Working at home

Working at home every day is new for most of us.

We’ve produced a factsheet to help you work at home safely and effectively.

You can also see this video from Claire Symonds.

Your manager will be keeping in touch with you regularly and holding online team meetings.

We know that it may be difficult for some of you to work to your usual pattern when working at home, particularly if you are home schooling or have very young children at home.

We are expecting people to use a range of patterns or solutions to make this work, such as running shifts with the child’s other parent, working at evenings or weekends or using your annual leave. Please discuss these with your manager.

Working at home every day is new for most of us.

We’ve produced a factsheet to help you work at home safely and effectively.

You can also see this video from Claire Symonds.

Your manager will be keeping in touch with you regularly and holding online team meetings.

We know that it may be difficult for some of you to work to your usual pattern when working at home, particularly if you are home schooling or have very young children at home.

We are expecting people to use a range of patterns or solutions to make this work, such as running shifts with the child’s other parent, working at evenings or weekends or using your annual leave. Please discuss these with your manager.

  • Using Teams and Skype

    about 2 months ago

    Please use Microsoft Teams, where possible for individual or team meetings. Teams makes it easy for you to connect with your colleagues, including videoconferencing and sharing documents or presentations.

    We’d encourage you to turn the camera on when you use Teams so that everyone in the meeting can see each other. It helps to reduce the isolation some people can find when working at home if you can see your colleagues face-to-face.

    We’ve produced some top tips on effective online meetings to help you get the best out of Microsoft Teams .

    Here are some other guides on using Teams...

    Please use Microsoft Teams, where possible for individual or team meetings. Teams makes it easy for you to connect with your colleagues, including videoconferencing and sharing documents or presentations.

    We’d encourage you to turn the camera on when you use Teams so that everyone in the meeting can see each other. It helps to reduce the isolation some people can find when working at home if you can see your colleagues face-to-face.

    We’ve produced some top tips on effective online meetings to help you get the best out of Microsoft Teams .

    Here are some other guides on using Teams for meetings:


    You can also continue to use Skype for instant messaging and phone calls when you are working at home. See our Skype user guide.

    Please do not use Zoom or other video-conferencing tools as these are not supported by the council.

    The council’s IT systems have been designed to cope with extra demand during emergency situations. This includes strengthening our ability for staff to work very productively in a home working environment.

  • Accessing software and applications

    14 days ago

    If you are unable to access software and applications in your laptop, it may mean that your ZScaler Private Access (ZPA) needs to be authenticated.

    Please carry out the steps on this factsheet before contacting the IT Service Desk.

    If you are unable to access software and applications in your laptop, it may mean that your ZScaler Private Access (ZPA) needs to be authenticated.

    Please carry out the steps on this factsheet before contacting the IT Service Desk.

  • Working comfortably at home

    13 days ago

    There are lots of simple steps we can all take to make sure that we’re keeping physically fit when working at home.

    We’ve produced a short presentation called ‘Working from home – guidance on working comfortably’, which gives you lots of advice and practical steps you can take to make sure your homeworking environment is comfortable and safe, including:

    • Setting up your screen and chair:
    • Preventing back discomfort and pain
    • How to use your mouse and keyboard to prevent lower limb pain
    • Avoiding eye strain.

    There are lots of simple steps we can all take to make sure that we’re keeping physically fit when working at home.

    We’ve produced a short presentation called ‘Working from home – guidance on working comfortably’, which gives you lots of advice and practical steps you can take to make sure your homeworking environment is comfortable and safe, including:

    • Setting up your screen and chair:
    • Preventing back discomfort and pain
    • How to use your mouse and keyboard to prevent lower limb pain
    • Avoiding eye strain.
  • Childcare for critical and key workers

    about 2 months ago

    If it is possible for your children to be at home, then they should be. You should not rely on childcare being provided by those who need to follow stringent social distancing such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions/are pregnant or over 70. You should make sure that you do everything to ensure your children are not socially mixing in a way which can continue to spread the virus.

    Following government guidance, schools in the borough are providing childcare for the children of staff who are key or critical workers and who cannot make suitable arrangements for...

    If it is possible for your children to be at home, then they should be. You should not rely on childcare being provided by those who need to follow stringent social distancing such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions/are pregnant or over 70. You should make sure that you do everything to ensure your children are not socially mixing in a way which can continue to spread the virus.

    Following government guidance, schools in the borough are providing childcare for the children of staff who are key or critical workers and who cannot make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home.

    This is already in place – your line manager should have discussed this with you, and you should have received a letter to share with your children’s school.

    If you think you are a key or critical worker and have not been contacted about these arrangements, please discuss this with your line manager as soon as possible.

  • Claiming expenses for homeworking

    14 days ago

    The council is not paying an allowance for homeworking but you should be able to make a claim for up to £6 a week in tax relief from the government.

    This is to cover bills that you have to pay because you ware working from home on a regular basis. You cannot claim this where you choose to work from home.

    You can only claim for costs to do with your work such as business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity for your workspace at home.

    You cannot claim for things that you use for both...

    The council is not paying an allowance for homeworking but you should be able to make a claim for up to £6 a week in tax relief from the government.

    This is to cover bills that you have to pay because you ware working from home on a regular basis. You cannot claim this where you choose to work from home.

    You can only claim for costs to do with your work such as business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity for your workspace at home.

    You cannot claim for things that you use for both private and business use such as rent or broadband access.

    You can only claim for the period since homeworking arrangements were put in place by the council (since 24 March 2020). Please note that the tax relief allowance increased to £6 a week (£26 a month) on 6 April – before that it was £4 a week (£18/month)

    To claim this tax relief please visit the HMRC website. You will need to have your payslip and P60 available – you can get these from Oracle self-service.

    Please contact HMRC if you have any queries. As this is a personal tax claim, HR, Payroll or Finance are unable to help you submit your claim or give advice on this.