During this pandemic crisis, telework options may be authorized for eligible positions as determined by a supervisor. In such instances, efforts should be made to continue daily working activities (similar to working in the office) to meet the business needs of the agency. Mission critical work that can be performed remotely may be authorized.
The following are general expectations for supervisors while employees work remotely:
- Supervisors should provide clear guidance and expectations for the work to be completed;
- Supervisors should keep in close communication with employees (daily check-ins and/or team meetings);
- Supervisors should have a copy of contact information for employees;
- Supervisors should support and/or provide information and resources to employees to ensure division/business needs are met;
- Supervisors should develop mechanisms (i.e., timelines) to manage/document assigned work and projects;
- Supervisors should monitor progress and check in on employees on a regular basis;
- Supervisor should provide resources and explanations on how specific work/tasks are to be completed; and
- Supervisors should provide regular feedback on assigned projects and work assignments.
The following are general expectations while employees work remotely:
- Remain in contact with your supervisor;
- Ask questions related to telework assignments and gain a clear understanding of expectations;
- Answer the phone (if applicable) and return voicemails in a timely manner, generally within 24 hours;
- Check and respond to emails during work hours (Response is expected within 24 hours);
- Keep Outlook calendar up to date;
- Maintain work schedule hours (as approved by supervisor);
- Notify your supervisor of any variations in work schedule/working hours, if different from that which is expected;
- Be accessible by phone during working hours;
- Ensure security and confidentiality of all agency property, data, records and files;
- Notify your supervisor if internet, phone, or VPN access is limited or unavailable immediately upon becoming aware;
- Schedule and attend meetings, via phone, WebEx, Skype, or Zoom. Mission critical meetings should not be cancelled simply because you are working remotely;
- Complete expected work and tasks as defined by your supervisor. Business operations are to be sustained during teleworking; and
- For any periods of time that you will be unavailable or not working, inform your supervisor and enter annual or sick leave into the system.
Who can telecommute/telework?
The decision to telework will be made by the employee’s supervisor based on the functionality of the position or the work to be performed and is not limited to position type or the individual’s job description. Social distancing is being encouraged to the extent possible. As such, agencies may establish work or activities outside the scope of the job description during this volatile period so the employee remains whole and does not have to use or exhaust leave.
How do I know if my position is eligible to telecommute/telework?
The employee and his or her supervisor should have a conversation to determine if the employee’s job functions or any other work or projects can be performed remotely. Specific expectations of job functions and work to be performed should be outlined prior to approval.
What if telecommuting/teleworking is not an option?
While the standard job duties for the employee may not qualify for telecommuting/teleworking, the supervisor may find alternative, meaningful work-related activities or projects for the employee to complete in order to be eligible.
If this is not an option, for an employee who accrues leave, the supervisor should discuss the option of using annual or sick leave to accommodate the absence. The agency has been advised by the Division of State Human Resources that sick leave may be utilized during this COVID-19 pandemic to maintain social distancing, even if the employee is not sick.
I am a part-time temporary employee, will my position be eligible to telecommute/telework?
During this COVID-19 pandemic, employees in temporary positions may telework if the work to be performed is conducive to telecommuting/teleworking. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by- case basis.
If approved to telecommute/teleworking, do I need to fill out a formal agreement?
Yes, a telecommuting/teleworking agreement is required to be completed and approved by the supervisor. If this is not feasible, due to the recent Executive order that non-essential employees not report, the supervisor or Vice President may send an email notification to HR of the individuals approved to telework.
What if I cannot telecommute/telework because I am taking care of young children who are not in school?
In these cases, the supervisor should discuss the option of using sick and/or annual leave during the absence.
What do I need to work remotely?
Prior to telecommuting, an employee should have a good understanding of his or her role and the supervisor’s expectation. An employee should have all the necessary information, files and equipment needed to telecommute. Persons may use personal computers to complete task if a laptop is unavailable.
Is there any guidance for supervisors on how to manage their employees' telecommuting/teleworking and/or resources?
More guidance can be found on the COVID-19 Guide for Supervisors and Employees provided by Human Resource Services.
Do I work the same schedule while I telecommute/telework?
Ideally, employees working remotely will work to provide continuity of services during normal business hours; however, supervisors/managers should be in agreement, if an alternate work schedule is desired.
Do I need to work at home when I work remotely?
Employees may choose a location that is conducive to complete their work, which may or may not be their home. The idea of social distancing should be considered when choosing an alternate work location.
How should I record my time worked when working remotely?
Non-exempt and temporary employees are required to continue entering work time in SCEIS based on the number of hours worked. All non-exempt employees must account for 37.50 hours, either through work time, annual leave, or sick leave.
Will I be required to take leave if I am unable to telecommute/telework?
Based on the current guidance from the Division of State Human Resources, employees not telecommuting or working in any capacity should use sick leave, annual leave, or leave without pay to account for the missed work time.
Working remotely can be quite a change. How should state employees adjust to their new,
temporary work environments? Here are a few helpful hints to ensure productivity in the days
- Create a dedicated workspace.
- Develop and stick to a routine for your workday. Follow your agency’s normal work hours.
- Use the first 10 minutes of your workday to make a list of tasks to accomplish for the day.
- Stay connected with your team to maintain effective collaboration.
- Be patient as circumstances change.
As always, if you have questions about how to accomplish specific tasks or projects, talk with
(These tips were compiled from the Harvard Business Review, Nasdaq.com and Think with
How is Covid-19 prevented?
- Wash hands often
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Stay home while you are sick; avoid others
- Cover mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing