Guidelines and policies

SHW office etiquette

Whilst recognising that we all have our own ways of working, all SHW staff and students are asked to show respect and courtesy towards their colleagues by adhering to the following guidance.

Noise and distractions in shared offices

  • When talking on the telephone, try to keep conversations as quiet as possible.
  • Ensure that any personal calls are kept as short as possible or try to use your mobile phone so that you can move away from the shared area.
  • Switch your mobile phone to silent or vibrate while in the office (unless you are expecting an urgent call).
  • Avoid speaking about confidential matters in shared areas.
  • Try not to hold meetings in shared offices. Where this is unavoidable, please advise your colleagues in advance, in case they need to find a quieter place to work.
  • Use earphones if playing music or listening to the radio or other audio in a shared office.

Hygiene and cleanliness

  • Out of respect for colleagues, to avoid spreading germs, and to help maintain a pleasant working environment, please keep your desk (or any desk you use on a temporary basis, if agile working) clean and tidy, particularly if you are likely to be sharing this area with others. Each floor will have a sanitiser station which we encourage you to use and there will be cleaning materials in each of our kitchen areas.
  • Always clear away any used cups, dishes or cutlery at the end of each day. 
  • Domestic tasks in common areas – e.g. switching on or emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up spillages in the microwave or fridge or on kitchen work surfaces – are NOT professional services staff duties but the shared responsibility of all who use these appliances and areas, including academic staff and students. Please take your turn. 

General courtesy

  • Be friendly, helpful and respectful to anyone you come across in your working environment, whether colleagues, students, visitors, university services personnel or external contractors.
  • Knock before entering colleagues’ rooms.
  • Turn your mobile phone to silent or vibrate during meetings (unless you are expecting an urgent call, but warn colleagues of this in advance).
  • We suggest that those who have symptoms which might be contagious (e.g. covid, coughs, colds, vomiting etc) should try to work from home. There are people who may have underlying conditions and vulnerabilities, which we may not be aware of, and may be affected more severely than others. NB please always remember to report any sickness absence to your line manager for awareness, and recording on HR system.

Allocating work to professional services

SHW has a specific etiquette relating to the allocating of work to professional services colleagues, which all staff are asked to familiarise themselves with.

Food/drinks in shared areas (including your office, if you share with others)

  • Try to avoid taking strong-smelling foods into shared areas.
  • Always tidy up after yourself.
  • When leaving at the end of the day, ensure that any dirty dishes on your desk are cleared away.
  • If you make use of your shared kitchen area, always tidy up – washing, drying and storing any dishes you have used, and clean up any food debris or spillages. (NB our office cleaners are not employed to carry out this work.)
  • If you are storing food in the fridge, ensure it is sealed to prevent transfer of any strong smells, and regularly check for, and remove, out of date items.
  • University of Glasgow encourages those with severe food allergies to make their line manager/colleagues aware, and would expect that managers would work with individuals who have raised specific health issues/allergies to then put a local plan in place so that there is an understanding of the condition and its severity from colleagues.

Dogs at work guidelines

SHW has developed a guideline for staff who may occasionally wish to bring their dogs into the office.

Personal IT use

Please refer to University of Glasgow code of conduct for the use of University ICT systems and facilities 

Approved by SHW executive
First approved August 2016
Last reviewed/updated August 2023
Next review due June 2024