I hope this message finds you well and that you were able to enjoy a restful long weekend with your family and loved ones.
I am writing to you after the Scottish Government has outlined more details of Scotland’s Route Map through and out of lockdown. We all want to return to a more ‘normal’ way of life and move to the next phases. What is obvious is that this will take time and the First Minister has said that the whole country will be expected to 'move carefully and gradually'.
With this in mind, I want to be clear with you that in order to ensure that our working environment is as safe as possible for our return, the majority of us will remain working from home for the coming months.
Our Return and Resume Development Group, chaired by University Secretary and Compliance Officer, Veena O’Halloran will, with work streams underway across the University, continue to assess all aspects of a gradual return to campus. The Scottish Government’s own assessment is that easing lockdown is complex, requiring a cautious and incremental approach.
The majority of Strathclyders have adapted to working from home well and this will continue. Please be aware that arrangements will be put in place for colleagues to access buildings to collect items which will support home working and help to make their environment more comfortable. This information will be shared with you through Inside Strathclyde in due course.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and the whole community is critical and we do not want to place anyone at risk by returning to campus until we can provide as safe a working environment as possible. I thank you for your continued patience as we work through these plans.
I would also like to offer my sincere and continued thanks to our frontline staff and recognise their commitment to Strathclyde, as they continue to travel to work on campus.
Whilst the full lockdown is now lifting, we have reviewed arrangements for the Friday rest day and have concluded that, rather than ending it now, we will retain it until the end of June. By the beginning of July, colleagues will be taking well deserved annual leave to enjoy longer periods of rest and recuperation.
Beyond the summer period, we will be learning from the experience which we have all gained over recent weeks to accelerate the plans outlined in our People Strategy to build more flexible and agile working into the way we do our business. I anticipate that this will be of particular benefit to those of you who have caring responsibilities.
I am also able to confirm that the ADR process for this year will go ahead as normal. Given the importance of communication and prioritisation of our tasks this year, it is critical that the ADR process is carried out; not least as the commitment to the development and support of our staff remain essential. There will be some changes in light of the current circumstances and these will be outlined in a message from me next week, dedicated specifically to the ADR launch.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your engagement over recent weeks. Now, more than ever, it is critical that our communication is clear, timely and has impact.
My weekly communications – along with Inside Strathclyde – are the key channels where we will update you on important information. I am keen that as many people as possible read these messages and discuss them with their line manager and team members.
Please make the most of your rest day tomorrow and I look forward to working with the entire Strathclyde community as we move through the next phases of our national recovery.