What is remote working?

Remote working is when an employee works entirely from home or another space and has no fixed base at the University. Remote working is usually built into a role as a part of the job design.

Remote working can be beneficial for many reasons including to:

  • help increase the diversity of staff employed by the University
  • help manage limited space efficiently
  • reduce the amount of time commuting and its associated costs
  • help with work life balance

Remote working roles are usually designed from the outset as such and it is unusual to change a role that is currently based at the University to a wholly remote role.

If you are a manager and you would like to consider introducing remote working in your team or for a new role to help meet a business need (for example to manage space), you should speak to your line manager and then the HR Business Partner or Advisor in your College/Service for further advice.

If you are an individual in the Research or Professional Services job families who would like to explore homeworking further, you might want to consider Occasional or Regular homeworking in the first instance. Individuals in the Education & Research and Education & Scholarship job families should read the available guidance in Flexible working: an overview for Education & Scholarship and Education & Research staff.

Whilst a role or a team may be suited to remote working, its implementation may also be limited by the home environment, equipment available or budget to buy equipment. While many University systems can be accessed from a personal computer for occasional homeworking, this may not be appropriate on a full-time basis. Please refer to the IT guidance for working at home.

The parameters of remote working arrangements are set out below and should be considered by all managers designing a remote working role:

  • Staff must follow the working from home safely guidance and ensure their work station is adequate.
  • Staff should advise landlords or mortgage providers and their building and contents insurers that they intend to work at home.  Homeworkers are covered by the University’s insurance policy for employers liability and personal accident in the same way as office-based employees.
  • The role should be designed as a ‘remote working’ role and associated costs of equipment should be factored in at the job design stage. You should factor in maximum costs of equipment (including IT, furniture etc) as different employees may have different needs and you may not understand their needs until after they have completed their homeworking self-assessment form.
  • A formal remote working contract should be in place.
  • Remote employees should retain flexibility to attend important meetings/events at the University with appropriate notice; as such the employee agreeing remote working should consider the implications of the distance of their usual base from the University.
  • Normally, the University will not pay any travel expenses between the employee's home and the University.
  • No additional expenses will be paid for remote employees.
  • A remote working package of equipment will usually be provided to the employee for the duration of the employment.
  • Remote employees must follow the IT guidance for working from home which includes considering security of and access to information that is protected by the Data Protection Act.

Further guidance is available in this Flexible Working Toolkit including guidance on other types of homeworking:

Please speak to your HR Business Partner/Advisor for anything further or to discuss your individual or team circumstances.