It is recognised that large areas of the University, including research activity and areas of Professional Services have been operating on campus throughout the pandemic, with appropriate arrangements in place to support the delivery of services and activities whilst supporting staff needs.
This guidance aims to outline our approach to support the expansion of activities across campus, as and when we can, and to provide support to staff and managers on what we envisage to be the new, hybrid, way of working for some going forward based on individual staff and teams working some of their hours on campus and some at home as provided for under the Homeworking Policy.
This guidance is intended to provide assistance to managers and staff in considering whether hybrid working may be appropriate going forward. Individual requests for homeworking as part of hybrid working arrangements are governed by the Homeworking Policy.
Our guidance is at all times informed by Scottish Government advice which is also reflected in the Campus Planning Group principles and roadmap. We will, therefore, adjust plans based on this advice, keeping the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff at the forefront.
We are a campus-based University, place is important to us, and our identity and student experience is in part framed by staff and students interacting and collaborating in person, to support learning, research, creativity, and innovation within our diverse community. We will, therefore, bear this is in mind in informing our guidance and approach. In addition, we recognise the lessons learned from working during the pandemic, including that some staff value the flexibility introduced with homeworking whilst others have had to or would prefer to work on campus.
The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that more remote working is possible, desirable, results in greater productivity for some staff and is a necessary response to the current external environment. We recognise the enormous opportunity we have to learn from experience during the pandemic to balance the need for on campus presence with offering our staff increased flexibility and an inclusive workplace culture. Striking a balance in providing an excellent campus experience for students and staff alongside work life balance and changing ways in which some staff wish to work will be at the forefront of decision making.
For some staff, we will be starting to trial hybrid working arrangements across the University. Our intention is to trial this from when the current Scottish Government advice to work from home where possible changes, and up to August 2022. During this period, we will assess, refine, and co-develop our approach to hybrid working, considering feedback from staff, managers, and discussion with the Campus Trade Unions. The information provided is, therefore, interim guidance and subject to review as we continue to emerge from lockdown, as Scottish Government restrictions are revised over time and as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve.