We have produced these FAQs to help answer many of these concerns or questions about working from home.
The FAQs cover:
- IT and homeworking equipment
- Flexible working to help your concentration and childcare
- Your home workstation
- Urgent printing
- Access to the workplace
- Internet access
- Domestic abuse
- Your wellbeing.
If you need to order IT or homeworking equipment (see the guidance in the FAQs) please use this form.
We’ve also produced new guides on:
Setting up your office chair
Solving internet access problems
There’s a useful guide from Workplace Options on balancing working from home and home schooling here.
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.
Services across the council are making increasing use of the Live Events facility provided in Microsoft Teams to organise online training and events – from our corporate induction sessions to big staff conferences.
Using Teams Live Events, which all our employees have access to do allows you to plan and run events which are just as effective as those we have previously run face-to-face.
Teams Live Events allow you to:
- Have live presentations as part of your event
- Put delegates into breakout rooms or groups for individual exercises
- Hold Q and As with questions submitted through the Chat feature and managed by a facilitator
- Show video clips, integrated into the main presentation
- Hold quizzes and polls as part of the event.
We’ve produced these guides to help you get up and running with Teams Live Events, or if you need help or support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MS Teams – Delivering Training and Events
MS Teams Live Events – Top Tips for Trainers and Facilitators
MS Teams Live Events – Top Tips for Attendees.
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.
To support employees who are working at home whilst caring for, or home-schooling children, we’ve produced a Covid-19 Parent’s Guide to working at home with children.
It explains how parents can work flexibly, how your manager will support you and contains plenty of hints and tips and useful resources.
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.
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.