Following the First Minister’s announcement last week that further easing of restrictions has been put on hold, it’s a stark reminder that COVID-19 has not left us. There are still many challenges that we all need to overcome before we can establish our ‘new normal’.

Working from home

That means if you are currently working from home you will continue to do so for some time to come. You should not return to an office unless you need to perform a vital piece of work that you cannot do at home, and only after you’ve gained permission from your line manager to do so.

To ensure you have the right equipment to continue successfully working at home, we asked you to fill in a kit requirement survey. Line managers now have the results and will arrange to distribute items to you shortly.

Please remember, your safety is of the utmost importance to us. Until we can reopen offices safely you must continue to follow Scottish Government guidance and work from home.

Reopening of buildings

An incredible amount of work is being undertaken to reopen our buildings. This is being done on a priority basis, with our initial focus on buildings with public access such as those delivering frontline services.

That means our offices will be one of the last to open their doors. When they do, capacity will be c30% of previous arrangements to ensure physical distancing and a safe working environment.

Prior to any return to an office, your manager will speak to you on a 1-1 basis and if required (e.g. if you’ve been shielding, pregnant or self-isolating due to health reasons) a risk assessment will be carried out.

Working beyond the pandemic

We now know that working from home is a viable and realistic option for a great many of us moving forward because:

  • a significant proportion of us are currently working from home

  • the COVID-19 Pulse Survey highlighted an appetite to work from home two or more days a week

Based on these facts, we anticipate - once restrictions have significantly eased - that we’ll continue to work from home, only coming back to an office for, on average, half of our working week.

This will of course vary depending on individual needs, and you may prefer to work four or five days from home or for shorter periods.

Please be assured, when we are at the stage of establishing ‘new normal’ working patterns, your line manager will work with you to find a balance that meets your needs and those of your role.  

A report summarising the work of the Anytime Anywhere Return to Work Group will go to the Emergency Executive this Thursday, 17 September. You can read the report on our website now.

If you have any questions about your current working arrangements, please speak to your manager or visit our guidance page. Alternatively, email