Using the right technology allows you to work from any location. The concept of mobile flexible working is wider than just location and can also bring flexibility in working hours/patterns. As a Council of the Future, not all roles require to be worked the traditional 9am – 5pm. Flexibility in working hours and locations improves work life balance, which in turn improves performance and ultimately should provide a better service to our customers.

Not all jobs will lend themselves to Mobile Flexible Working due to the nature of the Services being delivered. However a large percentage of the workforce work predominately in an office environment and it is these jobs that this guidance applies to.


Terminology/Definitions

All jobs will fall within one of the following workstyles. Your manager will consider your tasks and taking account of service delivery will agree with you the most suitable workstyle. For full details see Appendix 1. A summary of the workstyles is shown below:

Remote working

Office based for limited periods and no more than 20%

Using a desk

A bank of desks will be available for use by all flexible/mobile/ remote workers as required on a hot desk basis. Staff should be encouraged to sit at different desks within the bank to avoid desks being "owned" by one person. A clear desk policy applies at all times.

When can staff work?

Staff can work at any time to support the service they deliver. It is important employees agree general working pattern with Managers. Managers need to be aware of arrangements to ensure health and wellbeing and when staff can be contacted throughout each week.

Where can staff work from?

Likely to be working across the Council area at different locations/ buildings/ client homes to meet the needs of the service being delivered. There will likely be the need to attend offices/HQ to catch up with paperwork at a touch down point.

Mobile working

Office based for 21% to 50% of working time

Using a desk

A bank of desks will be available for use by all flexible/mobile/ remote workers as required on a hot desk basis. Staff should be encouraged to sit at different desks within the bank to avoid desks being "owned" by one person. A clear desk policy applies at all times.

When can staff work?

Staff can work at any time to support the service they deliver. It is important employees agree general working pattern with Managers. Managers need to be aware of arrangements to ensure health and wellbeing and when staff can be contacted throughout each week.

Where can staff work from?

Most efficient and effective location to meet the needs of the service being delivered. Could include, Council offices/buildings, homeworking, meetings in leisure centres, café's etc.

Flexible working

Office based for 51% to 90% of working time

Using a desk

A bank of desks will be available for use by all flexible/mobile/ remote workers as required on a hot desk basis. Staff should be encouraged to sit at different desks within the bank to avoid desks being "owned" by one person. A clear desk policy applies at all times.

When can staff work?

Staff can work at any time to support the service they deliver. It is important employees agree general working pattern with Managers. Managers need to be aware of arrangements to ensure health and wellbeing and when staff can be contacted throughout each week.

Where can staff work from?

Most efficient and effective ocation to meet the needs of the service being delivered. Could include, Council offices/buildings, homeworking, meetings in leisure centres, café's etc.

Fixed working

Office based for more than 90% of the working time.

Using a desk

A bank of desks will be available for all fixed workers in a particular team on a hot desk basis. These will generally be in the same area to aid team working and be for a specific group of workers.

Staff should be encouraged to sit at different desks within the bank to avoid desks being "owned" by one person. A clear desk policy applies at all times.

When can staff work?

Within the building opening hours and as agreed with Managers. It is anticipated that office cover will be required during normal office hours. Any office cover arrangements across a team require to be agreed by the line manager.

Where can staff work from?

Generally office based.

Dedicated

Office based for more than 90% of the working time.

Using a desk

Need for a specific piece of equipment due to health reason.

When can staff work?

Within the building opening hours and as agreed with Managers. It is anticipated that office cover will be required during normal office hours. Any office cover arrangements across a team require to be agreed by the line manager.

Where can staff work from?

Generally office based.

Home working

This is a formal arrangement where, by mutual agreement, you work from home for all working hours. This arrangement is likely to be considered in consultation with Occupational Health and to support you in continuing to work. The homeworking application form is available here. There will still be a requirement for you to attend meetings and 1-1's in the office unless alternative arrangements are agreed.

You will be considered to be a remote worker unless the tasks of your job don’t allow for this. If the post is not suitable for remote working, you will be a mobile worker unless this is not practical and you will then be considered a flexible worker. If you require to be based in the office for the majority of your day you will be a fixed/ dedicated worker.


Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions of employment are not altered when working in a mobile/ flexible/remote manner.

Some workers are likely to have fixed working hours, others will have more flexibility. The working hours of the post will not alter, however the working pattern may become more flexible, as hours can be worked at a time that suits the employee (subject to service delivery). Your line manager should know your working hours so they know when they can or can’t contact you. If you choose to work during unsocial hours, no enhancements are payable, as this is a personal choice.

If you are currently eligible for the Flexitime scheme this will not change.

Your manager will ensure you have appropriate equipment to allow you to undertake your role in a mobile/flexible manner. As technology is constantly changing your Service IT contact will be able to advise on the current options available. Where possible, you should use technology to engage/communicate and avoid excess travel. Where a meeting is required you should arrange to use a pool/fleet car.

Travel expenses will only be payable where a pool car is not available. Travel expenses cannot be claimed for travel between your home and base location.

Employees in all categories can apply to work more flexibly through part-time work, job-sharing or compressed hours.

Access arrangements and any relevant rules for flexible workspaces in different locations are available on Inside Falkirk


Health and Safety

You should work with your manager to ensure your safety at all times. It is important that managers ensure that:

  • Emergency contact information is kept up to date
  • Working patterns are agreed
  • Lone working arrangements are considered
  • Any necessary risk assessments are undertaken as appropriate

As part of the move to mobile/flexible/remote working you will be provided with IT equipment. You should complete the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Course on our online learning facility OLLE.

