COVID-19: Employee Guidelines for Remote Work
COVID-19: Employee Guidelines for Remote Work
In order to allow continuity of operations and continue to serve our students, UCCS is allowing many employees to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This page contains helpful resources, best practices and guidance related to working remotely while campus operations are limited due to COVID-19.
Prioritize Your Work
Work with your supervisor to talk about what your priorities should be during remote work. Talk about ways that you can make adjustments to in-person work in order to successfully complete it remotely. Set goals for what you will accomplish each day and then track your progress. Pay attention to how long it takes to complete certain tasks and work with your supervisor to adjust goals to match your rhythm. Discuss with your manager how your time and performance will be managed. Communicate regularly with your manager regarding your work priorities, deliverables, timelines, etc.
Check Your Tech
To work remotely, all employees need a desktop or laptop computer with a power supply. You will need access to internet in your home as well. Software should be up to date to ensure security. While working remotely, employees must adhere to UCCS Policy for Responsible Computing. Employees who do not have access to a university computer may use their own computer but are responsible for adhering to all university practices and policies to maintain security on your device. UCCS OIT has a webpage with resources for remote work here: https://oit.uccs.edu/remote.
Evaluate Your Workspace
Try to define a specific workspace to help you keep focused and create some routine. Choose a workspace with as few distractions as possible and ample lighting. Consider other factors, such as the demands of other household members, pets and external noise. Consider closing the door or using headphones to keep pets away or block outside noise.
Be Creative with Children At-Home
If you have children who are home because of closed schools, work with other family members and your supervisor to be creative about ways you can work due to these extraordinary circumstances. If the child is school-aged, try giving the child assignments to do at home for school so that they are working alongside you. Consider alternating schedules with your partner if necessary. Be realistic about the amount of time you can commit to work with children around. Talk to your supervisor if you are concerned.
Take a few minutes to assess the privacy of your workspace to be sure a roommate standing behind you cannot read your computer screen, neighbors cannot hear your phone calls, and any unauthorized household member (including kids) cannot access your computer if you walk away. Your own privacy is also important. If you will use a webcam, look around your space to make sure there is nothing around you that you would not want visible during a conference call.
Although it may seem like it, you aren’t in this alone! Don’t be afraid to be the one to reach out to your coworkers. Be proactive about staying in touch with colleagues. Use collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, email, or just pick up the phone. OIT provides a list of available campus resources here: https://oit.uccs.edu/remote.
Schedule working hours. If your schedule is changing due to childcare arrangements, you should still have a set schedule which you do not deviate from. It is easy to work non-stop if your home is your workplace. Take breaks. Treat your exercise routine, meals and stretch breaks as you would any other meeting: Put them on your calendar and stick to them. Hours can run together. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. “Unplug” when your scheduled hours are over. Consider taking the time to clear your workspace, shut down your computer or close work applications. Doing this might help your mind to transition from working to personal time again.
All employees should work with their supervisor to determine if work can be completed remotely. If the supervisor approves, all employees must:
- Complete an Alternate Work Schedule/Location Request and Agreement
For departments with a large number of employees working remotely, please send a list of all staff working remotely to firstname.lastname@example.org with a separate list of student employees to email@example.com. Alternate work location request forms should still be completed for all employees and can be submitted to HR or Student Employment as soon as possible.
Employees should follow the technology guidelines issued by their department. While working remotely, employees must adhere to UCCS Policy for Responsible Computing. Employees are strongly urged to use a UCCS-owned computer, laptop, or other device when working remotely whenever possible. If the only option is to use a personally owned computer, laptop, or other device, the employee is still responsible for following all university practices and policies to maintain security on their device. Personal devices are not insured by UCCS. Employees are required to have their own internet and phone access.
Help with Technology
- The Help Desk is the first line of contact for the Office of Information Technology and can assist you with your connection, service requests and general questions about the above tools. You may contact them through phone, chat or email. Contact information can be found at https://oit.uccs.edu/get-help
- BlackBeltHelp 24x7 Support: OIT is now using a third party to provide support outside of normal business hours. They are available 6pm-8am MDT, weekends and during school closures. They may be reached by calling 719-255-3536, or starting a chat with UCCS OIT, then selecting the link to BBH.
- Faculty Resource Center - www.uccs.edu/frc
New technology makes it possible for meetings to be held virtually. Microsoft Teams is the preferred real-time communication method for faculty, staff and students at UCCS.
Best practices for virtual meetings:
- Add a Teams link to all meetings at the time you schedule them. If you use Microsoft Outlook, once you download Teams to your computer, you should see a button to create a Teams meeting when you use the Outlook calendar to schedule a meeting. This will add a link to join a virtual meeting directly to your calendar invitation.
- Log in early to test your audio and video settings.
- Use your webcam if appropriate to increase interpersonal communication. If you expect distractions, limit use of your webcam. Be mindful of your surroundings and anything in the background you might not want others to see.
- Use mute to reduce background noise when you are not speaking. Meeting hosts can also mute participants. Note that even if you aren’t talking, typing or other background noise can make it difficult for other participants to hear.
- If there are many participants, consider using the in-meeting chat function to ask questions if they don’t apply to everyone.
Human Resources – firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Employment – email@example.com
IT Helpdesk – firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual Training for Remote Work
Consider these LinkedIn Learning courses about working remotely: