Covid-19 Working from home
National guidance states that all staff should be temporarily working from home, unless providing front-line critical services.
The council is following the guidance both on social distancing and self-isolating. Managers are enacting their business continuity plans which include homeworking arrangements. All staff who can work remotely from home should be doing so in line with these national guidelines.
There is a variety of work that can be undertaken at home, some tips and examples are below:
- Please refer to our security advice when working from home
- Update your preferred telephone contact number on Outlook (especially if you haven’t already diverted your council work landline number to your mobile)
- Make sure your email signature includes your contact details including a telephone number (where you have BCC telephone equipment)
- Do not use out of office auto responses if you are working from home – this is not necessary and is driving up email volume
- If you are absent (ill/on leave) activate your ‘Out of Office’ message to signpost support in your absence, detailing when you are not available
- Check that your signature on the bottom of your emails is accurate, which should include your preferred telephone contact number whilst you are working from home
- Virtual meetings using Office 365 tools like Microsoft Teams or Skype – hints and tips on using these tools can be found on the Modern Workplace Hub
- 10 Mandatory iLearn e-learning courses* note new deadlines in the Learning & Development section.
- Other iLearn modules for self-development.
- Read information/guidance/policies on the Intranet
- Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
- ODP development, including Peer to Peer coaching activity as part of ODP meetings and workbooks
- Other online training, e.g. with professional bodies, industry guidance etc.
- Background reading related to work activities;
- Updating departmental policies and procedures;
- Apprenticeship related work;
- Support other colleagues to deliver council work, e.g. report writing, making calls, reviewing documents, data entry etc.
- Check out the Government Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
- Check in with work colleagues so that you have contact on a regular basis.
You must ensure that you protect confidential information and comply with BCC council policy and procedure – guidance can be found in the 'Data Protection and GDPR' section of the Intranet. Further guidance on handling council staff data can be found in the Health and Safety section in the Covid-19 Staff Guidance. It is acceptable for staff to utilise personal shredders to dispose of confidential waste.
Line managers will maintain contact with employees about workload and expectations whilst working at home and agree communication channels and frequency of contact. The business continuity plan for your service will advise contacts if you are unable to speak to your line manager. You must remain in contact with your line manager and be available during your normal working hours.
If you do not wish to work from home, there may be limited opportunities to work in the few critical BCC council offices that remain open – this should be raised with you line manager who can explore with the directorate business continuity representative (included in the HR and Payroll section of our staff guidance).
It is important to recognise that for most staff costs associated with travel to/from work will cease during this period. The council will not reimburse utilities costs relating to homeworking during the COVID19 crisis. However, you may be able to apply for tax relief on £6 per week.