Case studies

Case study -Enabling Tools

Using Lync to work flexibly and collaboratively 

Research by the Future Workplaces project has shown that there are some existing IT tools that can support flexible working but most people aren’t aware of them.  This video explains how Microsoft Lync can help us communicate and collaborate.  It’s available to all University accounts and allows videoconferencing, instant messaging and screen and program sharing.  It works on desktops, laptops, tablets and many phones.  See how it works for colleagues in the video below

Case study - Teaching Day

The University of Warwick’s extension of teaching hours

Facing a shortfall in teaching space, the University of Warwick took action to extend teaching hours. A number of different options were initially proposed, including: earlier starts, later finishes, and teaching on Wednesday afternoons or weekends.  After consultation with Heads of Departments, the Students’ Union and academic staff it was agreed to extend evening teaching slots. For the past twelve years standard teaching hours at Warwick have now been 9am-7pm on Monday, Tuesdays and Thursday, 9am-6pm on Friday. There is no undergraduate teaching on Wednesday afternoons to allow for sports and society events.

There are as many requests by staff for the later slots as there are complaints.  The vast majority of any complaints regarding the 6-7pm slots come from staff, but only if they’ve been given more than one late slot during a week. Regular student surveys have shown that there are no broad grievances and the students are satisfied as long as there is a fair scheduling split. Overall, the extended hours have given more ‘clash-free’ time and rooms are now optimally used with the largest lecture theatres fully booked 9am-7pm on Monday and Tuesdays.

Case study - space

This is an example of a change in the use of space in the Biocatalysis department. This was not undertaken as part of the Future Workplaces project, but it has provided some useful lessons.

The Biocatalysis Centre was short of academic workspace and knew that if they didn’t make a positive change they would end up in multiple occupancy offices, which they regarded as the worst of both worlds.