Managers have an important role to play in helping their team to review working arrangements. The term 'working arrangements' within this context covers the location at which staff conduct their work - on campus or remotely. The remote working environment, in most instances, will be at home.
Departmental/Leadership teams should consider consistency and equality issues in relation to decisions on remote working and the application of the policy. This may include meeting as a management team to consider team requirements; job role requirements; the principles of digital versus in person meetings and patterns of working for colleagues. An initial scoping exercise through the use of a short survey, the template form, one-to-one discussions or other methods may be helpful to then consider requests as a management team once all requests have been received. Further individual discussions may be required before the arrangements are confirmed. A record should be kept of decision making which may be required for space planning on campus in due course.
Underpinning all decisions regarding remote working is the critical need to maintain the highest standards in quality, the most positive student experience as well as a vibrant, energised and attractive campus and collaborative University community.
Managers also need to ensure that decisions about remote working reflect the University's equality, diversity and inclusion principles, and contribute to an environment where diversity is recognised, valued and celebrated. Ensuring flexibility and consideration of individuals' needs enables all staff to make a positive contribution to the University and to achieve their potential.
The Remote Working Policy is about where and how staff members carry out their work. Terms and conditions of employment are unchanged. The staff member's place of work remains as stated in the employment contract.
Remote working is not a contractual right and staff can be required to work on campus on any of their working days, sometimes at short notice where appropriate. Usually, the working day will not start before 8am and will finish at 6pm, unless other arrangements are in place in the department or agreed otherwise by the line manager.
Time spent commuting from home to the usual place of work whether on campus or in a remote workspace of the employee's choice will not be considered working time. Any expenses associated with travelling to campus will continue to be met by individual staff members. Travelling to another location for a meeting, conference or other work commitment during the working day will be considered working time, as has always been the case.
Managers and staff members should meet to discuss and agree working arrangements.The agreement should take into account the effective discharge of work duties as well as the individual's preferences/needs. In order to help facilitate this meeting managers are encouraged to use the remote working agreement form which also serves as a written record. A copy will be retained within departmental records, and updated as reviews take place.
Managers may want to reflect on their own working practices, as well as some of the positives that have been gained from remote working during the pandemic. While the transition may be challenging at first, it will also bring opportunities for exploring new ways of working, connecting with the team and other colleagues and making best use of technology to facilitate this. Our digital guidance for hybrid working will help you to think about how to communicate and collaborate using the tools available.
Meetings should take place before the start of the academic year and further manager support and tools are available such as webinars and a video.
- Requests to change working hours or working patterns should be considered under the University's Flexible Working policy