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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Working From Home

Working From Home

Home Working and IT equipment

At the start of the pandemic and lockdown the IT Service was asked to facilitate large scale remote working as quickly as possible.

While every effort was made to provide new laptops for individuals to use, with high numbers of requests and significant waiting times for new stock to be delivered, we have had to prioritise requests for remote working in critical service areas. 

Since March the IT service has deployed almost 500 new laptops and in addition, enabled existing office equipment to be used at home, connecting a significant number of our staff to our Citrix environment. More laptops are awaiting delivery to progress further rollout.

Due to a number of factors including delivery times of new devices IT staff are converting the existing equipment currently on our desks for remote working and these continue to be rolled out.

Remote working options

The list of available remote working options and equipment can be found by following the link along with the process to follow and forms to complete in order to have a remote working solution allocated to a member of staff. You will need to open this link in Chrome.

While making a request for remote working equipment it is important for the manager making the request to tell IT Services

  • which of the available options they think would meet the needs of the individual staff member,
  • the contact details for that individual member of staff (specifically a home email address and phone number),
  • what equipment the staff member already has access too (and is willing to use) and
  • what sort of work the staff member will be performing that may need the use of IT equipment.

Further consideration is also required for any adaptive equipment that is currently provided and how that will need to operate within a home environment.

So for example:

A staff member who only requires access to Citrix and to email can use any device we have available.

If the staff member needs a device to access Microsoft Teams for video conferencing then they need a new laptop or they will need an additional device like a webcam to use with a PC or an iPad/smartphone on which to run the Teams app.

If a staff member spends a lot of time on the phone, for example a contact centre agent, then they may need a PC or a laptop with a software phone and a headset. (This works just like the fixed telephone on the desk in the office but it is enabled on the computer).

The more information we have on what the staff member will be doing with their equipment, the better we will be able to assess the requirement and provide guidance to the manager.

Working from home safely

Working From Home Sitting Tips

Our Health and Safety Team have devised a self assessment form which should be completed by staff working at home. This form is available from our Health and Safety Team at hands@clacks.gov.uk

Things to consider when working from home:

  • Laptops are not designed for long term use on a daily basis. If a member of staff will be working all day on a laptop then they will also need a full size keyboard and mouse as well as a monitor to avoid developing issues with the wrists, neck and back. Similarly, setting up a Wyse terminal or PC in a household will eliminate the health issues that can be caused by stooping over a laptop for several hours a day. However remember these items need more desk space and can cause tripping hazards if cables are not kept tidy and away from walk ways etc.
  • When considering what equipment is available for a member of staff, a manager should always ensure that it can be used safely in the home of the staff member.

Further guidance and tips on working safely at home can be found here

Cloud based software applications

There are several key software systems in use at Clackmannanshire Council that are cloud based and so could be accessed by a member of staff on their own personal equipment as long as they have an active internet connection at home. The member of staff would need to agree to use their own equipment. However, this would allow some tasks to be performed at home while waiting for remote working equipment to be provided.

iTrent instructions for requesting and authorising annual/special leave

Instructions for requesting and authorising annual/special leave is available by following the link.

e: itrent@clacks.gov.uk

Working at home (non voluntarily)

You may be able to claim tax relief for some of the bills you have to pay because you have to work at home on a regular basis. You cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home.

You can only claim for things to do with your work, for example, business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas, electricity and heating for your work area.

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

You can check your eligibility to claim by visiting the GOV.UK site. If eligible, you will need a Government Gateway User ID and password to access your Personal Tax Account.