounced on such a great opportunity for a new office which brought us together with our other Northern Future Media and Technology teams.

So we moved from this office (which is now being used as a run through room for the Entertainment team to test out new game show ideas):

Our first office in Manchester's New Broadcasting House

To this:

Our new home in Manchester

Another shot of our Manchester office

What was exciting about this office was that this is a microcosm and start of the way the department will work when the department completely relocates to Salford. So all the buzzwords like: mobile working, hot desking and collaboration are being put into action. However my first day with TVP was the same as the departments first day in the office with about five other people, no computer and many many boxes, which still have not been cleared. The office now houses around 30 people and has a lot of computers in.

Working on the office for the department I have come quite familiar with what the BBC wants to achieve in Salford. But what do all these concepts actually mean:

Mobile working - Work anywhere, even from home as people are given laptops. So if you want to avoid commuting, have no meetings and rather would not be disturbed in a loud office, why travel in?

Hot desking - no one has a fixed desk, people use the generic spaces that are kitted out with standard equipment. This makes it easier for teams and individuals to collaborate around an area and not be separated by distance.

Collaboration - This is obvious, but the key to our success is partnering with other departments.

So will they be of benefit, well like everything there are pros and cons, but the benefits to the licence payer are enormous as these radically cut costs. It will mean more people can work at the buildings with less people marking out their territory in the form of a permanent desk - therefore reducing the BBC's property portfolio.

As a very technical department we are still working on the 'hot desking' part of this vision as it has created challenges for us, as a designer will need different equipment to an engineer. So we have come up with 'Hot Project Desking', where projects are built and disbanded around a bank of desks for a fixed period of time.

Although this might not seem particularly revolutionary stuff, when BBC North inhabits its buildings at MediaCityUK then it will change a lot of ways that the BBC operates.

Unfortunately as my placement at Television Platforms comes to an end, they will make this transition without me, but it is still an exciting time and I wish the department all the best.


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