The Returning to Campus Working Group’s four work streams are focusing on specific areas.  

Safety 

This group led by the Director of Safety Surrinder Johal, has developed the safety roadmap to inform the College’s ways of working based on the government’s guidelines, as well as guidance on holding events on campus. It is advising the RTC working group on all safety aspects and the government’s safety guidance.  

 Further reading:

People 

All aspects of how the changes will affect people are being looked at by this group which is led by Head of Reward, Engagement and Policy, Audrey Fraser. New work location guidance (sign-in required) has been produced to aid managers and staff in discussions on temporary work location changes in a fair and transparent way as we start to consider the space and technological requirements that would be needed on a longer-term basis to support a hybrid way of working and for future recruitment decisions. 

After such a long period of working from home for many, new guidance for managers (sign-in required) to support discussions with staff on the transition back to working on campus has been developed. 

Any questions and concerns can be emailed to the dedicated People Workstream email inbox (peopleworkstream AT imperial DOT ac DOT UK) which is being monitored regularly by work stream members.

For further details on the People workstream, including its role, action plan and membership, view:

Technology  

This workstream, led by the CIO Juan Villamil, is developing a roadmap to support the College’s move away from fixed desktops towards laptops and other mobile devices, along with the supporting technology, such as docking stations.

The main focus in the Technology workstream is on enabling secure, flexible working with improved user experience moving forward. The impact on teaching and learning technology is also being assessed.

The impact on teaching and learning technology is also being assessed. The team is deploying modern flexible technology to remove many of the existing frictions to working flexibly regardless of where the user and their device are coming from, until automatic security validation has taken place. This will make access more secure than it is today whilst enabling access  to applications from any device and location.

The key benefits of Imperial adopting this strategy:

  • Secure access - with this kind of policy users can only access resources they are permitted to and applications can only communicate with specific devices which in turn have to match a defined set of standards in terms of operating system level, patches and anti-virus definitions. This secures Imperial’s applications and the data they hold.
  • Supports flexible working - users can access their applications from any device in any location removing the need to be on campus all the time or the need for multiple devices
  • User centric - this policy provides a more simplified log-in process. Everything happens in the background, and the user doesn’t have to sign-in to multiple applications; users will simply use their existing log on account

The starting point for delivering this is to create user role profiles. The Technology workstream is determining who College users are, what role they play within the organisation and what applications they need to access along with the level of access required. 

This will enable the team to create user roles aligned to Faculties and Departments so they can create security policies which will apply whether the device is owned and managed by ICT or BYOD (Bring your own device), whether it is accessing via our network, home broadband, or the public internet and whether the service is on premise or is provided by SAAS (Software as a Service) or PAAS (Platform as a Service).

The team has collated data from a number of systems. Over the coming weeks they will validate these with faculties and departments across the college. They have started this with the Library Services as a pilot.

Space  

This work stream, led by Chris Banks the Director of Library Services and Assistant Provost (Space), is looking at short term needs and longer term ambitions for our spaces on campus, to deliver real benefits to our staff and real opportunity for students.

The team are gathering and disseminating any local guidance that may be of use to departments planning their return. New guidance for the use of meeting rooms is being produced too. They are also collating information on the office requirements and the College’s future ambition for its use of space. 

In the guidance and recommendations being considered, the Returning to Campus Working Group is taking into account a number of ‌‌RTC: cross-workstream considerations (PDF), such as using common terminology, guiding principles, planning across work streams, regular communications and keeping the working group's membership under review.‌ ‌  

For the longer term, with what we now know about remote working, the College has an opportunity to re-think the workplace, delivering real benefits to our staff with regards to work-life balance and for our students with a repurposing of spaces for learning, study and collaboration. In order to realise these benefits, the working group acknowledged that it will take time and investment as well as the engagement of the College community and a clear governance structure for decision making and prioritisation.

Workshops held in May for teams with shared workspaces have led to the Space workstream's creation of FAQs on shared workspaces.

Further reading: