Working at Home

This page is aimed to provide advice to staff working at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Please refer to the information in the tabs below.  If you cannot find the guidance or advice you are looking for please contact HR using the contact us tab.

National Services Scotland

The number of staff currently working from home has increased significantly over the last few weeks. This can impact on us all in different ways and at different times. It can affect both our emotion and mental wellbeing, with increased feelings of uncertainty, isolation and limiting access to things that can keep us well.

In the below tabs you will find guidance for any employees working from home to help support them through these unprecedented times. Additionally, employees can also complete an assessment of their homeworking environment which is located below. The Scottish Government's Wellbeing Hub also has lots of information on working from home.  Advice on creating a healthy home routine can be accessed on NHSInform as well.

Please refer to the information in the tabs below.  If you require additional information you can contact the NSS Health Promotion Advisor through HR Connect Contact Us / Wellbeing

NHS 24

The number of staff currently working from home has increased significantly over the last few weeks. This can impact on us all in different ways and at different times. It can affect both our emotion and mental wellbeing, with increased feelings of uncertainty, isolation and limiting access to things that can keep us well.

In the below tabs you will find guidance for any employees working from home to help support them through these unprecedented times. Additionally, employees can also complete an assessment of their homeworking environment which is located below. The Scottish Government's Wellbeing Hub also has lots of information on working from home.  Advice on creating a healthy home routine can be accessed on NHSInform as well.

Parent Club

For many parents, working from home can be a challenge especially with young children and babies around. Parent Club is full of tips and advice tried and tested by parents themselves. They have a whole area of their website dedicated to 'working from home tips' for parents of children in all age groups. They also provide advice on talking to children about Coronavirus, coping with being a parent and remaining calm.

To visit their website for more information click here

 

For additional information on wellbeing please visit the Health and Wellbeing section here on the portal, or if you have access via the staff intranet

Home Working Tips

 

 

NHS Education for Scotland

Please refer to the information in the tabs below.  If you cannot find the guidance or advice you are looking for please contact HR using the contact us tab.

NHS Golden Jubilee

Please refer to the information in the tabs below.  If you cannot find the guidance or advice you are looking for please contact HR using the contact us tab.

Public Health Scotland

Please refer to the information in the tabs below.  If you cannot find the guidance or advice you are looking for please contact HR using the contact us tab.

Scottish Ambulance Service

Please refer to the information in the tabs below.  If you cannot find the guidance or advice you are looking for please contact HR using the contact us tab.

    • DSE - What if I have already taken DSE equipment home?National Services Scotland

      If you have already borrowed equipment from the workplace, please let DaS know by submitting a request through

      ServiceNow following the instructions above. In the ‘reason for your request’ section please state ‘already taken’.

       

      Remember, if you are working from home, please review the guidance and resources on HR Connect regarding

      safe set up of display screen equipment.

       

    • DSE - What do I need to do to collect any DSE equipment from a NSS building?National Services Scotland

      Once your line manager acknowledges your request, you can visit the appropriate NSS site to collect the item(s)

      you need – you should report to reception to advise that you are in the building to collect agreed items, and inform

      reception when you leave. We also ask that you are mindful of your own health and safety responsibilities and the

      requirements you need to follow when removing items, in particular the removal of heavy or bulky items. When

      travelling to and from work, please ensure you have your work pass with you at all times. 

       

      You should only retrieve items from workstations that are part of designated areas for you and your Strategic

      Business Unit. Items should be returned when you resume working from your usual base.

       

      Guidance for when you are onsite

      When onsite, please remember to follow social distancing measures staying at least two metres (approx.6 feet)

      away from other people at all times. Ensure you follow hand hygiene procedures in our buildings and when you get

      home – additional ‘arriving home safely’ information is available on HR Connect.

       

      As fewer staff are now working in Gyle Square, Meridian Court and the National Distribution Centre (NDC) we have

      closed some areas in the buildings to allow Facilities Management to consolidate and direct their services to help us

      all. Colleagues should not use these areas (including toilets, meeting rooms and teapoints) other than to retrieve

      equipment.

       

      Please refer to the Gyle Square floor plans on HR Connect for details of the areas that are now closed to staff

      (areas highlighted in black are closed). In Meridian Court the third, fifth and sixth floors, are closed to staff. The

      ground, first, second and fourth floors remain open.

    • DSE How to request equipment to support me at home?National Services Scotland

      If you are currently working from home and require office equipment to support your working arrangements,

      you can raise a ServiceNow request to temporarily borrow equipment you used in the office for home

      use during the coronavirus outbreak.

       

      To submit a request, visit ServiceNow ‘Request to take assets home’ complete the form, stating the

      reason for your request, selecting the item(s) you require (for example monitor, keyboard, chair, mouse

      and desktop riser) and the NSS location. Once submitted, an email notification will be sent to your line

      manager with a link for them to click on and confirm acknowledgement of the assets being taken home.

      If for any reason a replacement asset is required at some point, this would need to be ordered and purchased

      following the business as usual process.

