What is 'hybrid working'?
Hybrid working aims to give teams greater flexibility around their normal hours, time or place of work with limited formal process. This means that – supported by technology and guidance and training for managers – our focus is on ways of working and outputs over where and when that work takes place. We are committed to creating a hybrid working culture which delivers the right outcomes for all our communities.
After many staff spent a significant amount of time working from home during the pandemic, we want to build on the good methods we’ve developed. And we know that hybrid working is the positive choice of the majority of our staff.
Hybrid working is an important part of meeting our sustainability goals. It will ensure we maintain a vibrant and exciting campus, help us attract and retain diverse talent, and promote equality and inclusion by removing barriers that can arise through rigid working practices.
We recognise that the current environment is changing rapidly, so we will continue to review, adapt and develop our approach as we respond to change. We anticipate a period of transition as staff return to campus and will closely monitor feedback to ensure we can make changes where needed.
Hybrid working does not affect individuals’ right to request flexible or other working arrangements; working patterns under hybrid working are not guaranteed and may need to change to meet business needs. Work carried out off-campus includes the UK only unless formal agreement has been given otherwise.
What does Hybrid Working mean for teams?
Different roles will vary in how much time teams will be able to spend working remotely compared to working on campus. Heads of Department will need to let us know which model fits their teams, and how they can undertake their activities in a hybrid way, noting that some staff may still wish to work 100% of their time on campus.
Face-to-Face / Essential Service Teams
These teams are involved in the delivery of essential or face-to-face services that need to be delivered in person.
Many staff in these teams will need to be on campus to carry out their roles, but may still be able to benefit from flexible working arrangements to support a healthy work/life balance.
Teams should still consider any scope for hybrid working in these roles, such as such administration for managers, planning activities or online training that can be undertaken remotely.
Mixed Face-to-Face and Administrative Teams
These teams deliver a mix of face-to-face and administrative outputs, such as events, teaching or individual appointments. Teams will need to be on campus for the face-to-face aspects of their roles, but can work remotely for example on some administrative tasks.
Time spent on campus and specific working hours will be guided primarily by service needs, in conversation between managers and their staff; teams are likely to reduce their time spent on campus compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Mostly Administrative Teams
These teams deliver outputs which can mainly or entirely be delivered remotely.
Time spent on campus and specific working hours will therefore be decided by managers in conversation with their teams, ensuring teams can find a productive balance of work environments. We expect these teams will likely see the biggest reduction in time spent on campus compared to pre-pandemic levels, though individual working patterns will vary.
Hybrid working principles
Our commitment to hybrid working is underpinned by core principles that will ensure we can fully realise the benefits of this approach:
- Meeting the needs of our communities: the University serves diverse communities including students and staff, as well as local, regional and international audiences. Where and when people work must primarily enable the University to meet the needs of those communities, ensuring they receive the best possible service.
- Meeting our environmental commitments: a mix of on-campus and remote working is a key enabler to meeting the University’s environmental and sustainability commitments. The University will continue to review its use of space on campus, ensuring it is constantly working to improve efficiency in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.
- Supporting team needs: the University expects teams and managers to be best placed to decide how a hybrid model works for them but recognises that there will be practical questions around implementing hybrid working locally. The University will provide guidance for managers to support conversations, continually reviewing the support offered in line with feedback.
- Recognising individual needs: the University understands that not all roles can be carried out remotely and remains committed to supporting individuals’ needs in terms of flexibility, equality and inclusion, and creating a positive work-life balance, irrespective of working location.
- The importance of excellent leadership: managers will lead by example, setting parameters for working based on the needs of their service and their teams. As the University adjusts to new ways of working, ongoing support and guidance for managers will be provided to support the leading and developing of individuals and teams working remotely and on-campus.
- Measuring outputs and outcomes: the University is committed to finding efficient and digitally enabled ways to deliver its outputs and objectives and will carefully consider the management information needed to measure progress towards those ends.
- Effective use of technology: the University will provide access to the necessary hardware and software, on a department-by-department basis, to enable effective hybrid working, as well as continuing to develop technological platforms and training offering to further digital capabilities.
- Creating a positive working environment: the University strives to create environments that are safe, positive, and conducive to working and collaborating via the innovative use of both physical and digital spaces.
- Foundations in trust: staff and their managers will be trusted and empowered to manage their own service needs and workload as far as possible, identifying the best workspaces for different activities, and managing time spent working remotely and on-campus to deliver required outputs.
- Transparency and openness: regular conversations between line managers and staff will be key to keeping on track with what needs to be achieved, and staff will need to ensure regular and open conversation around where and when they are working to enable effective teamwork.
- Continuous review: the University and its community will remain open to new and effective approaches to ways of working. The University’s focus remains on excellent service provision for its community, whilst helping to promote a positive work-life balance.