Renfrewshire Council

Image - working with covid

Last reviewed: 18.00, 24 Aug 2020

Working from home

Current Scottish Government guidance states that working from home should continue, where at all possible. We know from our recent staff survey that most people have adjusted well, however we want to formalise some of our arrangements and make sure that everyone is able to access the resources, support and development that they need to work from home for a bit longer and remain connected.

Your health and wellbeing is our main priority and while we cannot replicate your office environment at home, we want to make homeworking more comfortable for everyone and are committed to providing you with the appropriate support to help you to adjust to the new homeworking arrangements.

Full details are available in our Working From Home Guide [231KB]  

On this page:


Our commitment

It is important to be practical, flexible and sensitive to each other's situation when working from home or at a workplace during the coronavirus outbreak. To support those working from home we pledge to:

Support flexibility for personal needs - to help balance work and personal commitments in the home, it is ok to block time in your diary to manage family and care responsibilities. Just make sure it is discussed with your line manager, is in your diary and meetings can be planned around it. This flexibility will also be extended to those in the workplace.

Be family sensitive - it is ok to put a call on hold temporarily to handle a household issue. Video calls are absolutely encouraged so we all feel connected but if this is not possible due to home circumstances then hearing a staff members voice is the next best thing, so simply turning the video off is acceptable.

Frequently check-in on people - checking in on family, friends and colleagues is important for everyone at this time. We must all take care of our physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Be connected - by taking a break to virtually touch base and socialise with colleagues, just as we do when we are in the workplace.

Be kind - meetings are taking place in your own home so no comments should be made about the surroundings and other family members popping into the room and making an appearance on camera.


Office Equipment - Assessing your working environment

Many of you were able to take office equipment home before or during the lockdown, however we appreciate for some this was not an option so to help make working from home more comfortable for everyone we have introduced a safe process for requesting and collecting appropriate ICT and office equipment.

While we can't commit to replicating your office environment at home, we will explore all available options to make working from home more comfortable. Existing equipment should be used where at all possible, however if after exploring all available options new equipment is required then managers should follow the usual procurement process and are reminded that the cost of any new equipment must be covered by each directorate.

To asses your current working environment, you must :

Additional advice and guidance on how to set-up your work station and other good practice can be found here. [89KB]

If you have any questions about the process, please speak to your line manager for more information.

ICT Support - ICT will continue to provide support to staff who are working from home, and if you experience hardware, software or network issues you should report the fault or make a request in the usual way by contacting the ICT self-service portal.


What do I do if I have symptoms of coronavirus?

If you have a continuous cough, high temperature, or loss or change in taste or smell

  • self-isolate,
  • let your line manager know
  • and request a coronavirus test right away.

Requesting a test

Your manager must in turn inform HR via the COVID helpline—0141 618 7323, 0141 618 4031 or 0141 618 6676, or by emailing HR Systems when all phone lines are busy.

If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and stay home for 10 days. Others in your household should stay home for 14 days in case they also develop symptoms.

If symptoms worsen or last for more than 7 days, call 111.

If you have a fever for more than 10 days, continue isolating for 48 hours after it ends.


Health and wellbeing

Many of you have adjusted well to working from home, but it is important to remember that for some people it can be a difficult or isolating experience, especially during a public health emergency. Everyone is adjusting to a new and changing situation and we want to do everything possible to safeguard our health and wellbeing. It's okay not to be okay and to need some support or someone to talk to especially about balancing your home and work life.

Your line manager should be the first port of call, so if you can share how you are feeling with your line manager, please ask for help and support. Alternatively you can contact Douglas Blair in Health and Safety or contact him on 0141 618 7630 or 07770398143.

To help support staff working from home we've developed a special health, safety and wellbeing package. This includes:

  • Advice and guidance on homeworking risk assessments, which should be conducted regularly and should not be a 'one of'
  • Advice and guidance on how to set-up your workstation at home safely, including Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Guidance and the DSE Assessment Form (available on Business World). Where an employee requires an eye test this should be arranged and time off to attend provided through the special leave policy provision
  • A dedicated Health, Safety and Wellbeing section on the website, hosting a range of health and wellbeing resources, information and interactive guidance is available for staff and managers to access.
  • The Healthy Habits for Homeworkers [1MB]  guide is specifically geared towards providing staff working from home with practical advice and tips to support health and mental wellbeing.
  • Information about the council's employee assistance programme. Managers must ensure that where appropriate referrals and signposting are still made to Occupational Health and Time for Talking Employee Counselling. These services are currently being provided via telephone and video conferencing.

Further information on the package and DSE virtual support is available from the Health and Safety Team, HR & OD.


Learning and development - iLearn

Learning and development is just as important while working from home. A range of e-learning and online learning is accessible through iLearn and is complemented by online learning interactive guides that support managers and their teams to adapt to home working, maximise the benefits of home working and enhance digital skills.

Log in to iLearn

New online learning programmes will be shared through the normal channels and learning and development requirements should be discussed between you and your manager regularly. iLearn contains hundreds of e-learning courses and other resources to help you develop your skills. This means that you can get access to the learning you need when you need it, at a pace and place that is most convenient for you. Further advice and support on online learning and development opportunities while working from home is available on our website.

Microsoft 365

There is also an interactive online learning guide for Microsoft 365 [1MB] that provides you with links to short videos to the different products within the Microsoft suite and also links to the guidance produced by ICT on using Teams and Skype. If you have any questions or feedback, or if you need advice and guidance on accessing any of the online learning resources and iLearn you can contact the team at hrpolicy@renfrewshire.gov.uk.


Shielding

For the latest advice on shielding, please visit our dedicated staff advice on coronavirus page webpages.


Annual Leave / Special Leave

For the latest information, see our advice and guidance on annual leave and foreign travel.


FACTS Key messaging

To prevent the spread of the virus we should all follow the FACTS. It is the sum of our individual actions, our collective endeavour, that is helping to suppress the virus.

  • Wear a face covering on transport and in shops and crowded spaces
  • Avoid crowded spaces
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre distance
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.