       

      If you need a piece of equipment that you don’t currently use when working on site, please speak with your

      line manager in the first instance.

    • Workplace Recovery FAQ - PHSPublic Health Scotland

      Safe Workstation Assessment for Working at Home (Covid-19)


      1. How long will I be working from home?

      Throughout the pandemic, PHS has continued to follow Scottish Government (SG) guidance on working at home.  The default SG position still remains that, wherever possible, employers should enable staff to continue to work from home.  As we are now 8 months into this way of working, in order to provide staff with some more certainty around how home working will continue, PHS Senior Leadership Team have agreed, in partnership with staffside representatives, that there will not be a return to the office until at least April 2021.

      As a result, staff will continue to work from home for the remainder of this financial year.

       

      2. Does this impact on my contract or terms and conditions of employment?

      No. This working arrangement is as a direct result of enacting Scottish Government advice and PHS does not consider creating a precedent for permanent changes to terms and conditions. These arrangements have been developed on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, All of your terms and conditions of employment are retained and are unaffected by this way of working as a result of the pandemic.

       

      3. Can I work from home permanently?

      We understand that for many staff, based on what you told us in the staff wellbeing survey earlier in the year, this way of working has become the norm. PHS has, in discussion with staffside representatives, agreed to look at the longer term PHS position on permanently working from home, which would alter staff contracts.  For now, the status quo remains but we are committed to exploring this in the future, taking into account any NHS Scotland guidance, Once for Scotland Homeworking Policy and any other relevant evidence. This will be reviewed with staffside colleagues as it becomes available. 

       

      4. I need equipment/furniture to enable me to work from home. Can I get it from PHS?

      Yes. As a reasonable employer, PHS wants to support staff whilst at home and wants to ensure that you can access the equipment you need.  We know that some people may already have borrowed or bought equipment, however, as we now have clarity around home working for the remainder of this financial year at least, we now want to  ensure that you have all the equipment that you need.

       

      5. I have already bought equipment can I claim expenses for this?

      Option 1 – PHS to reimburse full amount of purchase (Non Taxable)

      Employee can purchase equipment up to an agreed value (Desk £36 ex vat) and PHS reimburse in full.  This would be a non-taxable expense.  Employee must provide a receipt as proof of purchase which does not exceed the agreed value.

      Option 2 – PHS to reimburse a contribution to the total purchase (Taxable)

      Employee can purchase equipment over the agreed value (Desk £36 ex vat) and PHS can reimburse part of the purchase to the agreed value.  As PHS are not reimbursing for the full amount of the purchase this would be a taxable expense for the employee.  Employee will need to provide receipt as proof of purchase.

       

      6. Will I have to return any equipment provided by PHS?

      Although the property belongs to PHS, it has been provided for your use at home, for as long as the requirement exists for you to do so. PHS has made allowances for this from a budget perspective and this will be reviewed when we are clearer on a likely return to the office.

       

      7. What if the equipment gets damaged?

      This will be dealt with as it would if you were working in the office and will be repaired or replaced.

       

      8. Who is responsible for the equipment?

      PHS is providing you with the equipment to enable you to do your work. Staff are responsible for the care of all PHS property in the home, and for keeping it in good condition.

       

      9. Can we buy stationary/notepads and be reimbursed?

      The PHS Workplace Recovery Group’s primary objective is to ensure that PHS employees have the necessary supports at home and within the office by providing access to the appropriate equipment (IT, desk, chairs) and guidance.   Therefore, should employees require stationary to fulfill their role we recommend you discuss this within your team/department structures regarding the options available.

      Employees working in the office or attending for flu clinic, uplifting furniture etc you may wish to consider collecting stationary when attending

    • Wellbeing FAQ - PHSPublic Health Scotland

      1. What can I do to stay well?

      PHS is committed to ensuring you keep well and we have a range of tools to help you with this.  We can enable this but you need to access the information for it to have an impact.

      https://covid19.healthyworkinglives.scot

      - The Spark (http://spark.publichealthscotland.org/health-and-wellbeing/wellbeing-advice/ )

      - HR Connect (https://www.nhsnational-hr.scot.nhs.uk/occupational-health-safety-and-wellbeing-sub-areas/covid-19-hub/109321 )

       

      The Scottish Government has also created and promotes the following websites for us all to use:

      - HR Connect (https://www.nhsnational-hr.scot.nhs.uk/occupational-health-safety-and-wellbeing/employee-assistance-counselling/93982#ForEmployee) for the Scottish Government HELP Guidance

      - National Wellbeing Hub, https://www.promis.scot/ , this is for us all to use and has information and resources to support individuals and managers, including how you can access coaching support among other resources

      https://clearyourhead.scot/ , providing ideas on how to keep moving, creating routine, looking after yourself, staying connected and healthy eating

      https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/coronavirus advice and help with parenting during this time.

