Homeworking – The Principles

OVERVIEW

East Dunbartonshire Council’s SMART working principles have been in place since 2012 with a number of employees already undertake some of their duties away from the workplace or their normal work base.

Our well established principles of Smart Working have supported a flexible response at various times over the years but most recently and most significantly, in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, and it is recognised that our workforce will continue to be required to work from home more routinely in the coming months.

Our approach to Smart Working has complimented our approach to work life balance and allows for the flexibility to deliver services remotely through the anytime anywhere philosophy.

Principles of Homeworking include:

  • Communications between and across teams remains at the centre of Smart Working 2020 to ensure that teams do not become fragmented and individual employees do not feel isolated
  • Employees can work from home where it is possible for them to perform their role; and where they can; physical presence in the office is only when required.
  • Flexibility across our workforce
  • Employees have access to the technology they need to deliver in their roles

It is recognised that the Council has a number of frontline roles that would not be suitable for homeworking due to the nature of duties and activities performed.

Our approach to Smart Working 2020 enables:

Audio Conferencing

  • All employees with corporate laptops will have the capability to use their phone from their laptop. 
  • Employees have headsets to be able to use for audio conferencing
  • Employees should not disclose their personal mobile phone or home phone numbers.

Video Conferencing

  • Our approach to Microsoft Teams ensures that employees will have the ability to use videoconferencing for meetings and virtual face-to-face conversations.
  • Employees will be able to attend and host meetings
  • Chat facilities will be possible within the teams meeting environment

Supporting Home Working – The checklist ……………

Communication

Keeping in touch with teams and team mates is an important factor in Homeworking.

Line managers and employees should ensure regular contact takes place and that there is opportunity for any issues or concerns to be identified and resolved as early as possible.

Work priorities should be identified and understood through regular discussion, and to identify any support employees may require.  It is important for employees to highlight any issues to their line manager and discuss any issues they may have or anticipate to have.  Typical discussions may take place around:

  • How the employee’s week is going
  • Plans for the weeks ahead
  • How they are managing their time at home
  • What the employee’s regular break routine is
  • If they are making sure they get a break in between meetings and eating well

It is useful for employees that are working from home to:

  • Keep their work diary up-to-date so that colleagues and line managers are aware of availability  
  • Agree how to keep in touch with their manager.
  • Have regular engagement with colleagues in the working week

 

Working Environment

Thinking about where and how employees are working at home is important.  Not only is it important to consider the workspace being used but the surrounding space is also important to think about.

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment are in place for employees with checklist to help consider the working environment and the position of their equipment. This can be done in discussion with line manager. A DSE assessment and checklist allows for reflection on what employees can consider in their working environment at home.

It is the responsibility of the employee to ensure that all reasonable measures are in place and maintained to reduce the risk of fire within their homes e.g. smoke detectors being maintained.

Incident or accidents occurring while working from home still need to be reported by the employee through the Accident and Incident Reporting procedure which will be published in the Health & Safety section within the Employee Zone of the website. .

 

Supports for all employees

Employees who work from home will have a Laptop, softphone function on their laptop and any other requirements specific to their role for working at home. If at any time there is a concern about the condition or safety of equipment supplied by the Council, an employee must escalate this immediately to the their line manager.

The ongoing support for employees continues to be in place, communications channels are the most important aspect to ensure that feedback is provided and that any issues can be addressed as early as possible,

Where an employee who otherwise would be able to work from home, is not able to do so because of a disability or other health condition, they should discuss with their line manager.

Additional practical guidance is available within the following documents:

  • How to Work Safely From Home
  • How to Work From Home
  • How to Support Homeworkers

 

The Council’s Employee Zone continues to be updated with various guides, videos and other helpful information. Visit the Smart Working 2020 page