Hybrid Working - Good Practice

A PDF version of this guidance can be found here: Hybrid Working - Good Practice

1. Introduction

The University’s Guidance - Hybrid Working sets out the context, principles and process for hybrid working at the University of Glasgow.

This guidance serves as a further reference point for colleagues to consider points of good practice and other information which can contribute to ensuring that hybrid working arrangements are successful.

The Hybrid Working Toolkit links to the full range of hybrid working resources.

2. Successful Hybrid Working

Hybrid working brings many mutual benefits for both colleagues and the University, however it may also present challenges as colleagues adopt new and different ways of working. Some key considerations are highlighted below across a number of key themes as outlined below: People, Performance and Technology.

3. People

Effective Communication 

It is important to ensure that colleagues are aware of hybrid working arrangements as appropriate to their role and the nature of the work undertaken (e.g. within the relevant team). This will assist in maintaining transparency and avoid misunderstandings regarding the variability of work location (i.e. on campus or working remotely).  

Some simple practice and team related etiquette will assist the transparency and visibility in relation to working arrangements as appropriate) such as: 

  • Ensuring Outlook calendars are updated with work patterns/availability
  • Utilising MS Teams or Zoom for instant messaging or video calling/meeting attendance
  • Collaborating on online files in Teams/Sharepoint
  • Using the status indicator in Teams to indicate availability or adding a brief status message

Good practice techniques in the conduct of  hybrid meetings will also assist as outline in our online guidance on managing hybrid meetings.

Similarly, specifying any arrangements that might apply to colleagues within particular will assist in optimising and best utilising office-based time. For some this may involve scheduling collaboration time in a dedicated space and/or a focus on connecting and networking with other colleagues.


Health & Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing is just as important in a hybrid working arrangement and colleagues should take time to consider any factors relevant to their arrangements.

Hybrid workspaces (particularly those in remote or home locations) should be safe and comfortable and colleagues should refer to the homeworking resources from the Safety & Environmental Protection Service for further information and links to relevant information.

When it comes to setting boundaries, hybrid workers must be mindful that the traditional 9 to 5 model may shift and normal cues to stop working (e.g. bus, train, a walk to get lunch) may not exist in the same way. It is important that hybrid workers in particular schedule time for breaks (to remain physically active or to reduce screen-time) and also that they fully ‘switch off’ at the end of the working day in order to maintain boundaries between home and work.  

For some hybrid workers it may be challenging to maintain activity levels (e.g. if walking was part of their commute to campus). Colleagues should consider alternatives such as walking or standing for meetings as appropriate to break up periods of sitting.

The Health & Wellbeing portal contains links to a broad range of resources ranging from mental health support to fitness and wellbeing.

Hybrid workers should make sure that they raise any concerns or challenges as early as possible with their manager. 


Data Protection & Confidentiality

Hybrid workers should be equally mindful of data protection and confidentiality, being mindful that remote or home environments offer different considerations to on-campus office spaces. Colleagues must ensure that they are familiar with their obligations and responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure that the security and confidentiality of information is maintained regardless of their work location.

Further information and guidance is available on the Data Protection and Freedom of Information webpages. Training modules are also available on Moodle in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation as well as general Information Security. These modules are essential and must be completed prior to any remote working being carried out.


Dignity at Work

Colleagues should be mindful of the diverse range or roles and individuals across our university community and the fact that in many cases there will now be an increased diversity of working environment. This brings many benefits however colleagues must be mindful of the fact that colleagues all hold different working styles and levels of comfort with new ways of working and thus patience and sensitivity are key to creating an inclusive and positive working environment for all in line with our values and the principles of our Dignity At Work and Study Policy.


4. Performance


Output-Based Approach 

Outputs (and their quality) are of particular importance to demonstrating the effectiveness of hybrid working (particularly when working remotely) and are critical to building and maintaining trust. It may be appropriate to discuss shorter-term objectives with line managers and to reflect on progress at regular meetings/one-to-ones. 

The Guidance – Objective Setting in Hybrid Teams may help colleagues and line managers consider appropriate approaches to setting goals and objectives whilst embracing new ways of working.

Colleagues may also find tools like OneNote (part of the Office 365 package) helpful to plan and record objectives, plans and activities across arrange of themes.

Depending on the nature of the role and/or the timescales involved, regular ‘check-in’ meetings can be helpful to share updates on progress or to discuss any support required from others (e.g. line manager, teammates). Some colleagues also find it helpful to block out diary time for working on specific outcome-based tasks, if the nature of their work permits.


Learning from the Experience 

Hybrid working can present many opportunities and new ways of working. Learning from the experience can build new skills and colleagues and/or their teams should reflect on best practice and share what works (and what doesn’t). This may range from figuring out what works well in meetings to trying out new technology and sharing tips with teammates.


5. Technology

Embracing Technology 

Available technology should be utilised to support effective working, communication and/or collaboration work, particularly when working remotely.  

  • The University’s Glasgow Anywherepages outline a range of tools and resources, particularly around Office 365 apps, which can play a role in supporting hybrid working practices.  
  • There are also resources available through the Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways siteto support the use of a broad range of applications. 

Colleagues have different comfort levels when it comes to new tools and technology therefore it may be helpful for more advanced users to share or demonstrate what different tools can do and for teams to reflect on the potential benefits of any new approaches before they are implemented.