       

      Coaching for Wellbeing Initiative

      https://www.promis.scot/resource/management-and-coaching-support/

      Flyer and Elevator pitch for Coaching Initiative:

      https://mailchi.mp/projectlift/coaching-for-wellbeing-available-now-to-all-health-and-care-workforce?e=4df17c85a7

       

      Coaching for Wellbeing – a digital coaching service for all health and social care staff

      This service offers two options for online coaching, both designed to support you with issues you may be facing during these challenging times. Experienced coaches will support you in building resilience and improving your well-being and if you lead others there will be space to explore how you support your staff too.

      The service is for all staff and whichever option you choose, coaching will bring new ways of understanding yourself and your situation, clarity as to how you can play to your strengths and further strategies for staying on track.

      To find out more got to: https://www.knowyoumore.com/wellbeingcoaching

       

      Suicide Prevention

      Learning modules link

      - Counselling (Scottish Government Employee Assistance Service) - https://sg.helpeap.com/ or 0800 587 5670

      - Breathing Space      0800 83 85 87

      - Samaritans                116123

      - NHS 24                      111

    • Support whilst working from home FAQ - PHSPublic Health Scotland

      1. What support can I access whilst at home?

      PHS recognises the unprecedented times and want to support you at home just as we would if you were in the office.

      We have information and guidance on wellbeing can be found on the Spark here

       

      2. I am a line manager. What support is there for me managing staff at home?

      We appreciate the challenges that may be faced by staff and line managers and support information is available here.

       

      3. Can I keep in contact with colleagues without always having to talk about work?

      You should continue to speak to your line manager and colleagues on a regular basis but we encourage you to keep in touch with other colleagues as you would do if at work. You can still do this, just using a different form of communication - virtual Teams calls for this can be a good way to keep in touch. You can also speak to your staffside or H&S representative if you require help or support

    • Coronavirus - Working at Home FAQsNational Services Scotland

      1.  What if I can’t work from home e.g. I am in the Warehouse and my role would not be able to be done at home?

      Staff should initially have a conversation with their Line Manager.  If we can't accommodate working at home the Line Manager and staff should arrange a risk assessment on their role and circumstances should be carried out by Occupational Health. 

      2.  What should I do if I have to work from home because I am unable to attend my normal place of work?

      You should discuss this with your manager in the first instance.

      Arrangements are being explored to enable staff to work at home where job duties and service requirements enable this.

      If you are unable to work at your contractual base or from home, it is possible that you may be asked to work at another base, dependent upon the circumstances. Any such request would be done in full discussion with you and with due regard to your health and wellbeing.

      3.  I don’t have a laptop. How can I work from home?

      You should speak to your manager in the first instance.

      If you are in a job which is suitable for working at home, arrangements implementing this on a temporary basis should be discussed fully with your manager in line with the NSS Working from Home/Working at Home policy and a request can be raised through Service Now for the appropriate equipment.

      NSS Flexible Working Policies

      4.  If I can’t work at home, will I get paid?

      Working at home is one option currently being considered for staff where their roles support this arrangement.

      It is recognised that not all jobs are suited to working at home. If for any reason staff are unable to work at their normal base or home, consideration will be given to other temporary work and location options. This would be dependent upon your particular circumstances and would be considered in full discussion with you.

      5.  What happens if I am told that I should work from home but the schools close and my children are sent home. Will I be allowed to work from home if my children are there?

      It may be possible for staff to work from home depending on their individual circumstances. Your manager will want to explore with you if working at home is suited to your role, meets service requirements and if your childcare arrangements can be effectively managed.

      For example

      while you may need to be at home for childcare reasons, depending on the age of your child(ren) and personal circumstances, this may present opportunities to organise and deliver your work in a more flexible way.  

      In order to work at home and manage childcare, staff may also need to explore with their manager the possibility of undertaking flexible working arrangements at home on a temporary basis, in line with the NSS Flexible Working Policies. For example

      within service needs, is it possible for your working hours to be set temporarily around the times when you are needed to undertake carer activities or around times when someone else may be able to undertake some of your carer responsibilities such as earlier in the morning, in the evening or other parts of the day.

      The above is not an exhaustive list but reflects the sort of options that you and your manager could consider.

      Details of the Flexible Working Policies can be found on HR Connect at the following link: Flexible Working Policies

      6.  If I am working at home, and can’t always fulfil my full contractual hours, will I still get paid my full contractual hours?

      Yes, your pay will not be affected, but you should record your actual hours worked. You should also discuss the reasons with this with your line manager so that any issues or problems can be identified and addressed. 

      7.  Looking ahead to the school summer holiday time – this may be challenging with regards to childcare – especially if summer camps are not provided and if partners return to their places of work (or we do). Is there any guidance available around this?

      With the announcement on 21st May that schools would remain closed until 11th August provides some clarity around the timescales that parents are looking at in terms of ongoing childcare arrangements over the summer months.  We would continue to encourage all staff with childcare responsibilities to plan annual leave, consider parental leave options and discuss any flexible working requirements with their line manager over this period.

      School hubs will also continue during the summer holidays for children of key workers.

      As things move forward towards schools returning in August this guidance will be reviewed – but it is likely that you will have to consider flexible options for some time to come.