Smart Working requires managers and staff to take joint responsibility. Managers steer towards trust, and staff take their own responsibility for the planning of their work. Location-independent working means that staff work in a different location for part of the time. It is essential for managers and staff to make proper agreements about this.
Examples of working agreements or principles are set out below:
- Location-independent working is a privilege, not a right.
- There must be no difference between working at the office and working elsewhere. This means, for example, that staff members telephone in for meetings, are contactable via the telephone and email, etc.
- Prior approval from managers is required. This means that managers may also decide that location-independent working is not possible for a particular job or staff member.
- If the work requires it, it may well be that a staff member needs to come to the UT on a 'regular' work-from-home day, despite the agreements made.
- The contactability of a teleworker needs to be clear to everyone. Teleworkers must note the days on which when they will be working outside of the office in their Outlook diaries and indicate how and when they can be reached.
- If staff members within a department work independently of location, they must make agreements regarding department staffing and contactability. Staffing and contactability must always be guaranteed;
- Teleworking is only allowed if the telework workstation complies with the conditions for a good workstation (see the checklist for healthy telework workstations).
The procedure is made up of the following steps:
- Location-independent working is considered at the request of individual staff members;
- The decision is taken by the manager;
- The manager and staff member agree on the results to be achieved;
- Those agreements are recorded in a written agreement;
- The manager and staff member evaluate the agreements each year during the annual performance appraisal;
- If, between appraisals, it transpires that the agreements are not being met, the staff member reports this to the manager.