People Strategy
Agile Working: Web Toolkit for Staff & Managers

Purpose of the Strathclyde Agile Working Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to help staff and managers understand what agile working is, what agile working arrangements may be available and how to make agile working successful for both our staff and our University.

We also want to stress the importance of all of us seeking to keep Friday as a day with dedicated time to focus on key priorities – Meeting Free Fridays, where this is possible, will help make Friday particularly productive. We should also try to minimise email traffic on a Friday, further helping colleagues to make the most of their time and ensuring they are able to enjoy a ‘work free weekend’ as far as possible.

Remote working guidance

Agile working may often involve an element of remote working. Further advice and guidance on successful remote working can be found in the Wellbeing & working from home hub. This includes resources that include tips on successful remote and agile working, way to stay physically well when working remotely, advice on positive mental health and wellbeing and guidance on how to stay connected and safe online. 

What is the difference between flexible, blended and agile working?

The phrase ‘flexible working’ is often used to describe a range of formal and informal arrangements that are in place within Strathclyde. This toolkit focuses on agile working. The difference between agile and flexible working is as follows:

Flexible working

Formal applications for a change of hours, time or location of work, which are made at the request of a member of staff, and, if agreed, have the effect of permanently changing the employee’s contract of employment (e.g. 0.8 full-time equivalent contracts, working remotely from home the same day every week). This type of request can be made under Strathclyde’s Flexible Working Policy. Formal flexible working arrangements should be in place where a staff member needs a guaranteed commitment that they can work certain hours or days which differ from their existing contracted employment agreement.

Blended working

Combines working remotely typically from home and working in the office. Many of the principles of agile working apply to a blended working arrangement. Blended working could result from either a formal flexible working request or as part of more agile, temporary working arrangements.

Agile working

Informal arrangements where a member of staff, within agreed parameters which suit them, their fellow team members and the needs of their Department/ School, can have greater flexibility around their normal hours, time or location of their work with limited formal process. It harnesses technology to enable staff to work in ways which enhance performance and meet their needs, without traditional limitations of where and when tasks must be performed (e.g. working from home, flexing hours on a variable basis, etc.).

This means that, subject to parameters set by your line manager to ensure that appropriate services can be delivered on campus and also taking account of your team colleagues’ preferences for home and agile working, you may be able to work any time or any place*.

Many departments and Strathclyde colleagues will have been working in an agile way for some time, particularly those in academic professional roles. This toolkit provides a framework to expand the opportunities to work more flexibly to a wider range of departments and groups of staff across the University. Agile working is an exciting new concept for the University which we were planning to move towards prior to the Coronavirus pandemic but which we are now accelerating in the light of our experience since the University moved to lockdown in March 2020. This is also entirely consistent with the objectives of our new People Strategy.

*Please note there are likely to be tax implications and limitations on the amount of work you can do while physically present in a country outside the UK. Depending on the country and the duration of work there may be visa implications relating to having the right to work in a specific country. Please consult HR for more guidance if you intend to request to work outside the UK for a prolonged period.