Guide for staff returning to campus

We have all had to adapt and make significant changes to the way we work over recent months and we may well have to continue to do so in the future. We want to ensure the appropriate guidance and information is available to staff as we move through the phases of recovery and start to re-establish traditional ways of working and develop a new business as usual over the longer-term.

This guide outlines how we expect our campus to operate as we begin to see more activity taking place onsite and the measures we are introducing to support this. Further information is also available via our Campus Management Plan and our suite of recovery guides (including our recovery route map). These include specific guides for students, line managers and remote workers to help communicate some of the more detailed guidance.

This information has been prepared in accordance with government guidance and our own Recovery Principles. At all times, our main priority will be the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and students. We have published more detailed guidance online through detailed FAQs.

We should note that, should the public health authorities reverse the current easing measures to impose any further lockdown restrictions, it may be necessary for us to curtail some of these activities on campus, while the restrictions remain in place.

Working on campus

As we open more buildings on-campus, numbers will continue to be restricted due to the need to implement and maintain adequate physical distancing measures. For many roles, working from home will continue to remain the default position and managers will continue to advise in their respective areas. Where a return to campus is required, the Guide for Line Managers sets out practical guidance in this area to ensure any return is carried out in a safe and supportive manner.

Guidance is also available to support constructive return to campus conversations to ensure the level of risk is understood and mitigated both at area level and at individual level for those with underlying factors which make them more vulnerable to coronavirus. Due consideration should also be given to confidentiality and data protection when discussing and recording such conversations (ie if using the risk assessment templates), ensuring that the conversations are carried out in a private environment (particularly when working remotely) and that only the required information is recorded (ie nothing additional or otherwise sensitive or unnecessary). Managers should also ensure relevant privacy notice’s are adhered to and that any recorded information is not shared any more widely than is necessary.

Each School, Research Institute and Service will be asked to draw up a local plan identifying who needs to be on campus and when.  In some instances, rotas will be drawn up with staff taking turns to come to campus on specific days.  We will ask line managers to take into account a range of factors, including business needs, individual health issues, the ability of individuals to travel to campus and physical constraints in the workplace.

Cleaning & hygiene

The most important protection you can take against catching COVID-19 remains to wash your hands regularly and avoid close physical contact with others.  However, we are also introducing an enhanced cleaning regime and a range of other measures to minimise the risk of transmission. 

To aid cleaning, a clear desk policy will apply in all workspaces. Hot-desking will not be in operation, with individuals being allocated a desk for the day. Eating will not be permitted at desks and hand sanitisers will be located at entrances to buildings.

There is more information about this published in our Campus Management Plan.

Signage & fittings

Signage will be fitted to the entrance of all buildings and will also clearly articulate how we are implementing physical distancing. The signage follows a traffic light system where green indicates safe people flows in buildings, amber signs indicate where staff need to remain alert, and red where the spaces are smaller or where queuing is required. For example at lift areas or service points.

To prevent overcrowding, Estates have calculated occupancy levels for each building and, together with local managers, identified appropriate staffing levels. At pinch points such as entrances, screens or barriers with be installed.

This work is being led by our Estates team, working closely with local managers across all academic units and services. Again, there is more detailed guidance around roles and responsibilities for local areas set out in our Guide for Line Managers.

Travel to, from & around campus

In accordance with Scottish Government guidance, colleagues are advised to travel to campus on foot, bike or private transport where possible. Public transport should only be used as a last resort, preferably at off-peak times.

We will install additional bike racks and make more parking spaces available to support safe individual travel. 

We are planning to issue all staff and students using the campus with two reusable face coverings each and will encourage people to use them on public transport and in enclosed spaces on campus. These coverings are currently being manufactured in Scotland specifically for the University and further details about how to pick up your own coverings will be made available in due course.

Opening buildings

Our buildings will be re-opened in a phased manner, with staff and students being advised in advance which buildings will open and when. We will shortly publish our own recovery route map which will show which buildings are accessible and our long-term, phased approach to the recovery.

Authorisation is required in order to access campus, and completion of an online e-induction through Moodle will be mandatory for all staff working on-campus – again, we will communicate more details in due course.

There will be restrictions on the use of lifts, with priority given to those who cannot use stairs or who are transporting heavy materials. Where possible, a one-way system will be implemented in buildings.


Due to physical distancing, numbers in laboratories will inevitably be restricted. Positions that can be used will be indicated, as well as locations such as fume cupboards. Access to labs will be decided by local managers.

There is more information about specific arrangements for staff and students engaged in research in our Guide for Researchers.

Teaching spaces

As a rule, lectures will be delivered online. A booking system will be used for recording booths, whiteboards or blackboards.

Lecture theatres will be repurposed for use by seminar groups or other teaching activities. Seats that can be occupied will be marked.

We will publish more information on the learning and teaching experience in due course.


Most catering outlets on campus will remain closed and staff will be encouraged to bring a packed lunch and restrict their use of communal kitchens where possible. 

There should be no sharing of cutlery or crockery, kettles, hand towels or related items.

Measures will be in place to ensure that toilets are compliant with the necessary physical distancing and hygiene requirements and queuing systems will apply where necessary.

The success of our recovery from COVID-19 and the safety of our campus relies on everyone doing their bit. Our guidelines are designed to protect the safety and wellbeing of everyone who uses our campuses, and they will be most effective if everyone adheres to them. We appreciate your understanding and collaboration in this process.

There are more details published on our COVID Recovery section of the Community webpages, and in our published FAQS.

If you are still unable to find an answer to your query, please contact the UofG Helpdesk.

We understand that this is may be a difficult time for our staff and student community and we thank you for your support and patience as we work through some of these issues. We aim to keep all our community as well informed as we can as we move through each stage of our recovery work.