Strengthening our campus community – hybrid working update

The University is updating its guidance on hybrid working patterns.

An aerial shot of the front of the Parkinson Building

The University is updating its guidance on hybrid working patterns to strengthen our campus community and sense of belonging among staff and students, and to foster a better balance between time spent working on campus and at home. 

Heads of schools and professional services are supporting a review of current hybrid working arrangements, as well as the facilities required, so that as many staff as possible can spend a greater proportion of their working time on campus. For full-time colleagues this would usually equate to three days per week working on campus.  

However, local managers will determine when to implement this change in conversation with their teams, and identify any changes required to the facilities, technology and space to enable increased working time on campus. A particular emphasis should be given to ensuring on-campus availability for staff-facing and student-facing services throughout the full working day and week.   

Whilst our community must not lose the gains made in developing more flexible approaches to work, working on campus is essential for employee and student engagement, for developing and maintaining effective working relationships, for team working and collaboration, and for innovation – as well as providing better support for new employees and those in the early stages of their careers.  

Improving the campus experience for staff will also help address feelings of isolation and disconnection and increase a sense of wellbeing – issues which were highlighted in last year’s employee engagement survey. Feedback from the National Student Survey has also indicated it is time to review post-pandemic ways of working. 

Senior leaders will continue to determine working arrangements at a local level according to the needs of individual roles, service delivery, staff wellbeing as well as recognising the importance of retaining a connection with campus, supporting the broader team. It is also recognised that the timescales in which changes can be implemented will vary according to the facilities, technology, and space available.  

Arrangements for similar roles across teams and individuals will also be considered to ensure a parity of approach to the balance of campus and home working for staff delivering similar work, and to develop good practice that ensures appropriate opportunities for collaboration and support across teams.    

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Brealey said: “The pandemic clearly had a profound and lasting impact on the way we work. In line with many organisations, it has been challenging for us to strike the right balance between flexibility for colleagues and the need for us to be together as a community.    

“The past few years have seen an incredible response from our staff, who have shown flexibility and real resolve in delivering the best education and research opportunities in these circumstances. We want to continue to shape our approach in response to feedback from staff and students, adapting and challenging ourselves to find the right balance, allowing us to deliver on our ambitions for teaching and research excellence, create a great place to work and study, providing flexibility for colleagues.”   

In asking Heads of Schools and Professional Services to consider their ways of working, the University can ensure that local business requirements and the needs of staff are considered in detail by the relevant senior leaders when planning future campus developments, in order to deliver a positive and supportive campus working environment with the right equipment and spaces provided for colleagues to engage.    

Some areas of the University are already working on new approaches to ways of working and these innovations are helping to guide our current and future approach.   

You can learn more about ways of working at the University via our updated SharePoint hub.   

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