Flexible and hybride working - what applies at KI?

As of 29 September, KI offers the possibility of a so-called flexible working. This means, among other things, that teleworking can be applied to a greater extent than before the pandemic, insofar as the needs of the business allow.

Hybrid working, flexible working or a trust-based workplace?

In short, it's about promoting a flexible working environment where quality of delivery and performance is the focus rather than how many hours an employee spends in the office.

Over the past year, KI has conducted a review commissioned by University Director Katarina Bjelke which shows that a flexible working approach has strong support from both employees and managers. The results of the review are presented in this report.

The results of the review are presented in this report. 

We need to be aware that the pandemic is a deviation from the normal. The introduction of a flexible working approach will present challenges in itself. We will need to test ourselves and learn from each other. Flexible working is not a right but an opportunity. Different organisations have different needs with different possibilities to apply flexible working. The immediate manager will assess, in dialogue with staff, what is possible and appropriate in each case.

The purpose of the portal is to share up-to-date knowledge, be inspired and share experiences with each other. The state of knowledge is constantly evolving. Feel free to share your own experiences and current research on teleworking and flexible working on this webportal.

Mats Engelbrektson, Head of HR Office, answers frequently asked questions

Do I have the right to telework part-time?

No.Teleworking is not a right, duty or privilege. Ultimately it is your manager who decides what is appropriate.

Who decides about teleworking?

According to current decision-making and delegation rules, ultimately it is the head of department who decides how teleworking should be applied within the department. The recommendation at KI is that the issue should be discussed in the departmental groups led by the dean. Who is eligible and under what conditions will be decided by your immediate manager, who is also responsible for the work environment of both workplaces, if appropriate.

As a manager, do I have the right to decide about teleworking?

Yes. For an employee to be approved for partial teleworking, several conditions must be met:

  1. Teleworking relies on a spirit of trust between manager and employee. It must be deemed compatible with operational requirements. Teleworking requires personal ability and suitability, which includes a capacity for autonomy.
  2. The employee must be able to show an appropriate remote working environment. This includes physical, social and organisational health and safety aspects as well as the possibility to work undisturbed.

How do I tackle poor performance of employees working remotely?

As a manager you should have a dialogue with the employee in question in order to address any deterioration in performance while teleworking. If performance does not improve, the worker may be asked to return to work in KI premises.

As a manager, am I responsible for the home working environment of the employees?

Yes. The employer is responsible for the agreed home working environment. The immediate manager should ensure that the home working environment is satisfactory. If needed, a digital inspection may be made in consultation with the employee.

What tax rules apply to the purchase of work equipment and office furniture at KI?

If necessary and for ergonomic reasons (if existing equipment is considered inadequate by the employer or if the employee is experiencing any problems), KI may purchase work equipment and furniture used in teleworking. If necessary, the employer may require the employee to spend a greater portion of his/her working time on the KI premises, where ergonomic equipment is provided. It is the employer’s responsibility to decide on the most appropriate arrangement.

Read more about purchase of work equipment and office furniture at KI (link to Swedish site)

How should managers supervise working hours for employees teleworking part-time?

By evaluating the performance and capacity. KI recommends using the agreement on non-regulated working hours when deemed appropriate by the immediate manager. KI should work in line with the trust-based model of leadership. When flexitime applies, reporting should be carried out as usual.

As a manager you cannot know for sure how many hours the employees actually work at home. You will have to compare how they perform and deliver when working from home to when working onsite.Is it possible to “save” teleworking days?

If the employee and the manager have agreed on a teleworking pattern of two days per week and the employee works onsite every day in a particular week, it is not possible to save teleworking days for later. Responsibility of the immediate manager.

Compensation for broadband internet connection

Employees will not be compensated for expenses for broadband internet connection at home.

As a meeting host, can I require physical interaction if teleworking is agreed?

As a meeting host you may not require physical attendance of staff members who have an approved telework agreement. Exceptions can be made if the manager, and only the manager, considers it urgent. Physical participation may, however, be required at offsite conferences or the equivalent, provided that appropriate advance notice is given.

Does teleworking contribute to reduced climate impact?

It is reasonable to assume that teleworking reduces travel to and from work by car or public transport. Helping to reduce climate impact through reduced travel is an additional driver for adopting a flexible working model at a public authority or university. KI’s objective is to evaluate changes in travel patterns over time, and in so doing can be a role model for other authorities and employers.

If I have further questions, to whom could I direct my questions?

Please contact the HR administrative support at your department.