I think it’s important that the majority of staff spend some time working on campus as offices and other areas can deteriorate from not using them. And there is the psychological effect of working in nearly empty buildings.
The new ways of working will bring changes to day to day working regardless of whether staff are working on campus, hybrid or remote working. The impact of these changes may not occur on day one of a member of staff's new way of working.
The University is committed to ensuring that all staff feel safe, connected and equipped from day one but other changes may occur over a period of time ie changes to the use of campus space will take considerably longer.
We ask that staff speak to their manager if they experience any issues as we move to the new ways of working and maintain open communication with feedback to assist the university as we move forwards.
Professional Services colleagues will have discussions with their managers and following this a confirmation of their place of work will be communicated with them. For remote workers this will be their home address. Hybrid workers will have two work locations, their home address and a campus. This means that the only formal change to an employee's terms and conditions of employment will be their work location.
Unless there is a change to the employee’s FTE there will be no change to salary or annual leave as a result of hybrid/remote working.
It is best practice to review the arrangements as and when necessary.
Termination of working pattern
There may be cases where the continuation of hybrid/remote working becomes inappropriate. The University may, in certain circumstances e.g. personal or operational reasons, wish to bring an employee back into a campus based environment on a full time basis. Your manager will discuss with you the reason behind any decision to terminate hybrid/remote working or any changes to the agreement. Normally, 3 months’ notice will be given.
The same process will be followed if an employee wishes to return to on campus or hybrid working. Any changes would need to be approved by the employee’s line manager.
Normally you will return to your former campus of work. However, this may not always be possible and a new campus location may be necessary. This will be discussed with you by your line manager.
The number of days/hours per week each employee spends attending the campus compared with working remotely will vary, depending on:
the nature of their role;
what is happening within their role and team at any particular time;
the needs of our organisation, including the space we have available at our work locations and
their individual circumstances;
The University is not setting limits regarding the percentage of time to be spent on/off campus. However, there may be locally agreed boundaries where appropriate. Likewise, the framework allows for set working days on campus (these could be personal, team or department anchor days) or flexible hybrid (different days each week), depending on service needs, role, flexibility requirements, and the suitability of remote working environment. 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.
Staff may be required to attend work on particular days at the request of your line manager/head of department, for example for in-person teaching, training and for meetings that your line manager/head of department has determined are best conducted in person.
Similarly, there may be circumstances in which we ask you to work remotely, or to work from such other places as we may reasonably require, when you would otherwise expect to attend the workplace/office, for instance:
for operational needs, for example if we have too many employees attending the workplace on specific days; or
for coronavirus-related reasons, for example in the event of a lockdown/ government guidance that employees should work from home if they can.
In such cases, you will be given as much notice as possible.
Although hybrid/remote staff will not always work ‘standard’ office hours, unless the role requires this, it is essential for managers to plan and agree a work programme with their teams so they are aware of each of their staff members’ working patterns, where they are located, and know when and how to contact them throughout their agreed working period. Please be as clear as possible with your line manager about your hours of work for days on which you are working remotely. It is recommded that there are regular check ins between line manager and team members to establish if the work pattern is beneficial and is working.
The key is the agreement and transparency of availability of staff to team members and customers.
Keeping Outlook calendars up to date and sharing this as widely as possible is good practice as is making use of tools such as shared calendars and out-of-office messaging. Microsoft Teams can also be used to highlight work location and availability.
‘Working from home’ is not a sufficient reason to be unavailable to attend meetings as we have the technology to allow staff to join meetings online.
To help maintain your wellbeing, please make sure that you take adequate rest breaks:
Take the agreed contractual time off for lunch each day and try and get away from your screen where possible for your own wellbeing.
Even if you are busy, it is essential that you find the time to take a break of at least 20 minutes during each working day that lasts more than six hours.
Ensure the time period between stopping work one day and beginning the next is not less than 11 hours.
