Renfrewshire Council

Working from home during coronavirus

Our commitment to our staff, set up your work environment at home, caring for your children while working, keep up to date, claim tax relief for working from home, learning and development, annual leave, your health, safety and wellbeing.

We want to make home working as comfortable and productive for everyone as possible. We are committed to providing you with the appropriate support and equipment to help you work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

On this page:

Our commitment to our staff

It is important to be practical, flexible and sensitive to other people's personal situations or working arrangements during the coronavirus outbreak. 

To support those working from home we pledge to:

Support flexibility for personal need

It is ok to block time out in your diary to manage family and care responsibilities, to help you balance work and personal commitments. 

Make sure you:

  • discuss it with your line manager
  • put it in your diary or Outlook calendar
  • plan your meetings around it. 

This flexibility also applies to staff in the council workplace, office space, depots or other workplace settings.

Be family sensitive

It is ok to put a call on hold temporarily to handle a household issue. 

We encourage the use of video calls so we all feel connected. If this is not possible due to home circumstances then turning the video off and switching to audio is acceptable.

Check in on people frequently

It is important that we check in on family, friends and colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic. We must all .

Be connected

Take a break to virtually touch base and socialise with colleagues, just as you would do if you were in the workplace.

Be kind

When video or audio meetings are taking place from home, do not comment on your colleague's surroundings or other family members popping into the room and making an appearance on camera.

Set up your work environment at home

ICT and office equipment

To help make working from home more comfortable for everyone we have introduced a safe process for requesting and collecting appropriate ICT and office equipment.

You should use existing equipment where at all possible. If you can't use or collect council furniture or equipment, your manager should follow the usual procurement process for new equipment. The cost of any new equipment must be covered by each directorate.

Assess your current working environment

To assess your current working environment, you must complete:

See more advice and guidance on how to set up your workstation and other good practice for working from home [89KB] .

If you have any questions about setting up your home working environment, talk to your line manager for more information.

ICT Support

ICT will continue to provide support to staff who are working from home, and if you experience hardware, software or network issues you should report the fault or make a request in the usual way by contacting the ICT self-service portal.

Get safe online

You should follow the same online security precautions at home that you use in the workplace, including:

  • choose, use and protect passwords carefully, and use a different one for every online account
  • make you always have internet security software on your computer, laptop, mobile, tablet or other online device
  • always apply updates to operating systems and software on your computer and apps on your mobile devices.
  • never assume that public Wi-Fi hotspots in places like caf├ęs, bars and hotel rooms are secure, so don't use them when you're doing anything confidential online.
  • always consider that online or on the phone, people aren't always who they claim to be.
  • don't click on links in emails, posts, tweets of texts - and don't open attachments - if you don't trust the source
  • never pay for anything by direct bank transfer
  • never reveal too much personal or financial information online, over the phone or in person
  • always report fraud or abuse to the appropriate authorities.

You can find more advice about how to protect yourself and stay safe online on the Get Safe Online website

Claim tax relief for working from home

If you've had to work from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, you can claim tax relief on the expenses incurred for additional household costs. Follow the quick, step by step process on the HMRC website.

Look after your health and wellbeing

Our section on looking after your health and wellbeing has useful tips and information on staying emotionally and physically well during the coronavirus pandemic. You'll find information about being safe at work, ideas on exercise, healthy eating, emotional wellbeing and information on what other supports and services are available to help you.

Continue your learning and development at home

Learning and development is just as important while you are working from home.

We'll let you know about new online learning programmes. You should discuss any learning and development requirements you have with your manager regularly.


You can access a range of online learning through iLearn. It has hundreds of e-learning courses and other resources to help you develop your skills. You can take courses and gain skills when you need it, at a pace and place that is most convenient for you.

There are also interactive guides to support managers and teams to adapt to home working, maximise the benefits of home working and enhance digital skills.

Microsoft Teams

There is also an online learning guide for Microsoft 365 [1MB] with links to short videos about different Microsoft products and to the guidance produced by ICT on how to use Teams. 

Contact the team at if you have any questions or feedback, or if you need advice and guidance on accessing any of the online learning resources and iLearn.

Take or carry forward your annual leave

Find out about taking or carrying forward annual leave, travel advice and quarantine, bank holidays and public holidays, flexitime, flexible working and coronavirus (COVID-19) related absence.

Working at home while caring for your children

If you are working from home with children to care for, strike a realistic balance and talk to your line manager about what's achievable for you.

Ask for help, take regular breaks and be flexible around expectations.

Some things that can help:

  • create a routine that works for your family
  • keep active and get outdoors
  • teach kids good hygiene
  • nurture their brains with books, schoolwork, music and media, but don't forget to play
  • create positive memories.

You can find lots of helpful tips including learning at home ideas at