Supervisor Guidelines for Remote Work 

Supervising Remote Employees

Supervisor 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. The sudden transition to remote work is a challenge for both managers and employees. This page contains helpful resources, best practices, and guidance related to supervising remotely.


 

Download the PDF here: Supervisor Guidelines for Remote Work.pdf

Key Considerations

Communicate Expectations
Be Flexible
Provide Technology
Time & Performance
Stay Connected
Document Agreements & Expectations

Supervisor Resources for Remote Work 

  • Approvals

    All employees should work with their supervisor to determine if work can be completed remotely. If the supervisor approves, all employees must:

    For departments with a large number of employees working remotely, please send a list of all staff working remotely to hrhelp@uccs.edu with a separate list of student employees to stuemphelp@uccs.edu. 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.

  • Technology

    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 devices when working remotely whenever possible.

    If the only option is to use a personally owned computer, laptop, or other devices, 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 6 pm-8 am MDT, on weekends, and during school closures. They may be reached by calling 719-255-4357 or starting a chat with UCCS OIT, then selecting the link to BBH.
       
    • Faculty Resource Center - www.uccs.edu/frc
  • Virtual Meetings

    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 the 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.
  • Managing Teams

    Trust is the foundation of a successful remote team, and remote work typically leads to increased productivity. However, remote work during a stressful time is not the same as long-term self-selected remote work. Managers need to manage expectations about productivity and start by trusting that every team member is working to the best of their ability during this time.

    Managers should also schedule synchronous conversations with their teams, and one-on-ones as needed, to discuss these expectations and provide opportunities for team members to share their concerns.

    Communicate News & Decisions

    When changes are made to how, when, and where work is getting done, it can be challenging to ensure everyone is kept properly aware of news and any decisions that have been made.  Consider how information will flow and what steps may be needed to limit gaps. 

    Evaluate Productivity

    Managers shifting from seeing everyone at their desks working to not seeing anyone at all is a mindset change. A manager should clearly outline what the output expectations are from each team member and have routine check-ins (by email, phone, Zoom, etc.) to understand progress and challenges.

    Managers Working Remotely

    There may be situations where a manager is working remotely and managing fully remote staff or blended on-site and remote staff. The same principles of communication, performance management, etc. apply but will likely require added effort.

    Health & Wellbeing

    Speak to employees about managing their health and well-being, as outlined further in this document.

  • Employee Well-being

    Encourage all employees, both remote and on-site, to care for their well-being. Remote employees should factor their well-being into their home office set-up by maintaining good posture, working in comfortable lighting, etc. Encourage employees to leave their workstations for 5 minutes every hour – this helps circulation, eyesight, and other elements of well-being.

    Employees who do not typically work remotely may experience challenges adjusting to a different environment, especially if they are accustomed to working very physically. Loneliness is also a common concern. Physical isolation at home combined with a feeling of work loneliness can be challenging for an employee. Use phone calls and video chats to increase interpersonal interaction.

    Unplugging from work can be more challenging for remote workers. Encourage employees to unplug when their work is done and to focus on their self and family care.

    Children and Other Dependents

    • UCCS is not responsible or liable for the health and safety of employee dependents while they are working remotely, or for their health and safety while they are delivering care to dependents. It is up to the employee to determine whether work can be conducted safely.
    • Employees are expected to determine what they can reasonably accomplish while dependents are under their care (whether healthy or ill), and the amount of time they expect to be able to work.
    • If an employee is sick or caring for a sick family member they should not be asked to work remotely and should record their time in My Leave as sick or family sick leave.