Hybrid Working

The School's approach to hybrid working.

The School’s Hybrid Working Guidelines have been developed within the context of the University’s Hybrid Workplace Policy.  The University’s Policy is underpinned by a number of principles which staff should familiarise themselves with before requesting a hybrid working pattern.

A to Z of HR Policies

As the University’s Policy outlines, the University is a large and complex organisation and therefore no single set of working arrangements will suit all areas and roles.  These Guidelines therefore explain how the School will support and manage requests to work a mixture of on and off-campus working.

The default place of work for all staff is on campus and there is an expectation of regular on-campus working for all employees who can and do adopt hybrid working;

School of Informatics Hybrid Working Guidelines

  1. The School aims to offer hybrid working opportunities to all staff.  Unfortunately, however, some roles cannot be performed permanently remotely and staff holding such roles will therefore be expected to work on campus.  It may be possible for such staff to undertake ad hoc work from home days, in agreement with your line manager.  

  2. Hybrid working arrangements should be discussed and agreed with your line manager as outlined in the University’s Hybrid Workplace Policy.   Decisions will be made by line managers dependent on the individual’s role and taking into consideration (in order of priority): Service/role needs; Team needs; Individual’s preferences; 

  3. Where possible hybrid working patterns (i.e. the pattern of days that an individual works remotely and on campus) will be agreed, as we recognise the value this provides individuals who need to make personal arrangements.  However, as outlined in the University’s Policy, staff are expected to attend campus when required.  Wherever possible, advance notice will be provided of the need to attend campus however that may not always be possible. 

  4. At least 50% of contracted hours must be spent on campus each week (or 1 day each week for those on contracts of 0.2 FTE or less).  The percentage of time needed on campus will vary across the School given no single set of working arrangements will suit all areas and roles, although where possible consistency in the percentage of time required on campus and approach will be applied within specific teams. Any staff who have queries about another team’s hybrid working approach should discuss with their line manager. 

  5. The School’s underlying assumptions are that if you are not well enough to come to campus, you are not well enough to work from home and should be resting to aid recovery; and that if you are working from home you are able to engage fully with your work.  Therefore: 

    • Requests to work from home instead of coming into the office because you are feeling unwell will not normally be granted, and you will instead be asked to take a day of sick leave. On rare occasions it may be possible to agree with your manager that you will work from home instead of coming into the office when unwell either to avoid spreading illness – for example: if you feel well enough to work but have a persistent and potentially contagious cough, or because you have urgent work to complete that both you and manager agree cannot wait until you have recovered or cannot be delegated - ideally you should work for as little time as possible to complete the work in question and should then take the rest of the day as sick leave to rest and recover.  

    • When working from home, you are expected to have arrangements in place for any dependents who you would not normally leave at home unsupervised. Exceptions may be possible, with your manager’s agreement, for example: for short periods of time at the beginning or end of the working day if you are confident that your dependent can entertain themselves, or you can make up the hours at another time if you are distracted from working, and on rare occasions if your dependent is unwell and at home, but you feel confident that you can still give your work a high level of attention. In cases where you feel you are likely to be significantly distracted, you should request a day of Emergency Time off for Dependents.  

  6. Staff must indicate by active and visible entries in their University Outlook calendar and MS Teams, for at least the current week, which days they are on campus and which days they are working remotely and off campus.  Where possible this should be updated for future weeks to allow scheduling of in person meetings. 

  7. As outlined in the University’s Policy, arrangements entered into are not permanent and should be reviewed at least annually and if/when a member of the team leaves and is replaced by a new team member. Agreements for hybrid working for staff with teaching responsibilities will need to reflect semesterly teaching commitments.  

  8. The School will provide equipment when approving someone to work at another location, unless work at that other location is an ad hoc and infrequent arrangement.  In the exceptional circumstances of an agreement for someone to work overseas, it may not be possible for this equipment to be provided; this will be discussed and agreed when the arrangement is agreed.  As outlined in the University Hybrid Workplace Policy, all staff must complete a DSE risk assessment which must be signed off by their line manager and any issues highlighted within that risk assessment need to be addressed.  If non-standard equipment is requested, there may be a need for a Management Referral to Occupational Health to seek advice.  The School will pay for transport of large equipment, such as chairs and monitors, to and from the agreed remote location location, assuming the location is within normal daily commuting distance of the individual’s normal place of work.  Reimbursement of taxi expenses will be provided up to £25 for one journey to take such large equipment from campus to home and/or one journey from home to campus.  Standard equipment for an agreed remote location would include: 

    • A desk at which the staff member can work  

      • Generally provided by the staff member however may need to be provided by the University if the DSE highlights an issue; provided from the University’s furniture store.   

    • A chair on which the staff member can sit when working  

      • Generally provided by the staff member however can be provided by the School from the University’s furniture store.   

    •  A reliable network connection    

      • Provided by the staff member.   

    • A laptop with a docking station and a power cord with HDMI/USB adapter   

      • Provided by the School. The staff member can elect where to use their docking station and where to use their power cord/adapter.  The HDMI/USB adapter is to allow easy connection of accessories.  If the staff member prefers x2 power cords/adapters this can be requested, however two docking stations will not be provided.  

      • Individuals who prefer to use a personal laptop or use a self-managed device need to comply with the University’s Bring Your Own Device Policy Bring Your Own Device Policy  

    • A monitor (1), camera (if not built into laptop), keyboard and mouse at each location    

      • Provided by the School unless the staff member prefers their own   

(1) A practical solution for using one additional screen

It is expected that the laptop will be raised and used as a second monitor 

  • Headphones with microphone, at each location for those working in shared spaces (2)

  • Provided by the School unless the staff member prefers their own  

(2)  Further notes on the use of headphones

People using shared spaces off campus (e.g. kitchen/dining room) should have headphones to ensure confidentiality of University business and on campus to prevent noise pollution and feedback when more than one person in the same room is attending the same meeting online) 

Note that staff whose research or work is computational and who use high specification computers will need to use those computers in one location and connect remotely, as the equipment will not be duplicated.

[Approved by Professional Services Managers Group – 31 October 2023]

Flexible working 

The University continues to offer flexible working; refer to the University HR policies for details of flexible working.

University HR policies