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Smart Working

The way we work is changing, and the University of Reading is part of that change. This means adopting different ways of working and supporting colleagues to do the same. Some colleagues have worked in a flexible way for some time, for others it is new.

Smart Working is our framework for where and how we work, learning from the experience of working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting staff wellbeing and work-life balance, and capturing the benefits of a mixed working model, including for the environment. It provides a toolkit for colleagues and their line managers to develop informal arrangements, in the first instance, about flexibility of location and working patterns within the working week.

Why have we created the Smart Working framework?

Being on our campuses is a fundamental part of our culture and identity as a university community, for both students and colleagues, and something of which we are very proud. As a research intensive and student-focused campus university, on-campus delivery and support is central to many academic and professional colleagues’ roles. Colleagues who are less involved in face-to-face delivery or research that requires infrastructure on campus also benefit from being regularly on campus to experience campus life and develop and strengthen informal networks and collaboration.

However, for many colleagues working remotely has been a positive experience. We support colleagues having opportunities to create a balance of when and where to work within the working week, where this is possible.

This framework is intended to provide guidance to colleagues and line managers in considering these opportunities in ways that balance our needs as a campus university with individual preferences. We recognise that one size will not fit all but we are committed to ensuring that the way in which this guidance is applied is fair.  We want to ensure that our ways of working foster equality, inclusion and diversity and that we encourage collaboration, innovation and co-creation across our university community.

This framework reflects staff and manager feedback on their experiences of remote working. It also takes account of the principles developed at the Strategic Foundations Programme Ways of Working workshops, by a wide range of colleagues across grades, role type, and academic Schools and professional Functions.

The way we do our jobs will continue to evolve as we learn from our experiences and there will be opportunities for colleagues to be involved in reviews of this framework. In particular, we will continue to reflect the outcomes of the Ways of Working Pathway, as this work progresses.