Guide for working remotely

The Scottish government’s route map out of lockdown dictates that numbers on campus will be restricted for the foreseeable future due to the constraints on physical distancing. Therefore for the time being, the default position for the University remains that the majority of staff will continue to work from home, with the exception being those involved in COVID-19 research and those undertaking vital support services, upon our campuses.

Whilst a limited number of staff will be allowed to return to campus, if you can work from home, you should continue to do so. We have designed this guide to highlight support available across a range of areas, so we can help make remote working as straightforward and sustainable as possible.

If you have any questions that aren’t in the series of documents, please contact the UofG Helpdesk.

Office equipment & furniture

We understand that many homes are not effectively set up to support online working and that some staff will have left important equipment on campus before they left.

In some circumstances, we might be able to supply IT equipment, such as a laptop, mouse or keyboard, for collection. This service is being coordinated through the UofG Helpdesk.

For using equipment remotely, Safety & Environmental Protection Services have published advice on: 

For people who don’t have suitable furniture, it may be possible to arrange collection of smaller items, such chairs (i.e. either from your own office, or a shared space with the agreement of your line manager). This can now be requested through the UofG Helpdesk.

Access to IT systems

The Glasgow Anywhere webpages provide:

  • links to various systems such as Office 365, video-calling and document sharing
  • advice for file sharing
  • links to the Library’s online resources

Through the University’s CoreHR you can access and manage your personal details, and various work activities in the usual way.

Accessing campus

As we move through the Scottish government’s lockdown route map, we will be able to accommodate more people on our campus, subject to physical distancing measures. 

As noted above, at the current time we can only facilitate staff coming onto campus for essential work reasons and to collect office equipment. These are primarily for matters related to COVID-19 research, to collect necessary items to assist online teaching for the new semester, for cleaning and maintenance, and  to allow staff to collect equipment necessary for long-term working from home. We can also support staff and students returning to other countries or leaving the university who need to visit their offices to clear personal equipment and return items. 

We want to ensure staff are able to access important equipment as soon as possible, so we are asking that you only submit requests for items that you are finding it difficult to work without, rather than for more trivial items.

If you need to collect equipment from your office, you must submit a request via the UofG Helpdesk. These requests will initially be reviewed and assessed by a contact in your local area. Once requests are approved, Estates will aim to turn around access arrangements within 3 working days and agree a preferred time with you for collection.

Initially, we are only able to support these visits on the Gilmorehill, Garscube and Tay House campuses.

Research

Please refer to guidance for researchers about how research is being restarted on campus, and specific guidance on working remotely.

Managing remotely

Managing teams effectively may be made more complex as we progress through our Covid-19 recovery programme, with some managers looking after split teams where some colleagues remain on, or return to, campus while other colleagues continue to work from home.

When managing remotely, or in new working arrangements, there are a number of key considerations. Firstly, ensuring your team have the correct equipment, as far as possible, is a vital first step. For staff who require additional IT equipment, items such as a chair, or access to University premises to collect essential materials, they can request this through the Helpdesk

It is important to set clear expectations and goals for your team; colleagues may feel additional pressures when working remotely, so it’s essential to clearly establish shared expectations and detail on how you will collaborate and support each other. Ensuring continuity of strong communications and engagement is important in sustaining this shared understanding and in functioning effectively as a team. There are a number of techniques that can help establish good communications, and you may wish to consider scheduling 1:1s and time as a team, and to consider how technology may help enable good communication (e.g. through the use of Microsoft Teams).

It is also important to note we are working in new and unforeseen conditions, and maintaining a degree of adaptability and flexibility within your team will help ensure colleagues feel engaged and supported, and support their general wellbeing. Detailed information on health and wellbeing is available on the Glasgow Anywhere webpages, including links to resources such as PAM Assist, the Mental Health First Aid Network and the Big White Wall.

Further guidance and best practice on managing remote teams effectively is available on the World Changing Glasgow Transformation webpages, and on the Team UofG Community webpages.

Two further web portals have also been created to offer guidance and information to staff during this period - the Coronavirus Staff Information Portal, offering general guidance and FAQs for staff as we continue to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic, and a web portal on the Job Retention Scheme, including FAQs for staff, and managers of staff, who are on the Scheme.

If you have questions on homeworking allowances, tax relief or any other query relating to homeworking please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

As we progress through our Covid-19 recovery programme, our Guide for Line Managers has been created to outline the range of considerations and responsibilities relating to managing staff during this time, including identifying key priorities, carrying out risk assessments and creating implementation plans. The Guide for Line Managers must be consulted by, and adhered to, by all managers to ensure key responsibilities are delivered, and staff are managed appropriately to ensure their safety.

If you have a question, or require further guidance or support with managing your team, please the HR Helpdesk.

Health & wellbeing

Working or studying remotely can be difficult and lonely, especially when it is for prolonged periods of time.  

Guidance and support has been produced through Glasgow Anywhere on how to stay mentally and physically well while working remotely from your colleagues.

If you are suffering from a health condition – physical or mental - which is impacting on your work, there is various support available to you through UofG.

Working from home can be stressful and it is easy to become overwhelmed, particularly if you are juggling caring responsibilities. We should all make extra efforts to look after our own wellbeing, but also take the time to look after each other.

If you have any questions that aren’t in the series of documents, please contact the UofG Helpdesk.