- How do I differentiate between smart working and formal flexible working?
- Do I need to agree to the smart working arrangements suggested by my team member?
- What about if my team member has asked for reasonable adjustments?
- If colleagues want to work 100% remotely, can they make a formal flexible working request?
- How do we ensure that colleagues working remotely don’t become isolated?
- As a manager, I also want to work on and off campus, how can I do this and still be present for my team?
- How do I manage work across the team between those that work on campus and those that more often work remotely?
- What are the expectations about sharing details of individual smart working arrangements within a team?
- What do we need to record about individual smart working arrangements?
- Do I need to monitor smart working arrangements in my team?
- How can I ensure the right balance of remote working across the team?
- I have found it more difficult to manage my team while people have been working remotely. What can I do to support my team members? Is there any help/training for managers?
- Can I ask colleagues to work on campus when the University requires it?< /p>
- If a manager decides a meeting is in person and an attendee is working remotely all the potential times, would they be obliged to come in?
- Is there an appeals process for staff who disagree with smart working arrangements?
- How do we manage the expectations of candidates who may wish to work remotely when they apply for positions?
- How can I ensure that new starters receive a good induction process if their colleagues are working remotely?
- How do I respond to colleagues who are concerned about the variety of smart working arrangements between colleagues working within the same team or across different Schools and Functions?
- Smart working arrangements are informal, non-contractual arrangements that allow some flexibility on work time and location within the parameters set by the Head of School or Function. They require flexibility on both sides and are subject to change. If colleagues want a more formal pattern of working hours or location or wish to change their FTE by reducing or increasing hours, then this should be considered through a formal flexible working request.
- No. Ideally managers will discuss appropriate working arrangements with their teams and reach agreement about what works best for the team and the individuals. All arrangements should sit within the framework of maintaining our vibrant campuses and the need to deliver effective services to our staff and students. As a manager you also need to be mindful of our legal and statutory obligations, if you need any advice in responding to particular requests, you can speak to your HR Partner or Adviser.
- Any reasonable adjustments requested by employees with disabilities should not be managed through Smart Working arrangements. Requests for reasonable adjustments should be discussed with OH and your HR Partner to ensure we are meeting our legal requirements. You can also use the recently introduced Tailored Adjustments Plan to agree specific working arrangements to appropriately support colleagues.
- Any colleague can make a request under the formal flexible working procedures. As a line manager you will need to consider the request and should do so within the statutory framework for flexible working. It is clear that our campuses remain an important part of our University and it is not anticipated that requests to work 100% remotely will be agreed, unless there are specific reasons to do so.
- It is the responsibility of line managers to have regular contact with all of their team members, this is important whether you are working remotely or on campus. As a manager, you may want to consider requiring team members to attend campus on the same day on a regular basis to enable them to work together in person as a way of maintaining relationships.
As a manager, I also want to work on and off campus, how can I do this and still be present for my team?
- It will be managers responsibility to manage their time so that they can support their team members, this may require you and or a team member to attend campus on a particular day to meet in person. For example, whilst regular 121 meetings could be done on Teams, every other meeting could be a face to face meeting on campus.
How do I manage work across the team between those that work on campus and those that more often work remotely?
- Work should not be distributed based on who is on campus and who is working remotely. Managers are responsible for ensuring that arrangements are equitable and that additional loads are not placed on colleagues who choose to come into the office more than others.
What are the expectations about sharing details of individual smart working arrangements within a team?
- It should be possible to have a shared understanding of smart working arrangements across and between teams. However, individual circumstances or personal information which may have been used to inform working arrangements should not be shared.
- If you have agreed individual arrangements with a team member, it is useful to keep a record of this. This can be by email, copied to the Head of School/Function, and does not need to be held centrally by HR. However, in many cases smart working arrangements will be shared across a team and as long as expectations are clear, general communications from the Head of School or Function or from the team manager to all team members will be sufficient.
- The use and operation of the Smart Working Framework will be reviewed as part of the Ways of Working Pathway in the Strategic Foundations Programme. The first review will take place in 2022. On a team level, you should be clear of how the smart working arrangements are working within your team and whether they have any impact on your ability to deliver your services to staff or students. As a line manager, if you have any concerns you should discuss this with your Head of School/Function.
- Having an oversight of each team member’s Smart Working arrangements will be important to enable managers to maintain fairness and consistency. Equity across a team does not necessarily mean treating everyone the same, some team members may have slightly different working arrangements, but the balance will need to work for the team overall.
I have found it more difficult to manage my team while people have been working remotely. What can I do to support my team members? Is there any help/training for managers?
- Yes, there are a number of resources on UoRLearn which explore how to manage team remotely. More resources will be added over the coming months and existing learning programmes are being adjusted to take account of this new way of working. Maintaining regular contact with colleagues as they work remotely is key to being able to spot early signs of health or stress issues.
- Yes, we expect managers to act reasonably in terms of providing notice where possible but the smart working framework allows colleagues flexibility to work from home but if they are required on campus, managers can ask them to come into campus.
If a manager decides a meeting is in person and an attendee is working remotely all the potential times, would they be obliged to come in?
- If a manager has determined that the most effective format for a meeting is in-person then it is expected that attendees will attend in person. However, where attending in person presents problems, it is reasonable for an attendee to request an online meeting instead and the manager should consider that request responsibly in light of the circumstances surrounding the request. Ultimately, if the manager has determined that in-person is the most effective format for the purpose of the meeting, then that will need to be adhered to.
- No. Employees are encouraged to work with their manager to seek a suitable agreement on working arrangements. If they are unable to agree then matters may be escalated to the Head of School / Function or to obtain advice from their HR Partner or HR Adviser.
How do we manage the expectations of candidates who may wish to work remotely when they apply for positions?
- It will become increasingly important to set out during the recruitment process to what extent a role can work remotely. Candidates are likely to ask questions about this at interview and being clear and upfront about working arrangements will help teams and applicants.
How can I ensure that new starters receive a good induction process if their colleagues are working remotely?
- When developing an induction plan, managers will need to be mindful of any Smart Working arrangements across the team. Managers may want to consider requiring new recruits to come onto campus every day initially so that they can meet team members and to get the early support they may need. Once established in post, Smart Working arrangements can then take effect. During this period of induction for new team members, managers may also request other team members to work on campus to support the induction and orientation of the new member of staff.
How do I respond to colleagues who are concerned about the variety of smart working arrangements between colleagues working within the same team or across different Schools and Functions?
- Individual roles and circumstances are different, the nature of the smart working arrangements means that there will not a variety of working arrangements across teams and across Functions and Schools. Even similar roles in different Functions may have different working arrangements, all driven by the needs of the service.