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 typically work remotely as part of their duties
  • Regular home worker pre Covid-19 and individuals/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 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

Supporting employees to work from home

Depending upon the type of remote/home working e.g. permanent base or temporary during COVID-19 CUH aims to enable work to be undertaken at home.  Line managers will discuss with employees the most appropriate option.  This can include:

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.

Outlook email access and online communication tools:

Accessing Outlook emails remotely

All employees can access their Trust emails remotely using either a Trust or personal device (computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone) via Outlook Web Access (OWA) using the following web address: https://mail.addenbrookes.nhs.uk/

Trust computer usernames and passwords are required to log in. Full details are available on the CUH Staff Portal.

Online communication tools (Zoom etc.)

During this time you may be involved in virtual meetings and training sessions. There are a variety of online platforms that can be used to enable this. Information about the various video conferencing tools that we currently have available at the Trust is available here. 

Zoom is currently the suggested platform for team meetings. Please click here for support guides for using Zoom.  

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. This must be transparent and recorded, for example the employee could use Outlook Calendar to record their start and finish times.  

Employees 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.

Expenses/costs not reclaimable from CUH

It is anticipated that, in the majority of cases, the costs of working from home will be offset by the savings in the cost and time of commuting to work, and the benefits of an improved work/life balance. 

CUH will not reimburse staff for the following:

  • Cost of travelling to/from Trust premises if required to attend to undertake work, training, meetings etc. This applies to all staff working at home whether permanently or during the pandemic.  Exceptions apply for community posts (e.g. midwives).
  • Pre-pandemic excess travelling expenses for business travel would have been reimbursed, however, during the pandemic such travel is not permitted, exceptions apply for community posts e.g. midwives.
  • Installation or recurring payments of broadband costs
  • Cyber security costs will be unnecessary as protection in place via BYOD
  • Heating, electricity or other utility costs

Tax implications – working from home

As a result of working from home you may be able to claim some form of tax relief. The following is a summary extract from the government website: 

The HMRC form for this tax relief is provided here.

Important considerations for staff – using a home as a place of work 

It is important that any employee who works from their home, whether it is on an ad-hoc basis or a more permanent arrangement, addresses the following: 

  • Interests in the property – employees may need to discuss any new working arrangements with anyone with an interest in their property such as mortgage lenders, landlords, leaseholders etc. 
  • Buildings and contents insurance – although CUH equipment is covered under the CUH corporate insurance policy, employees may need to discuss any new working arrangements with their insurance providers. 
  • Property risks and liability insurance – Computers and other items of equipment provided by the Trust as part of the agile working arrangement will be covered by the Trust’s insurance policy. A discussion with the employee regarding their working environment is required, as well as adherence to data protection policies, with any required action completed before the new home working arrangements commence. 

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. Connect provides guidance and requirements relating to Information Governance including GDPR & Cyber Security. Please click here for a reminder on the key points.

Remember to undertake the annual mandatory refresher for Information Governance including GDPR and Cyber Security to remain compliant. 

Should you be unsure of any of the guidance on the portal, or have any concerns, please contact the information governance team via infogov@addenbrookes.nhs.uk or call 01223 217768 and access the full information governance policy on Connect here.

Health and safety matters 

The Trust must look after the health, wellbeing and safety of all our staff; there are additional requirements where individuals are working remotely. Any reasonable adjustments for staff with disabilities or health conditions covered under the Equality Act 2010 must also be applied to homeworking where appropriate.

At the start of the pandemic it might not have been possible for the CUH risk assessments related to home working to have been completed. For those currently working at home or for any new arrangements, managers and employees should ensure the following risk assessments are in place:

  • Display screen equipment (DSE) risk assessment form – incorrect or poorly setup DSE equipment (i.e. PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones) can lead to ill health, including visual discomfort, headaches and musculoskeletal pain/discomfort. In order to reduce these risks, please ensure that you have completed a DSE risk assessment for your home workstation that will provide guidance on what is needed.  

If these have not already been undertaken please do access the forms, complete and discuss with your line manager.  

Your health and safety – key areas of focus:  

Information leaflets are available on Connect and provide information on: 

Further information on safe working and ergonomics is available here.

Remote/home working and Covid-19 learning on DOTPlease 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.

Fire safety – important matters

Do not forget about basic fire safety in your home. With the extra use of heating, ovens, electrical equipment and devices whilst working from home, the potential for house fires will increase. Some simple steps you can take to take to protect you, your family and your home are:

  • Check that smoke detectors/fire alarms work 
  • Carry out regular visual checks on electrical equipment for any damage or faults
  • Do not overload plug sockets
  • Turn off or unplug equipment when not in use
  • Do not use or buy counterfeit or incorrect chargers for tablets, laptops or mobile phones (should be CE marked)
  • Do not “daisy-chain” – plugging multiple extension leads together or plugging many multi-socket adaptors into a single socket.
  • Conduct regular safety checks 

Please continue to report all work-related incidents that occur at your home via the Trust’s incident reporting system (QSIS). 

Further support and advice

Some simple tips to help you manage home working can be found here.

If you feel low or are struggling with feelings of isolation, there is support and advice available. Find out more in 10 tips if you are worried about coronavirus.

For more advice on how to look after your own mental health and supporting colleagues while working from home, visit Mental Health at Work.

You can also read some inspiring stories of how clinical and non-clinical staff are successfully adapting how they work off-site and remotely with colleagues in order to deliver services – and in some instances, finding ways of enhancing the quality of that service provision.

The remote/home working portal gives the most up to date guidance and processes for remote/home working. The home working policy is currently under review to reflect changes to working practices, modernise our approach and to offer additional flexibility. The revised policy will be available on Merlin in early 2021.