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Returning to work on campus – guidance for all staff - 18 June 2021

Dear colleagues,

You will be aware that planning has been taking place to enable the safe return of more colleagues to on-campus working. The Government’s announcement on Monday outlining a delay in the easing of restrictions has confirmed our approach to the careful management of this process to ensure we continue to protect our University community. Before we go into the details of our next steps, we wanted to thank each and every one of you for your hard work in navigating the challenges of the last year. It is now time to build our on-campus community again and your help with this will be highly valued.

Over the last few weeks, we have been working with teams across the University to develop guidance for managers to be able to support their teams in returning to work on campus. This return will be a phased approach based on both the business need of the team and service, and the needs of the individual.

We will use the lessons learned from our phased approach to inform and shape the Future of Work programme. This programme aims to look at our longer term ways of working, exploring the best use of our space and working environment – the work we do now will support development of this programme as we move into 2022.

We recognise that for some colleagues already working on campus your circumstances are unlikely to change however, there may be more people on campus and this may cause concern for some. Please discuss any concerns you have with your manager who will be able to support you throughout this process. For others, who have spent the majority of the lockdown working from home, we recognise that this is another significant change in the way we work and are mindful of this as we continue to develop our approach.

Managers will shortly be receiving step by step guidance for preparing their teams to return to work on campus. They will be in the process of working through this, aiming, where possible, to have completed the planning by 21 July. Conversations between colleagues and managers will be taking place over the next few weeks so that managers can understand individual requirements and concerns, and ensure these are considered as part of overall planning.

We understand that some managers have already undertaken work to enable their teams to return to campus, and that for others this will be a new process to work through. This is complex and we are continuing to learn and adapt to ensure we get this right. There is no expectation that all teams should have returned by 21 July, but that plans are developed or in development and that we are working towards ensuring all required teams have returned by September.

In preparation for returning to campus, all colleagues should read the information on our website. This outlines the mandatory training, personal risk assessment and testing requirements that everyone must complete before they can return to campus. This is to ensure we can continue to protect our whole University from COVID-19 transmission.

We know that whilst some colleagues want to return as soon as possible, others may feel concerned about coming back. Our planning continues to be in line with the Government roadmap and all activities and University buildings have been risk assessed as COVID-19 secure.  We will also review our plans if the current Government guidance changes.

We want to reassure you that there is support in place if you need it. You can discuss your individual needs and concerns with your line manager, and there is also a range of wellbeing support available on our website. Remember, we are learning together as we work through this process and there may be changes as we all adapt to our new ways of working.

Best wishes


Lisa Roberts                                                     Mike Shore-Nye
Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive                Registrar and Secretary