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Staff FAQs

Can I work 100% on campus?

  • Campus remains your normal place of work. Smart Working arrangements are informal, agreed between you and your manager, and are not mandatory and campus remains your normal place of work unless formally agreed otherwise. Please note that if ongoing COVID-19 measures mean that occupancy restrictions continue to apply, you may need to continue working as you have been doing, as part of the University’s COVID-19 risk mitigation control measures.
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I want set arrangements that I can build caring commitments around. Does this work within the Smart Working parameters?

  • Smart Working arrangements are informal and require flexibility, for example when there are demands on campus or to support students or other team members, you may need to work on campus.  If, for example, you want to be able to drop off your children from school a few times a week then the Smart Working framework could allow for that. However, if you need certainty that you can always work at home on a particular day or need to reduce from a full-time role, then this would need to be managed through submitting a flexible working request.
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If I’m working in the office some of the time and at home at other times, what equipment will the University supply me with?

  • Over the long term, our Device Strategy will enable us to supply as many staff as possible with portable IT equipment that can be used in more than one location eg laptops and docking stations rather than desktop devices. However, this is a long term strategy.  Until then some colleagues may be constrained by the availability of IT equipment.  Colleagues who want to work flexibly under the Smart Working framework will need to transport their laptop between working locations. 
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Can I use the Smart Working framework if my role can only be carried out on campus?

  • We encourage you and your line manager to approach these discussions flexibly and creatively. Even in roles that require you to be predominantly on campus, there may be individual tasks or times of year that allow from some element of remote working or working at more flexible times. However, some roles have to be completed 100% on campus and some roles require fixed hours of working, so it is not possible for these arrangements to work for all staff.  You can discuss formal flexible working with your manager but this may involve reducing your working hours or an alternative working pattern. 
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I already work in this way around my on-campus duties. Does Smart Working affect me?

  • Many colleagues across the University already work in this way, for example, academic colleagues working remotely around their on-campus teaching and student engagement commitments. Colleagues who already work in this way may find some of the additional information helpful and they can continue to work in this way as long as this is within the parameters set by their School or line manager and this framework. You will also need to make sure a record is kept of your specific arrangements between you and your line manager.
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My manager will not agree to the working arrangements that I would like. What can I do about this?

  • Smart working arrangements need to take account of the needs of your School or Function, the nature of your role, your team’s business needs, students’ expectations and the impact on other colleagues, so it will not always be possible to agree to specific requests.  Colleagues need to be flexible and open to alternative options to find a solution that works for the team as whole.
    As these are informal arrangements, there is no formal appeal process under the Smart Working Framework. If following discussion with your line manager, you are not satisfied with the outcome then you can discuss this with your Head of School or Function or alternatively contact a member of the HR Team. 
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Can I use Smart Working arrangements to cover childcare or other caring responsibilities?

  • When working remotely, as with working on campus, you need to be able to work effectively and meet all your work commitments. While Smart Working arrangements may make it easier to do the school run, for example, you cannot use them to provide childcare if this would not allow you to work in a productive way. Of course, care commitments can vary. A 15-year-old may require little supervision and you can work with limited interruption. However, a young child will need your regular and undivided attention and so you could not use Smart Working arrangements to cover times when this level of care is required.
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Can I claim for expenses for working remotely?

Does commuting time count as working time?

  • Commuting to and from campus is not working time, whether that is by private vehicle or public transport.
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I work part time. Can I spend all my time working at home?

  • No. The expectation under the Smart Working Framework is that all staff will work the majority of their contracted hours on campus.
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I am finding that I am doing more than my contracted hours when working remotely. What should I do about this? 

  • Working remotely should not increase the number of hours you need to work to do your job properly. If it does, you should discuss this with your manager in the first instance and agree what adjustments need to be made.
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I have special requirements related to a protected characteristic, e.g. disability. What should I do? 

  • You should discuss this with your manager in the first instance. Your manager may recommend a referral to Occupational Health so that they can better understand what adjustments will enable you to work most effectively and how these may be facilitated. The University has also recently introduced Tailored Adjustment Plans which may also help you to discuss your requirements with your line manager.
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Will colleagues who work remotely under the Smart Working framework be treated differently to those working exclusively in the office? 

  • No. Managers are expected to ensure that all staff receive fair and consistent treatment regardless of whether they are working in the office or remotely.
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When not working on campus, does my location need to be fixed?

  • Not necessarily. You should have a suitable workspace in which to work for the majority of your time but there may be occasions when you might need to work in other places. This will be fine provided you are able to maintain appropriate confidentiality of the work you’re doing and you have the necessary equipment available to do your job.
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Could I be urgently recalled to campus if I am working from home?

  • Yes. This will ideally be kept to a minimum but it may be necessary in certain situations to ask you to attend campus when you are scheduled to work remotely, at short notice. 
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Will my Smart Working arrangements be shared with other members in the same team? 

  • The expectation is that Smart Working arrangements will be visible to colleagues as it is important to know each other’s whereabouts.  However, individual circumstances or personal information will not be shared.
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Are commute times outside of working hours? 

Can Smart Working arrangements be revoked? 

  • Yes. If the Smart Working arrangements are resulting in your role not being performed properly your manager will have a conversation with you to determine what needs to change. If over time performance continues to suffer because of the arrangements, they may ultimately be revoked. Should the needs of the University change it may also be necessary to revoke arrangements.  If you move to a new role within the University, you may not be able to maintain the remote working arrangements you had in a different role.
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I want to formalise a set pattern because of external commitments, is that possible?

  • Not under the Smart Working Framework, all agreements are non-contractual and subject to change. You should submit a formal Flexible Working Request if you wish to agree a more formal or structured working arrangement. 
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Can I work 100% remotely?

  • No, this is not possible for the majority of colleagues. Our campuses are an important aspect of our community and all colleagues are expected to have a physical presence on campus for at least some of their working time.
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