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No going back to ‘business as usual’: CBS introduces a new policy on remote work

Building mirrored

(Photo: Anna Holte)

CBS’ new ‘work from home’ policy encapsulates how the pandemic has affected our understanding of how we work: Work can be done anywhere, not just at a workplace. But what does this mean to individual staff members, and can it undermine our sense of team spirit?

News |   05. Aug 2021

Anne Thora Lykkegaard

Journalist

Close to 1.5 years of working from home is coming to an end. From August 1, all CBS employees are welcome back on campus. Full time. If they like.

Because if the coronavirus crisis and its lockdowns have taught us one thing, it is that for most people, work does not have to chain you to your workplace. It can be done from home, a holiday home, a houseboat, or just anywhere with a stable internet connection.

This realization has dawned on many workplaces, including CBS, which has just introduced a new policy on remote work.

In short, the new policy sets the stage for all faculty and technical-administrative staff at CBS to opt to work remotely when it suits their tasks, and it will become a framework to “support the development of CBS as a flexible workplace”.

Kirsten Winther Jørgensen, the University Director of CBS, explains about the new policy and its timing.

“We have chosen this moment because it is already a period in which we need to adjust to society and being on campus again, but also to some extent reinvent our work community. Many people are looking forward to returning to campus, which will be the primary place of work in the future. At the same time, it is also nonetheless important to incorporate our best experiences from the lockdown into our work lives and, when work allows, provide the option to work from home,” she says in a statement on CBS Share.

Individual employees and immediate supervisors can discuss options for remote work, but local managers are responsible for planning how work is conducted in general. That also covers deciding the overall shared structure and conditions for working from home and requires that they “clearly communicate the structure and what they have decided to their unit”.

“We are in unchartered territory and must jointly find good routines for work and collaboration. More than anything else, we need to create a suitable balance between individual wishes and taking the common good into account. I don’t think that we will instantaneously find the best method, but I hope that we will explore new possibilities with a sense of curiosity and a strong learning mindset,” says Anders Lauesen, Head of HR at CBS in the statement on CBS Share.

A sense of collegiality

According to the statement on CBS Share, the policy does not have to be implemented in a particular way, which means that local differences can occur. However, three considerations are to be kept in mind when organizing work from home, the policy states.

  • Performance of work duties
  • Collaboration and coordination
  • Individual and group wellbeing

For example, some work requires that employees are physically present at CBS, i.e. working remotely is only possible to the extent that it does not hinder or complicate the ongoing coordination or joint execution of work in units and across CBS.

Managers must also consider wellbeing.

“The wellbeing of the individual must not be at the expense of others, just as the community cannot decide what makes the individual prosper. At the same time, it is important to keep an eye on whether work from home undermines the sense of collegiality or makes the workplace seem desolate,” the policy states.

The policy encourages management and employees to continually evaluate how working from home is organized.

Senior Management, the General Consultation Committee and the Occupational Health and Safety Or- ganisation will evaluate the Work from home policy on an annual basis. Next in June 2022.

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