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Managers Guidance

This area of the guidance is designed to help you, as managers navigate the new ways of working. You are key to building the foundations of a new working culture at the University of Exeter. You have the opportunity to lead your team in the best way to ensure that the team's business needs are met, whilst taking into account individuals needs. 

There are a number of benefits of changing our ways of working.  By offering remote and hybrid working we are be able to attract staff from further afield and this in turn widens talent acquisition.  More flexible working can improve individuals health and wellbeing and also help those who have disabilities, children or other personal commitments that may impact their location of work.  In return from less staff commuting to the campuses on a daily basis, there wil be a reduction in operational footfall and this will ulimately lead to a reduction in carbon for the University.  All these benefits feed into the aims of Strategy 2030.  

The University has strategic aims, laid out in Strategy 2030 and each faculty and divison has an important part in supporting these aims. These strategies outline what the faculty/divison will deliver. These goals and objectives are core business needs. These are the aspects that we must have or achieve to run the University. If you are unsure what the business needs are in your area please discuss with your manager.

You will also need to think about the

  • Delivery of the core business needs
    • The University has decided that teaching should be face to face, except where there is an agreed alternative.
  • Location of the work to take place to fulfil business needs
    • If the work must take place on Campus then staff cannot work from home
  • Citizenship of all colleagues to fulfil business needs
    • The work may be able to be achieved completely remotely, however, staff are active members of the University community and have a role to play in creating this community on campus.

There are a high number of roles that can be carried out whilst hybrid working. It is crucial that hybrid working meets the business needs as defined earlier which recognise the importance of face-to-face teaching, on campus research, student/staff facing support as well as individual’s commitment to ensuring that the campuses continue to be vibrant learning, collaborative and social spaces.

Managers need to ensure that they are transparent about the reasons for hybrid working so that this is clear to all staff. Managers need to be able to objectively justify their reasons and ensure that there is no indirect discrimination. Departments need to ensure that there is a general fairness to ways of working and work with staff to seek compromises if required. It is important that managers clearly communicate their expectations to their staff.

Managers may wish to consider requesting staff to have set working days on campus for personal, team or department anchor days. Consideration also needs to be made to ensure that service delivery is maintained throughout the working week and not condensed into certain days ie Tuesday-Thursday only unless there is a specific business need for this.  

Managers should also consider the preferences and circumstances of the member of staff. Although it may not always be possible to meet everyone’s personal preferences, working within a preferred style can help people to be effective and productive, and increase their energy and wellbeing.  

Once managers have assessed and agreed that hybrid working is suitable for the individual, the role, the team and the business need they will need to implement the arrangements and:

  • Advise staff about the arrangements
  • Contact HR with the hybrid working arrangement so that terms and conditions can be updated
  • Ensure staff are signposted to the Ways of Working Toolkit.
  • Signpost relevant training for staff and managers on managing hybrid teams and ways of working.

Remote working is by exception and there are very few roles which can work entirely from a remote location. 

Our expectation is that the majority of employees work on-campus for all or part of their time so that we can maximise the benefit of team working and maintain a positive on-campus experience for all members of the University community.

However, it is recognised that for certain roles it is an advantage to the University to recruit from a wider geographic pool where the role can be effectively performed on a fully remote basis. The following criteria are proposed for remote working:

  • evidence of difficulty recruiting individuals with the required skill and experience to roles based at the Exeter/Cornwall campuses (even when advertised on a blended basis).
  • evidence that recruiting from a wider geographic pool will resolve these recruitment difficulties.

In addition, the recruiting manager and Director of Service/Pro-Vice-Chancellor must be satisfied that the role can be performed effectively on a fully remote basis.

Managers should also consider the equality impact of remote working.  There may be socio-economic reasons why some staff may not be able to work from their home location and managers need to ensure that equality of access issues are considered. It may be that an employee is physically unable to work from their home and so hybrid working may be a more suitable option.

There are certain roles which necessitate being carried out entirely on campus due to the sole requirement of the role.  These include location specific roles such as grounds staff, cleaners, caterers and sports staff as well as roles which require the individual to use very specific equipment or have duties which require them to be on campus on a daily full time basis.  This may include researchers, academic staff or student facing support staff.

There may also be staff who prefer to work on campus entirely due to their home environment or personal circumstances.  If this is the case then staff should speak to their manager and managers should try to accomodate these requests.

Working overseas is not permitted unless expressly agreed otherwise in the member of staff's employment contract and planned accordingly.  

Overseas projects need to be assessed against a business case bringing evidence of the strategic value of the overseas-based role against our Global Strategy objectives due to the increased costs involved with overseas working.  

Please see the Global Employment webpages for additional information and the process that needs to be followed if a business case needs to be made.