Types of remote working 

There are currently different categories of remote/home working arrangements in place:

  • Community posts (e.g. midwives) and other roles who have typically worked remotely as part of their duties
  • Regular home worker pre Covid-19 and teams that have permanently moved to this way of working as an outcome of trialling this during the pandemic
  • Temporary home worker working all contractual hours at home due to Covid-19 with the intention to return after the pandemic
  • Temporary home worker working a mix of on site and home working due to Covid-19 with the intention to return to normal arrangements after the pandemic
  • Periodic/ad-hoc home working 

Flexibility of contractual hours during remote working

Some roles/departments will have core hours that must be maintained for patients and/or support to other services/organisations. Where core hours do not apply, managers can consider offering additional flexibility as appropriate where this will not impact on services/support to others.

This may include allowing employees to work at different times of the day, or days of the week and must be transparent and recorded, for example requesting the employee uses the Outlook Calendar to record their working hours (start, break and finish times).

It is very important that there is transparency, fairness and equity when offering such flexibility and that this is reviewed at regular intervals to consider any impact on the employee, service provision, team working and other colleagues.

Staff will not be eligible for any unsocial hours pay enhancements if flexible working patterns have been altered and enabled outside the employee’s usual working pattern.

Such payments can only apply where there is a contractual service requirement or management request to work evenings/nights/weekends.

IT provision at CUH – an update    

  • Novosco is the Trust’s IT service support provider
  • Work is underway to significantly upgrade the CUH IT infrastructure; this includes increasing Wi-Fi capacity across the Trust and refreshing of all our computing hardware devices to newer Lenovo versions running Windows 10 that are complete with integrated cameras and audio functionality. The refresh of hardware will be completed in 2021.
  • A review of the roll-out programme is underway in light of the changes to working practice.  This may give some departments/directorates a choice of a desktop for those based on site/mainly on site, OR for those working all or most of their hours remotely a laptop choice may be provided.
  • Since the pandemic began in March 2020, there has been rapid digital adoption. This has changed the way we work and the tools we require to support this, especially in relation to remote working and use of conferencing software (Zoom, Starleaf, Attend Anywhere, WebEx)  that enable us to have digital face-to-face meetings and deliver training virtually.
  • Further information about the appropriate use of the various video conferencing tools that we have available currently at the Trust is available here.
  • In 2021 CUH expects to be running Microsoft Office 365, which will enable the effective use of Microsoft Teams; this is likely to be by mid 2021.
  • Further details about the Trust’s IT Infrastructure upgrade programme are available on Connect.

IT provision of hardware and systems to enable and support remote/home-working 

Managers are asked to consider the three options below prior to making a formal laptop request; this is to ensure the most appropriate device is in place relevant to the requirements of the job role and access to systems, as well as the costs and recurring costs as outlined below.

For example, BYOD access through the employee’s own device could be appropriate if the employee has a personal computer/laptop where they may only require BYOD access.

Outside the replacement programme and review of laptops where a manager considers additional Novosco laptops or desktops are required, a formal request should be made through the service catalogue of the Novosco IT Service Portal.

There are two options to enable remote/home working 

Option 1: Employee’s own device e.g. home/personal computer or laptop using CUH BYOD* (Bring Your Own Device) system access

*CUH BYOD system access enables:

  • Secure access to certain corporate systems and applications including Epic, Microsoft Office, Outlook for access to addenbrookes.nhs.uk emails, shared drives/file storage folders, Connect and CUH Portal using a CUH standard laptop or an employee’s own computer/laptop (Windows or MAC), tablet device or smartphone.
  • To register for CUH BYOD system access please complete the registration form on the service catalogue of the Novosco IT Service Portal
  • Access guides for using CUH BYOD can be found here.

Option 2: Full system access via a Novosco laptop

  • This option provides access to all systems and applications required where essential for an employee’s role via a Novosco laptop.
  • Remote working is enabled via secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) access through the Trust’s Citrix Gateway using both a Novosco laptop and an RSA token. An RSA token is set-up to be specific to each laptop user.
  • If access to the NHS Spine or any related services e.g. eReferral, Personal Demographics Service, Birth Notification Service, is needed then this option must be chosen as it is the only option which provides access to these services.

IT support relevant for type of remote/home working   

This summary describes the CUH standard IT packages available across CUH depending upon the role and type of working arrangements in place:

Community posts (e.g. midwives)/similar roles working remotely as part of their duties
Laptop package with docking station as per current arrangements.
Regular home worker (all contractual hours)  (permanent)
Currently it is not possible to transfer the employee’s current workspace desktop PC to their home.

If an employee wishes to use their own device this is acceptable.  With BYOD they can order additional equipment e.g. webcam/microphone to support access to remote meetings.

Where an own device is not possible/employee does not wish to use CUH will ensure the regular home worker is provided with the IT package required.

