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We used the experience gained through our institutional response to Covid-19 to rethink our ways of working, while ensuring we retain the strong sense of community which we value and that we are meeting business needs. 

A new Flexible Working Policy has been developed and staff who are able to can spend part of their week working remotely.  

Flexible workspaces on campus

Collaboration space in useMany departments are now using hot-desking or desk-sharing approaches to their spaces. Local rules will apply depending on the set up of your office location (e.g. localised bookings or a shared desk system).  

A Collaborative Working Space is available for all staff and PhD students to use for informal meetings, quiet working between meetings and for coffee/lunch breaks. The space is on the ground floor of the Hunter Wing, behind the main University reception and is open on weekdays between 8am-6pm. University laptops are available for staff to borrow and use within the Collaborative Working Space, and complimentary hot drinks are offered. 


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Etiquette for shared office space where hot-desking is in place
  • Unless you have an allocated desk, try not to use the same desk each time you are in.
  • Clean shared desks before and after use (blue roll and appropriate cleaning spray will be provided).
  • Tidy up after yourself and do not leave personal items (e.g. photos, coats) at a desk space.
  • Log out of the computer when you have finished for the day and make sure you save all your work to your H drive or shared network drives (not to the desktop or hard drive of the computer).
  • Avoid leaving documents, notepads or other work-related items at a desk space (see the SGUL Clear Desk and Screen Procedure). Confidential waste bins are provided in office areas. 
  • Follow our general campus safety measures.
  • If there is space available, you and colleagues around you may be more comfortable working back-to-back, side-by-side or staggered rather than face-to-face.
  • If you wish to wear a face mask in open plan offices, please feel able to do so.
  • Where possible utilise a booth or small meeting room to attend virtual meetings in order to avoid disruption to those sitting around you. Be respectful of others and only use the booths/small meeting rooms as touch-down space for limited periods of time (i.e. not the full day).
  • Please ensure you use headphones/earphones with an in-built microphone if joining virtual meetings from the desk you’re sitting at.
  • Be respectful of other users in terms of noise levels in conversations.
  • Try to leave the shared workspace to take/make a personal call on your mobile.
Etiquette for new collaborative working space (Ground Floor Hunter Wing)
  • The collaborative space is open Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 6.00pm
  • The maximum capacity for the room is 58 people
  • This space is to be used by staff only (this includes PhD students). 
  • Feel free to use this space as an area for working, holding informal meetings, or having a coffee/lunch break (please be considerate with the food you bring in).
  • Please ensure you use headphones/earphones with an in-built microphone if joining virtual meetings from the desk you’re sitting at.
  • Be respectful of other users in terms of noise levels in conversations.
  • Tidy up after yourself and clean desks before and after use (blue roll and appropriate cleaning spray will be provided).
  • Try to leave the collaborative working space to take/make a personal call on your mobile.

For events:

  • The space is only bookable from 4-6pm.
  • During December 2023, the space may be booked for groups/directorates to hold their buffet style seasonal lunches/afternoon events (12.00 – 2.00pm or 4.00 -5.30pm).  However, seating is limited, so the space would only be suitable for standing receptions with finger foods and non-alcoholic beverages. Other staff may still use the space at the same time. 
  • If organising catering, please make sure everything is collected and cleared away by 6.00pm or 8.00am the following day.
  • If food and beverages are spilt and trodden into the carpet during your event and a deep clean of the collaboration space is required, you will be charged for the cost.
  • For bookings enquiries, please contact June Phillips.
Using display screen equipment in the collaborative working space
  • The collaborative working space is designed for work meetings, an informal place to catch up with colleagues and for individual working.
  • The collaborative working space does not meet the normal display screen equipment (DSE) workstation requirements and is designed as a touchdown point for short-term use. To ensure the health and wellbeing of all when using a DSE workstation in the collaborative working space, please be advised of the following:
  • It is recommended that anyone using DSE with a keyboard or for screen intensive activity (for example, responding to emails, data inputting, writing documents etc.) in the collaborative working space do so for no more than approximately 1 hour per day.
  • If an individual is using DSE solely as a screen for a Teams meeting, which would not generally fall within the scope of DSE workstation requirements, therefore a user may continue such activities for longer periods than 1 hour per day if they are comfortable doing so.


Working flexibly

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Who decides how often/how much time I need to work on site?

Staff will be expected to liaise with their line manager over their working pattern.  

Some roles will require a greater on-site presence than others. 

All staff are eligible to request flexible working. Requests for working off-site for over 40% of your working time will be considered but will require approval by the Director of your area.

Do I need to tell anyone when I’m due to be on site?

As above, you will need to liaise with your line manager in order to establish and agree your working pattern, therefore your line manager will be aware of the days that you should be on-site.

Can I have my own dedicated desk or will I be required to hot desk?

Staff who agree a pattern of working on-site for a minimum of 80% of their working time, or those with specific physical accessibility requirements, will have their own dedicated desk. 

Those who agree a more flexible pattern with their line manager (i.e. on-site less than 80% of the time) may be required to hot-desk, usually within the dedicated space for their team. Arrangements will be confirmed locally depending on your department location. 

What if I want to spend more than 40% of my time working remotely?

All staff may request flexible working, however due to the nature of certain roles some colleagues will be required to work on-site more than others. 

If you wish to work off-site for more than 40% of your working time you will need to discuss this request with your line manager, who will be required to seek approval from the Director of your area. 

How do I attend a virtual meeting in an open plan office?

Attendance at a virtual meeting where sensitive data or information will be discussed should be made in a sound proofed booth (available in the Collaborative Working Space) or a shared office/meeting room. 

Teams chat or short meetings can be made from your desk in an open plan office as these would involve no more disturbance than a normal telephone call. 

Will there be access to web cams and headsets?

Departments should order the headsets/webcams they require. 

Information Services can advise on a quality headset/webcam to purchase. 

Will I need to bring my laptop in or will I be able to use a PC?

This will depend on local arrangements. Many office spaces now offer both PCs as well as connections to plug your laptop in. 

Within the Collaborative Working Space, laptops can be borrowed for working within that space.  

What if I have taken some of my equipment home (my chair/my screen)?

Staff will not be asked to return items they have borrowed at this point. 

There are a number of spare workstation chairs that could be made available for staff whose office chair is at home.

Can I have university equipment at home and on site?

The University will provide on-site equipment for staff but will expect you to utilise your existing equipment from home.  

Further information about technology and equipment when working from home is available in the Flexible Working Policy

What if there is no PC available to me and no space in my team's hot-desking area?

Please go to the Collaborative Working Space and utilise a laptop in the laptop loan caddy. 

We do not expect this situation to occur, but if you find there is no space for you when you come on-site please raise this with your line manager. There may be available hot desks in teams working near your location. 


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