Working remotely

Last changed: 06 December 2022

You may work from home part of the week, provided your line manager agrees that it is compatible with SLU’s needs and your tasks.

“Working from home” is defined as regularly working from your own home, or another place that is not your main place of work, while still being insured. You must agree on the other place of work with your line manager, and it must be located in Sweden.

The SLU guidelines on working from home are based on the following:

  • It is our task to deliver courses and programmes, research and environmental assessment of the highest quality.
  • We want to be an attractive employer, recruiting and keeping the most skilled employees.
  • We want to offer a work environment that encourages top performance and offers employees a good work-life balance.

Definitions

Main place of work

Physical workplace on SLU premises. 

Remote working

Work regularly carried out one or more days per week in an agreed place in Sweden, but not on SLU premises.

Remote workplace

The place where the employee, upon agreement with their manager, can carry out work. This is usually the employee’s home. An employee and their manager can agree on a temporary second remote workplace. 

Temporarily working from home

Work occasionally carried out from a place other than the main place of work. This does not need a written agreement.

Employment relationship

Tasks

Together, the employee and their manager must define what tasks are suited to working from home and agree on how to document and follow up on this work. Factors that may influence where a task can be performed include the need for security and secrecy, the need for service available at the main place of work, opening hours, and lab or clinical work. 

Certain tasks can only be carried out at the main place of work. This includes seeing students and the public, or those involving certain risks.

Scope

The remote work guidelines are primarily aimed at employees with office-hours agreements.

The main rule is that employees should not work from home more than two days a week, or 40 per cent of their working hours. 

Availability

The employee must be available the same way as when they are at their main place of work and contribute to maintaining contacts with colleagues, students and stakeholders. 

Agreement

Working from home requires a written agreement between the employee and their line manager. Such an agreement is valid until further notice, with a mutual notice period of one month. If the agreement is broken, it can be terminated with immediate effect. 

Responsibility

The employer is responsible for the employees’ work environment, regardless of where the work takes place. The Swedish Work Environment Act and the Swedish Work Environment Authority regulations also apply when working from home.

It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure that the home workplace is functional and ergonomic and that the employee can work undisturbed. SLU provides employees with a mobile phone and a laptop. Normally, no other equipment is supplied. 

In case of work environment problems, the employee must inform their line manager. It is the responsibility of both the employee and their manager to make sure they have a well-functioning dialogue about the work environment where they are working remotely.

If necessary, the employer and a health and safety representative must be granted access to the home workplace to ensure that the work environment is satisfactory. Inspections must be conducted in consultation with the employee and carried out appropriately.

Insurance and security

Insurance

The employer cannot insure a home workplace. Therefore, to be able to sign a remote working agreement an employee must have home insurance.

Security and confidentiality

The IT and information security requirements that apply on SLU premises also apply when working remotely. No unauthorised persons may use SLU IT equipment.

FAQ

Who makes the decision to allow remote working?

The employee’s line manager is the one who may decide which tasks can be performed remotely. The operational needs must always be taken into account when allowing an employee to work remotely.

How is this assessed?

The assessment will be based on organisational conditions, the employee’s tasks, personal ability and suitability. Working remotely is voluntary, and no one can be forced to do it.

Why can SLU not provide equipment for the home workplace?

Because we do not believe this is how taxpayers’ money should be used.

Why is there a limit of two days per week for working from home?

Because work should primarily be carried out at the main place of work, i.e. on SLU’s premises. Cooperation within and between different groups is facilitated when employees meet in the workplace, working methods improve, informal knowledge exchanges are possible as are spontaneous meetings and social interactions. Given this, employees should spend most of their working hours in the workplace.

How do you sign an agreement on working from home?

Before a line manager and an employee sign a remote working agreement, they need to reach a consensus on the conditions for working remotely. The guidelines for remote working contain information about such conditions. The SLU individual agreement regarding working remotely form must be filled in, signed by the manager and employee and saved at the department or equivalent. Managers can access the form via the manager portal.

Is it possible to work from home if your home is abroad?

No, working from home is only possible within Sweden. As a public authority, we can only allow staff to work from abroad if there are certain exceptions. This must then be regulated in separate arrangements.

Can an employee work from a café?

No. For safety and work-environment reasons, employees may not use public premises as a workplace. SLU cannot ensure that work is carried out on such premises is performed in a manner that is professional and guarantees legal certainty, or in a way that may negatively influence the public’s trust in us.

Can an employee be issued two laptops to avoid having to carry one to and from the office?

No. A laptop counts as mobile equipment and can easily be transported by the employee between their main place of work and their remote workplace.

Can an employee be reimbursed for additional costs incurred from working remotely?

No. SLU will not reimburse any additional costs incurred for things such as internet connections or electricity consumption.

Who is responsible if the employer’s equipment is damaged in the remote workplace?

SLU is responsible for any damage or loss of equipment in the same way the university is responsible for damage incurred in the main workplace.

Why do I need home insurance if I work from home?

SLU cannot insure the home workplace or pay compensation for damages to an employee’s private property. It is the responsibility of the employee to take care of equipment and exercise caution.

How do I report incidents or occupational injuries?

Accidents in the remote workplace must be reported according to the same guidelines as accidents in the main place of work. Occupational injuries and incidents must be reported in the IA system.

What are the information security requirements?

They are the same as in the main place of work. Tasks with high information security requirements should not be carried out in the home workplace.

If you have questions regarding working from home, please contact your line manager. If you have questions regarding the content of this page, contact PAVD-WEBB@slu.se. For other questions, contact the Division of Human Resources.