We ask you to be mindful that you are not overworking - “downtime” from work is essential. If you have concerns please speak to your manager.
It is important to establish a work schedule when working from home. Many hybrid/remote workers find that they work long hours as there is no clear signal to the end of the day. It is important to set yourself time limits so that you do not find it difficult to end your day. It is okay to not be available outside your working hours.
Managers can request that all team members are present on campus for events such as team meetings or away days, providing reasonable notice is given. This notice will be dependent on the team and the work that they do. If a member of staff is unable to attend for any reason, they should discuss this with their line manager
Workspace will be agreed locally and will be communicated clearly to staff.
Employees may be provided with their own permanent workstation, or alternatively a bookable desk which will need to be booked as per your Faculty/Service process.
Managers should take into account any reasonable adjustments regarding work spaces, IT support or equipment for their team when considering work spaces.
At the end of each day on which you are attending work, you should ensure that your laptop is either taken with you or secured away in an appropriate space and any cleaning process is adhered to.
To ensure that employee performance or health will not suffer in remote work arrangements, we advise our remote employees to:
Choose a quiet and distraction-free working space.
- Ensure adequate DSE equipment is correctly set up.
- Have an internet connection that’s adequate for their job.
- Dedicate their full attention to their job duties during working hours.
- Adhere to break and attendance schedules agreed upon with their manager.
- Ensure their schedules overlap with those of their team members for as long as is necessary to complete their job duties effectively.
- DSE best practice is to get up from your workstation every hour for a short time (eg to get a drink). This helps reduce risk of musculoskeletal problems.
- Make sure regular contact is made with your line manager and colleagues to avoid feelings of isolation.
Team members and managers should determine long-term and short-term goals. They should frequently meet (either online or in-person when possible) to discuss progress, results and wellbeing.
The ability to work remotely is not a substitute for having appropriate childcare or similar carer provisions in place during working hours. It is each staff member’s responsibility to ensure adequate provision is in place when working remotely.
An IT standard allocation has been agreed for colleagues based on their mode of working, full details on what is included and how to purchase IT equipment can be found on the IT equipment purchasing website.
Employees who are working remotely may be able to claim tax relief for any household expenses incurred as a result of working from home, provided the expenses are solely work related. If you are eligible to this tax relief, see the Government’s guide on claiming tax relief for your job expenses at https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home. Other staff may also be eligible due to personal circumstances.
In order to work from home effectively, staff must ensure that they have broadband services at home, and work with their service provider in the event of any technical issues. If staff have a business need for a mobile phone then the business case for a University procured phone should be made in the usual way.
Staff working at home/remotely are expected to cover the cost of broadband services, monthly tariff charges for a personal mobile and any increase in domestic bills such as heating and electricity themselves. Staff will also need to ensure that they have informed their house insurers that they are working from home.
Staff working in a hybrid way may not claim travel expenses between home and their main University campus. For full information on travel expenses please see the Expenses Policy Travel Overview 3.4
If you are a hybrid worker and meet the eligibility criteria for a car parking permit then you will be able to apply for an Authority to park permit or an annual permit depending on how often you have to attend/work on campus.
University equipment is covered by University insurance for accidental damage and theft (subject to policy terms and conditions) and subject to varying excess levels as detailed on the University’s insurance web pages.
Staff working from home should also check with their insurer, to ensure that hybrid/remote working does not invalidate their home insurance policy/policies or any mortgage/rental agreements.
The University holds:
Employers' Liability Insurance, which covers its legal liability for personal injury to staff whilst acting in the course of their employment. This cover extends to situations where the member of staff is working at home.
Public Liability Insurance, which covers the legal liability of the University and its staff for injury and/or property damage to third parties caused whilst on University business. This cover extends to situations where the member of staff is working at home.
Incidents which may result in claims against the University's insurance cover must be reported by emailing the University’s Insurance Office as soon as is reasonably possible.