You should complete a self-assessment of your workstation when you begin using new equipment. Where you are using standard workstation equipment this self- assessment does not need to be repeated every time you change workstation. You should only complete another self assessment if you experience issues using your workstation equipment or there is a change to the equipment provided. You need to make sure you tell your manager immediately of any issues you are experiencing. Reasonable adjustments will be made where appropriate.

Managers must complete a Risk Assessment for each type of workstyle within their team and ensure adequate arrangements and support is in place to manage lone working. It is good practice for managers to have an outline of an employees’ workplan for the week and have access to diaries to support lone working within a mobile/flexible/remote working arrangement.


Guidance on the New Workstyles

For arrangements to be successful, recognised behaviours and principles should be agreed and shared with the team. Below is a list of behaviours and principles that support mobile and flexible working.

Open Plan: All Workstyles

When working in open plan or flexible desk arrangement:

  • Clear desk policy applies to all categories. You should leave your desk clean and tidy after you use it and leave it how you would want to find the desk. Personal items should not be left on desks.
  • A locker or personal storage facility will be provided at your working base location
  • When eating/using desks – be considerate of others
  • Use the wipes available to clean desks and equipment
  • Heating/lighting – everyone needs to recognise the different needs and wants of colleagues and be tolerant of others

It would be useful for all employees working under the new workstyles to complete the Anytime Anywhere elearning module on Olle.

Fixed/Dedicated Workstyles

  • Teams may be given a designated bank of desks. Where possible, you should sit within your designated bank of desks
  • It is likely that office cover will be required and it is likely to be restricted to traditional office hours
  • In line with principles of flexible working and to ensure fairness to all, fixed workers have no automatic right to a particular desk. Desks are available on a hot desk basis.
  • If you choose to use a dedicated space then the desk must be vacated and made available for the "dedicated" worker when required.
  • In a small number of specific cases, and only where approved by OH and the Health, Safety & Wellbeing team, it may be that as a reasonable adjustment a dedicated worker will require specific equipment for sole use
  • You can apply to work more flexibly through part-time work, job-sharing or compressed hours.

Remote/Mobile/Flexible Workers

Hours

Hours of work will depend on the nature of the service being delivered and the needs of customers. You may have fixed hours to support service delivery, or may be able to work more flexibly over Monday/Sunday. You should discuss the nature of your job and, subject to service delivery, agree your working hours with your manager. For some posts hours can change and won't be the same every week. Agreeing hours with your manager will:

  • ensure that managers know when their team members are working and contactable
  • assist when planning staffing if there is an element of office cover required from the overall team
  • assist when approving leave requests from team members
  • help reduce risk of lone working

Location

Your working base will remain unchanged although you will be able to work from any Falkirk Council building, café or your home, using appropriate technology supplied by Falkirk Council.

Work is predominantly field based, for example visiting customers’ homes or businesses (animal control, wardens, environmental health officers). You may use mobile/flexible or 'touch-down’ areas within different Council offices, work or have meetings in cafes or may work from home.

Outputs

It is essential that you agree outputs with your manager. This means that you must agree the tasks and actions that need to be completed within an agreed timescales. Subject to service delivery it is up to you to determine when your tasks will be done within the timescales set.

  • You need to agree with your manager when you will be available or in the office
  • Clear expectations, standards and timescales for each piece of work is essential and must be agreed on a regular basis to ensure productivity is maintained

IT Equipment

If you have been issued with Falkirk Council IT equipment you need to be aware that this equipment is solely for the use of Falkirk Council employees only. Do not connect any privately owned equipment to the Councils network or IT equipment.

Prior to being provided with any electronic equipment it is essential that you sign the Acceptable Use Policy.

When the equipment is issued to you, you will be asked to sign documentation to confirm receipt and accept responsibility.

It is your responsibility to ensure the equipment is kept safe. For example, do not leave any IT equipment unattended at a bus/train station and ensure you lock equipment in a car boot when travelling.

Charging of equipment is your responsibility.

You must bring the equipment to the office when requested for PAT checking.

GDPR/Data Protection

You must ensure that any confidential information, either paperwork or electronic files are kept secure. For example, if working from home any confidential information should not be accessible to family members or visitors to the house. Similarly if working from another Council location, please ensure any time you leave your work station that you lock your screen and secure any confidential paperwork.

Confidential waste should be returned to the Council as soon as practically possible for destruction and not disposed of with household rubbish or in other locations e.g. café’s

Communication

Managing a team working flexibly brings challenges. In moving to a more flexible way of working there needs to be an acceptance that an immediate response will not always be possible as individuals may work different patterns to suit their circumstances/work commitments. Mobile and flexible working requires an element of trust between you and your manager. Communication between you and your manager is key to success.

  • Effective communication is critical and it is important that this takes place on at least a weekly basis
  • There needs to be an agreed process/mechanism of monitoring performance and assessing output
  • You are expected to attend team meetings, 1-1s and other appointments as necessary in connection with the duties of your post
  • More frequent 1-1’s may be required to ensure good communication and productivity.

General housekeeping

  • Normal Calling in Sick procedures apply to mobile/flexible/remote workers
  • Time recording should be completed using the relevant system
  • Your diary should be open to all of your team and your manager at all times
  • Working from home is not to be used as an alternative to child care or care for dependents
  • Arrangements should be reviewed regularly to ensure there are no issues that require to be addressed
  • Arrangements are subject to service delivery requirements and the needs of customers