Temporary home worker (all contractual hours) for the period of the pandemic 
Same provision as outlined for regular home workers above Where an employee returns to on-site working after the pandemic, the laptop provided should be returned.
Temporary home worker (mix of on-site and home working hours)
Standard workspace PC at their workstation remains in place.

An employee using their own device where possible is the preferred option through BYOD.

Where the provision of a laptop is considered essential by the line manager to enable the home working arrangements the line manager should first explore if there are any laptops available within their department/division, or failing that they can order a laptop from Novosco.  Where an employee returns to full on-site working after the pandemic, the laptop provided should be returned.  

Periodic/occasional home working
BYOD own device as outlined in option 1

Provision for all on-site workers  

Employee based on site – on- site workspace
Standard Trust workspace PC with monitor, mouse and keyboard.

New Lenovo Windows 10 computers (as part of the Trust’s hardware device refresh) have integrated webcams and audio capability.

Headset/earphone will be required if working in shared spaces.

These can be ordered through the IT Service Catalogue of the Novosco IT Service Portal.

Webcams pending roll-out of new standard workspace PCs (short-term purchasing option)
These can be ordered Note: for workstations at CUH webcams can be moved between PCs so teams should purchase enough to use practically between them pending refresh roll-out programme.

Contact the IT service desk on x257257 (externally 01223 257257) for details on how to request and purchase webcams.

2nd monitors
During the device refresh programme, if one monitor currently exists it will be replaced with a new Lenovo monitor. If a second monitor currently exists, this will remain in situ with new cabling provided to connect the two monitors together.

Additional equipment/furniture and expenses for safe home working

Office furniture or equipment  e.g.

  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Keyboard
  • Riser
Managers should undertake a DSE risk assessment.  Where this indicates an employee requires additional equipment or furniture for to enable safe home working this should be provided. Some employees may not have sufficient space or desire to have furniture provided if they consider they have a suitable workspace at home, and where the DSE assessment indicates this is acceptable.

Procurement should be contacted to source suitable desks, chairs and arrangements for the delivery of these.

There may be specific types of desks and/or chairs to suit certain medical conditions where OH or a medical practitioner is recommending particular types. Procurement will also be able to advise on sourcing these.

Remote/home working expenses and other considerations for employees

Information about the following is included in the Employee Guide.

  • Claimable expenses
  • Costs not reclaimable from CUH
  • Other considerations for employees: tax relief and issues relating to landlords, mortgage lenders, insurance and property risks

Information governance matters

It is vital that when working remotely, staff continue to observe appropriate controls on the information that they see and have access to and ensure that it is kept safe. The employee guide reminds employees of their responsibilities and managers should ensure compliance with the annual information governance e-learning requirements via DOT.

Health and safety matters – manager responsibilities 

CUH is aware that the speed in which some employees were asked to work from home may not have enabled individual risk assessments to be in place; the initial priority was to follow the government guidelines to stay at home.

It is assumed that there has been an opportunity for these discussions through 1:1s/catch ups/check-ins as well as a discussion about work-life balance and working arrangements during the 2020 appraisal conversation.

It is important to look after the health, safety and wellbeing of ourselves and our team members regardless of the place of work. There are additional risk assessments for remote/home workers to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for the work to be undertaken safely. Any reasonable adjustments for staff with disabilities or health conditions covered under the Equality Act 2010 must also be applied to homeworking where appropriate.

For those currently working at home or for any new arrangements, managers should ensure the following risk assessments are in place:

Remote/home working and Covid-19 learning on DOT – Please follow this link to view a short (3 minute) video to summarise everyone’s responsibilities in relation to Information Governance including GDPR & Cyber Security and Health & Safety whilst working remotely. Staff are asked to access this, complete the relevant risk assessment forms and send them to their manager to confirm they understand the requirements to observe these important aspects in relation to working from home

Health and wellbeing

Guidance for supporting your team’s wellbeing, and managing stress levels and mental health can be found here, as well as the various Trust resources/support that are freely available to all staff.

It is important to understand the different pressures and issues that working remotely can create for staff and how managers can make sure there is regular support and discussion in place. This includes regular 1:1s/catch ups/check ins, remote team meetings, and for managers to stay alert to any issues that indicate the employee is struggling with remote working.

New requests for remote working during the pandemic and longer term

Where more teams/individuals are encouraged to work from home, or where an individual or teams request consideration of this, it is recommended that an informal conversation should take place between the manager and individuals to explore options and complete and discuss risk assessments.

Further Information 

The remote/homeworking portal set outs CUH’s approach, processes, IT packages, expenses, health and safety and information governance requirements.

The home working policy has been reviewed to reflect changes to working practices, to modernise our approach and to offer additional flexibility. The updated version can be found on Merlin.