Steven Broomhead is chief executive of Warrington Borough Council and writes a regular column for the Warrington Guardian

RECENTLY much attention has been given to the government’s ambition to return as many employees as possible to their workplaces.

This appears to be an economically driven ambition rather than driven by the wellbeing issues of the workers.

There is conflicting evidence as to whether homeworking has reduced productivity.

In our town 25 per cent of workers have worked exclusively from home in the last month.

To return more people to the workplace will take some careful and complex planning to ensure Covid secure environments.

The only priority can be the safety of the workforce not the negative economic and commercial impacts on the ‘supply side’ (hospitality and transport).

As well as where we work in the future, it has been very interesting to witness how we actually work together.

The pandemic has brought about new ways of working between organisations and individuals.

Silo and insular working has virtually stopped.

People are more willing to pool ideas and resources, offer mutual aid support and reached shared and collective solutions to assist beating the bug.

On a daily basis I have seen this in the health and social care sector which for years has suffered from silo working and not operating on a wider citizen focused systems approach.

It is refreshing to experience “We all work for Warrington” rather than the previous sole organisational loyalties.

Partnership working was once defined to me as ‘the suppression of mutual loathing in the pursuit of a partner’s market or cash’.

Covid has produced the exact opposite as people are united within a common framework and system to co-produce jointly solutions to what sometimes are potentially novel and challenging health and wellbeing key challenges.

It has also been positive to see the cessation of the “blame culture” here – something our government should perhaps learn from us?

Covid has taught us many lessons but the new town wide partnership spirit and actions are to be valued, appreciated and sustained.

We need a radical reimagining of how we live, work and innovate together to create a healthier future.

We will need to transform the outdated health and social care system not just parts of it with adequate funding for all parts of the system not just single parts.

Covid has shown us that we are able to deliver services and support differently.

We need to maintain this momentum through partnership.