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Who can make a Smart Working request and what can I agree?

Who can make a Smart Working request?

Any member of University of Reading staff can speak to their line manager about the possibility of smart working. The University supports consideration of all requests and encourages discussion between individuals and their line managers and across teams to determine what flexibility will work for that particular team and role.

It has to be accepted that not all roles will allow for the same degree of flexibility or smart working. The degree to which a more flexible approach will be possible and therefore agreed will depend on the specific requirements of a colleague’s role, the overall function of the team within which they work, existing work arrangements in the team, School or Function, the impact on others with whom they work, within and beyond their own team, and the impact on service delivery. 

Agreement with line managers

Heads of School and Function are responsible for setting expectations for their area and balancing the requirements of their service or activities with the individual preferences and circumstances of their teams.

Within those local parameters, Smart Working allows you to explore with your line manager any flexibility in where and when you work within the normal working week based on the following guidelines:

  • The campus environment is important and it remains your normal place of work. It is expected that all colleagues will spend, on average, the majority of a standard working week (i.e. Monday to Friday) working on campus. Unless your contract states otherwise, it remains your contractual place of work, so you must be able to commute to campus on the days and times when you are required to be there. This applies even where you agree with your line manager to work remotely on a regular basis.
  • It is anticipated that all roles will require some presence on campus whether for face-to-face teaching, research collaboration, participation in your academic community, student engagement, team building, attending meetings or team events and to ensure that University-provided work equipment is maintained as appropriate.
  • All arrangements under the Smart Working framework are informal, temporary arrangements made between colleagues and their line manager - they will be subject to review in the light of their practical experience and may change. We trust colleagues to make the right decisions about where they work, and performance is not defined by presence on campus, but if changing work location leads to negative impacts on the team or on individual productivity or if other circumstances change, then your line manager may need to adapt these arrangements.
  • For the avoidance of any doubt, when working remotely the University’s normal expectations in respect of compliance with all relevant University governance and HR policies, practices and other regulations remain unchanged. 
  • You must agree reasonable arrangements with your line manager to ensure you can be contacted quickly and efficiently during your usual working hours when working remotely. If you are unavailable on a day that you are expected to work remotely (for example for reasons of sickness or other unavoidable events), you should report this in the usual way. 

Please also see the Smart Working Policy for more information.