People First: Enabling New Ways of Working

Icon with three silhouettes Our response to the pandemic has shown what we can achieve when we work collectively and imaginatively across our University community. We have embraced new technologies; we have worked flexibly and collaboratively; we have remained collegial and supportive; and our progressively strong emphasis on sustainability and equity continue to demonstrate our commitment to our colleague and student communities and society at large.

The time is right for us to build upon these achievements and take these new ways of working forward.

We would like everyone to be involved in open conversations on our ways of working and how we utilise our current space. All areas are encouraged to have ‘blank slate’ conversations about how space and technology are to be utilised, with units asked to re-imagine using their buildings as if they were entering them for the first time. We are encouraging colleagues to approach this exercise with an open mind, encouraging creative options from all.

Is hybrid working the same as flexible working?

Hybrid working is a form of flexible working where individuals vary their place of work (usually with prior agreement). It may be combined with other forms of flexible working (e.g. colleagues may work part-time, in a hybrid manner where some days are worked on campus and some are worked at another location). 

Are there any plans to change the available IT equipment?

The university’s intention is to move from the current environment where many staff work from multiple devices (desktop, laptop, mobile device) with different applications on different devices in different locations, to a more secure, consistent approach where staff have one device which enables them to access all the applications they require from that device.  

This will require discussion around how we procure and deploy devices in future and it is likely that this new environment will be introduced over time through the replacement lifecycle, replacing Desktop PCs with laptops and docking stations, where appropriate.  

It is also acknowledged that the design of space and use of technology are interdependent. 

Can I be compelled to adopt hybrid working?

It is recognised that individuals have a range of preferences and working styles and nobody should feel compelled to adopt hybrid working if it is not for them. Individuals should discuss any preferences (or concerns) that they have with their line manager. 

Will the university pay a 'homeworking allowance' for equipment, furniture, utility bills etc.?

No homeworking or equivalent allowance is available due to the non-contractual nature of hybrid working. Colleagues should discuss any equipment requirements with their line manager and an appropriate on campus workstation should always be available if required. 

Can I work 100% remotely?

The University recognises the benefits gained from the interactions between colleagues and their workplaces/campuses and the role that colleagues play in enhancing the overall campus experience for our entire community. It has therefore set out an expectation that colleagues on hybrid working will spend some time on campus each week. 

Where can I find further support regarding IT and tools to support hybrid working?

The Glasgow Anywhere pages contain a range of information and support in relation to IT tools and resources. 

About the Enabling New Ways of Working Group

The aims of this project are:

  • to reach agreement with the University community on the most appropriate approach(es) to hybrid, agile and flexible working and how best these might be implemented across the University, and
  • to provide enabling policy, technology and space related frameworks in implementing and embedding these new ways of working.


Working Group Members

  • Christine Barr: Executive Director of People & Organisational Development - *Lead project sponsor
  • Prof. Michael Brady: Head of School of Humanities - *People theme Sponsor
  • Billy Howie: Head of Operations, College of Social Sciences - *Space theme sponsor
  • Peter Mitchell; Assistant Director, End User Computing - *Technology theme sponsor
  • Prof. Chris Pearce: Vice Principal Research 
  • Prof. Moira Fischbacher-Smith: Vice Principal Learning & Teaching
  • Prof. Jill Pell: Director of Institute of Health & Wellbeing
  • Prof. Margery McMahon: Head of School of Education
  • Ian Campbell: Executive Director of Estates
  • Susan Ashworth: Executive Director of Information Services
  • Mark Johnston: Director of IT Services
  • Sarah Quinn: Director of Programme Delivery
  • Linsay Gilchrist: People & OD Communications & Engagement Lead


Enabling New Ways of Working Design Principles

  1. Develop hybrid working approaches that enable the University to deliver on our core purpose and strategic objectives of developing our community at home and abroad, connecting the community together, and discovering solutions to the world’s grand challenges.
  2. Be people-led. You understand how we can organise work, and how our spaces should be configured and used. We will listen and respond to great ideas.
  3. Be open-minded. We must continue to recognise that the ways we have operated in the past may not be the best way of operating in the future. We will experiment, recognising that will make the occasional mistake. We will learn quickly what is, and is not, appropriate for the University and adapt appropriately.
  4. Develop inclusive ways of working, recognising that aspects of hybrid working impact differentially on individuals and their circumstances. Ways of working will be able to be personalised to respond to where colleagues are most productive and will recognise that a single way of working is not appropriate for all tasks or teams.
  5. Give choice to staff in how they split their time between campus and other places of work where possible and in a way that allows delivery of work commitments.
  6. Focus on outcomes of work and away from monitoring hours worked – or a presenteeism culture.
  7. Develop guidance to help staff and their managers understand clearly what is, and is not, allowable within a broad framework.
  8. Develop leadership capacity to consistently and authentically implement hybrid working across the University in a way that appropriately balances the desires of the individual with the needs of the team to deliver the task.
  9. Prioritise the development of a culture that promotes the health, safety and wellbeing of staff. We recognise that hybrid working will create a range of concerns that will vary between individuals. We will endeavour to mitigate these concerns.
  10. Ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to the roll out of hybrid working environments to enable any pilots to be implemented properly.