Hybrid working - practical considerations
1. Collaboration, inclusion, and availability
During agreed working hours, all staff are expected to be working and available. Staff who are working remotely must ensure that they do so in an appropriate environment with minimal distraction.
Virtual accessibility when working hybrid means teams can work together collaboratively and ensures colleagues are able to arrange meetings based on the indicated availability of all attendees. To support this, staff must remain visible and accessible when working, regardless of work location through the use of Teams, Outlook and other standard communication channels. Staff must include their work location for any particular day within their Outlook or Teams calendar in line with local arrangements.
College policies and procedures must be applied in a way that does not affect the treatment or progression of staff, regardless of work location, to ensure we continue to promote and advance equal opportunities and inclusion in employment.
2. Caring responsibilities
Staff with caring responsibilities are required to have appropriate arrangements in place for any dependents to avoid interruption to work during normal working hours regardless of their work location.
3. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and technical equipment
All staff are required to comply with the College’s Information Security Policy, the Conditions of Use of IT Resources and associated Codes of Practice which regulate the use of the network and hardware and software provided by the College.
The College will provide a laptop for staff as the default device to carry out their role, unless their role requires a different type of device (e.g. desktop, tablet, or workstation). Staff with a hybrid working arrangement will be expected to use their College laptop when they are working onsite and remotely.
Any device provided to a member of staff remains the property of Imperial College London, regardless of the source of funding.
Additional guidance about the provision and use of laptops and other End User Computing devices can be found on the ICT webpages.
Beyond the ICT equipment provided by the College, whenever staff are working at home as part of a hybrid working arrangement, it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they have appropriate broadband capacity and access to an appropriately equipped working environment (please refer to section 6, Maintaining safe and healthy hybrid working practices for further information).
If a member of staff is unable to access appropriate broadband capacity to carry out their role, it is expected that they would work onsite.
4. Workstation furniture and desk allocation
The College will provide staff with appropriate working furniture (such as a chair and desk etc.) for onsite working only. This provision will be in either the form of a designated work location and workstation or a shared working space or ‘hot desk’. This will be determined by the frequency of the staff member’s on-campus working and the requirements of their role.
Any additional work furniture that is required to be used for hybrid working will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
5. Absence from work
All staff should follow the usual procedures for notifying their manager if they are unable to work or wish to request annual leave or special leave.
Staff who are unwell (whether working onsite or hybrid) are expected to inform their line manager in accordance with the Sickness Absence Policy and will be required to log their absence as sickness on TeamSeer. Staff should not usually request to work remotely if they are unwell.
6. Maintaining safe and healthy hybrid working practices
Carrying out computer or paper-based work remotely is generally deemed low risk. However, to ensure staff have safe remote working arrangements, hybrid working staff will be required by the College to carry out relevant assessments. Guidance on computer health, workstation set up and home working is available via the Occupational Health webpages.
The College Safety policies apply to onsite and hybrid workers, and staff should refer to these for further details.
Staff who have an accident or incident arising out of or in connection with work while working hybrid are required to follow College procedures for reporting accidents and incidents.
7. Health and safety obligations
Careful consideration must be given to circumstances where staff have supervisory and health and safety responsibilities on campus. This will include ensuring sufficient provision for effective supervision of staff and students and ensuring necessary first aid and fire warden cover.
Further information can be found on the Safety Department website.
8. Data protection and confidentiality
In addition, it is a condition of employment that staff must preserve the confidentiality of any personal and/or sensitive information which is made available through the course of their work, whether directly or indirectly. This applies to information about current or prospective staff or students and applies to information about any person with whom contact is made during the course of employment. Any breach of confidentiality will be regarded as serious misconduct and will result in disciplinary action.
Any paper and documentation taken from onsite to work at home must be transported and stored securely. Confidential papers should be disposed of safely and securely. Staff may do this at home if they have a shredder. Otherwise, papers should be disposed of at a College location.
Further advice can be sought from the Data Protection team.
9. Access to remote working locations
There may be, on occasion, a reason for the College to access a staff member’s remote working location. This could be to:
- install, inspect, replace, repair, maintain, service or retrieve College property during the course of employment, where it is not possible or appropriate to do so on campus.
- inspect or investigate significant health and safety concerns.
This will be discussed with the member of staff to agree a reasonable time, with reasonable notice, and will only be required when it is absolutely necessary and where there are not suitable alternative methods of achieving the required outcomes.
Members of staff working remotely are responsible for assessing the personal implications of home working for insurance, taxation, mortgage, utilities provision and any leasing and landlord agreements. These should be considered in advance of the determination of work location.
The College holds liability insurance that provides cover for legal liabilities of the College and its members of staff whenever they are engaged in College business. This cover applies irrespective of where the activity is taking place.
All members of staff are responsible for the security of the College's property within their control and for avoiding loss, whether they work onsite or hybrid. Heads of Departments, managers, supervisors and workers must ensure reasonable steps are taken to ensure the care, custody and security of College owned assets within their control, in line with the College’s Financial Regulations.
11. Associated costs/expenses
Imperial College does not make financial contributions to those working hybrid for normal household expenses such as heating, lighting, internet and phone lines or council tax costs.
The College will not reimburse travel expenses for hybrid workers travelling to work at a College location.
12. Remote working outside of the UK
Requests to perform role-related duties and work either partly or wholly outside of the United Kingdom will not usually be permitted other than in exceptional circumstances. This is due to the potential significant tax compliance risk and cost implications to the College and/or the member of staff. If working outside the UK is being considered, the Working Overseas Guidance must be referred to for further information and managers should discuss this with their Strategic HR Partner.