Hybrid Working

The School's Hybrid Working Guidelines for AY21-22, and how to request a hybrid working pattern.

As restrictions for suppressing the pandemic are lifted, and we begin the return to campus we are pleased that we are able to offer staff the opportunity to retain some remote working, in line with the Scottish Government Beyond Level 0 guidance to provide home working where possible. 

Return to Campus

The School’s Hybrid Working Guidelines have been developed within the context of the University’s Hybrid Working Framework and Guidelines.   The University’s framework provides a basis on which we can trial hybrid working; as such the School’s guidelines will also be subject to review at the end of the trial period (AY 21-22 – September 2021 to 31 July 2022).   

Hybrid working will be new to all of us and we will not get it right or have thought through everything that we need to have to place to make hybrid working effective for business needs and individuals.  Just as it took us time to adapt to working remotely due to the pandemic, we will now need to adapt to returning to campus.   

University Hybrid Working Framework and Guidance 

The University’s hybrid working framework is available through the link below to help with the phased return to campus and interim decisions about hybrid working. 

Hybrid Working Framework

Some key principles from the guidelines include: 

  • The default place of work for all staff is on campus.  The University aims to provide a vibrant on campus experience to all students; therefore staff are needed on campus to contribute to that vibrant community, whether or not they directly interact with students.   

  • All staff will be provided with space and equipment to perform their role on campus. 

  • All staff can request a hybrid working pattern. 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. 

  • Hybrid working patterns will not be fixed for this first experimental year. 

School of Informatics Hybrid Working Guidelines  

1. The School’s Hybrid Working Guidelines support the Scottish Government Beyond Level 0 guidance which encourages home working where possible and is available for members of the staff on open ended or fixed term contracts.

2. The School will not require that staff return to full-time working on campus before transitioning to an approved hybrid working pattern.  This will require some flexibility as we ensure there is adequate equipment in both locations, given there can be delays in sourcing equipment. 

3. Staff who prefer to work fully on campus will be able to do so, subject to any ongoing social distancing requirements.     

4. The nature of some roles is that they cannot be done at home at all; these staff would therefore be expected to work on campus, % subject to any ongoing social distancing requirements.    

5. The University Framework is not specific about the amount of time that individuals are expected to spend on campus, but references the campus as our default place of work, the campus is the centre of gravity, the majority of staff will spend the majority of time on campus and the campus providing a positive and vibrant staff and student experience.  The School has decided to specify the amount of time expected on campus to provide clarity, to ensure a consistent approach across the School and because we believe we all have a part to play in contributing to a positive and vibrant staff and student experience, and to support new staff and students. 

For those staff whose roles can be undertaken remotely or on campus, and who would like to work for a percentage of their time remotely, the School expects that at least 50%1 of contracted hours is spent on campus each week (or 1 day each week for those on contracts of 0.2 FTE or less). 

6. Application process:   Applications for hybrid working should be discussed in with your line manager in the first instance. Once you have had this discussion, please submit a hybrid working application by email to your line manager.

 

7. Consideration of individual preferences in context of review and team changes:  Initially all applications from within a team should be considered at the same time.  Agreements entered into are not permanent and should be reviewed annually2 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. Standard equipment for hybrid working:  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 Working Guidelines, 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 chairs and monitors to the home location and/or return of chairs and monitors to campus, assuming the location is within normal daily commuting distance of George Square.  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 monitor3, camera (if not built into laptop), keyboard and mouse at each location   

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

  • Headphones with microphone, at each location for those working in shared spaces4   

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

  • 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.  

9. Desks in shared offices:  Most research staff and professional services staff are located at a desk in a shared office. During the year to summer 2022, everyone will retain an on campus work space and will work at home or on campus as agreed with their line manager according to the University Hybrid Working Framework.  However, due to the need to maintain good ventilation to prevent the spread of Covid, the windows in offices will be open much of the time and therefore, those in desks near windows may prefer to move to a desk further away from windows if there is space to do so.  All staff will  be asked to tidy everything away each day on leaving their desk, such that another member of staff could work there on a day when they would be working at home.   

10. School use of diaries to indicate staff location:  Staff will indicate by active and visible diary entries in their University Outlook calendar their location on working days and locations – on campus, off campus 

Flexible working 

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

University HR policies