FOI release: Working from home patternsPublished: 24 May 2022
Freedom of information class: How we manage our resources
Information request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA)
Freedom of Information (FOI) reference: CW-2022-166
Date received: 28 April 2022
Date responded: 24 May 2022
How many staff are employed by your organisation please?
How many work in the office full time?
How many work at home all of the time?
How many have a hybrid arrangement of working in the office and at home?
Of the hybrid workers how many spend more than 50 per cent of their time working at home?
1. The number of staff employed by our organisation as of the 10 May 2022 is 1195.
2. All RoS employees, except two who have negotiated a Homeworking agreement (see answer 3 below) work in the office full time, either based at our premises at Meadowbank House, Edinburgh or St Vincent Plaza, Glasgow. Given the public health emergency and Scottish Government (SG) lockdown restrictions and guidance we closed our buildings on 24 March 2020 to all employees other than those colleagues required to carry out 50 office-dependent roles. These colleagues were designated as ‘essential workers’ in line with SG guidance at that time. Since the original lockdown date and following subsequent variations to SG restrictions and guidance more colleagues have returned to the office for a variety of reasons including business requirements and health and wellbeing.
In line with SG guidance public sector organisations were advised to work from home wherever possible, until this position changed following the First Minister’s announcement on 22 February that offices could fully re-open from 7 March. Since March we have inducted 628 colleagues back into our Edinburgh or Glasgow office and this activity will run until July 2022 by which time all colleagues will have received their induction. We believe an induction programme to be necessary for the health, safety and wellbeing of all colleagues given the 2-year time period that has elapsed, and the wide-ranging changes made to our office environment to maintain a safe and secure workplace.
3. RoS does not have a formal Homeworking policy however two colleagues have a Homeworking agreement due to special circumstances. These agreements were entered into years ago before the public health emergency.
4. RoS does not have any employee on a formal hybrid arrangement working and, in consultation with the recognised trade union (PCS), all colleagues remain on the same terms and conditions of employment including work location that were in place before our offices closed.
In addition to inducting all colleagues back into the workplace we are looking to trial and experiment with hybrid working arrangements. Such experimentation will inform and determine what, if any, changes can be made to existing arrangements and policies that can improve the working lives and wellbeing of our workforce and enable RoS to continue to deliver the most effective, efficient, sustainable and high-quality service for our customers. Our approach is in line with the SG and Trade Union Covid Protocol which is currently in place, and which encourages employers to implement a hybrid approach to working with a mix of home and office working.
5. We do not hold this information. This is because we do not have any workers on a formal hybrid working arrangement at the present time. Until we complete our return to the office induction programme and run a series of trials and experiments on alternative working arrangements it is likely that most colleagues will spend a variable amount of time between the office and home. Ultimately any formal hybrid working arrangements that may be developed will be done so in consultation with the trade union and must serve business and customer needs.
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If you have a question or query about FOI requests, you can email the information governance team at: FOI.Requests@ros.gov.uk.