Note: the following policies and procedures are only applicable to staff within the College of the Environment Dean’s Office. For unit policies and procedures, please contact the administrator in your specific unit.

This page describes the expectations around telework/remote work and procedures for Dean’s Office staff employees to request permission to participate in telework. Nothing in this policy nor these procedures should be construed to contradict the University HR Telework policy and process guidelines. Telework that is the result of a disability accommodation is not covered by this policy.

Telework should serve a clearly defined work purpose aligned with Dean’s Office goals and objectives. As described in the University HR Telework policy and process guidelines, there are two common types of telework, “Occasional” telework and “Regular” telework. Both types require approval from a supervisor before commencement. The Dean’s Office recognizes “Unanticipated” telework as a third type of telework that may occur without prior approval for limited durations and only in the circumstances described below.

Employees who are teleworking need to be just as reachable as if they are in the office and should follow UW-IT best practices for securely accessing University and College resources remotely. Some key communication and connectivity practices to discuss are how to forward office phones to an alternate phone, check voice mail remotely, use Husky OnNet and other software. Employees should also attest that they have a suitable alternate location for conducting telework.

Dean’s Office staff employees should follow the applicable procedures below based on the type of telework being requested.

Occassional telework

Definition: Telework that is not regular or recurring. For example, an employee might request to telework for one day so they can greet a repair person or receive a delivery at home, or to allow focused time to work on a project, etc.

Request procedures: Employee’s should make this request by email to their supervisor at least two days before the day(s) that telework would be conducted. The email should contain the following details:

  • A short statement describing the need for the occasional telework
  • The day(s) and hours that telework will be conducted
  • A list of the specific work objectives that will be completed during telework
  • Specific mechanisms of accessibility during telework (e.g., phone, email, etc.)

Approval process: Approval or denial is documented in the supervisor’s response to the employee’s emailed request. Approval of all occasional telework requests is at the discretion of the supervisor. In deciding approval, the supervisor should consider the frequency of the employee’s occasional telework requests, the success of meeting any prior telework goals and objectives, the details included in the specific request, and the employee’s performance.

Regular telework

Definition: Telework that is scheduled and recurring, is for a documented period of more than three days up to one year, and is not part of a disability accommodation.

Request procedures: Staff who would like to request a regular telework schedule should first discuss the idea with their supervisors. Topics to be covered are frequency, hours, location, work schedule, suitable space and ergonomics, and what work they will do while teleworking (e.g., normal job duties, special project work, etc.) It is recommended that supervisors discuss any concerns about the proposed regular telework with the employee at this point in the process, if any. The employee should then complete a University HR Telework Plan and Agreement Form, sign and give it to their supervisor for final approval.

Approval process: Approval of all regular telework requests is at the discretion of the supervisor. Supervisors should consider:

  1. the nature of the work
  2. the employee’s readiness for telework, ability to manage the challenges and to work productively, and general performance
  3. the impact on other university employees and operations

The supervisor documents approval on the submitted Telework Plan and Agreement Form and provides a copy to Dean’s Office Human Resources Manager for placement in the employee’s personnel file. Regular telework agreements should be reviewed at a minimum of every six months, and always during the annual performance evaluation.

Changes and renewal process: Changes to a regular telework plan can be made at any time throughout the cycle, but employee-proposed changes are subject to supervisor approval. As noted on the University HR Telework Plan and Agreement Form, telework arrangements can be ended by either the employee or supervisor with five days’ notice, unless a collective bargaining agreement states otherwise. Renewal of regular telework agreements will be considered prior to the expiration and should be documented with an updated University HR Telework Plan and Agreement Form, and a copy should be provided to the Dean’s Office Human Resources team.

Unanticipated telework

Definition: Telework that is unplanned, beyond the employee’s control, and occurs on short notice. Typically of short duration (one to three days). Examples include inclement weather, school or care facility closures, or suspended operations.

Request procedures: In these circumstances, telework for non-essential employees is allowed for one day without prior approval from a supervisor. Requests for unanticipated telework beyond one day requires prior approval. Employees should email their request to telework to their direct supervisor as soon as the need is known, and include the following details:

  • A short statement describing the need for the occasional telework
  • The day(s) and hours that telework will be conducted
  • A list of the specific work objectives that will be completed during telework
  • Specific mechanisms of accessibility during telework (e.g., phone, email, etc.)
  • Contingency planning for any meetings or other “in-person” work the employee was scheduled for the day(s) the employee needs to telework.

Approval process: Supervisors respond to the employee’s email to document approval. Employees and supervisors should discuss actual work accomplished at a later point and document any need to claim time off for hours offsite and unable to work.

Extensions/changes: If the need for telework extends beyond three days, follow the procedures for Regular Telework as documented above.

Equipment

Generally, the Dean’s Office will not subsidize telecommuting arrangements, including any telecommunications charges or hardware/software expenses beyond standard computer hardware/software provided to employees as a function of their position on campus. The employee will supply any additional hardware and any specialized software required for remote work, and will be responsible for peripheral equipment repair and maintenance. Supplies needed to complete assigned work at the home worksite are to be obtained when the employee is on campus. There may be exceptional situations where the Dean’s Office will provide equipment on a temporary basis or support some costs. These would be determined on a case- by-case basis in consultation with the employee’s supervisor.

Data Privacy and Security

The security and confidentiality of University records must be maintained. Employees are expected to follow best practices with respect to data privacy and security, regardless of work location or device/hardware used. These include:

  • Dean’s Office data and work products should not be placed on an individual computer or device but instead should be accessed and stored on the Dean’s Office shared drive or other shared secure data management system via secure remote access technology.
  • Protect laptops and other remote devices from theft, protect them with a login password, and enable encryption when possible.
  • Lock your computer and other devices when they are unattended.
  • Immediately report any loss of equipment or potential data breach immediately to your supervisor as well as envithelp@uw.edu.

Effective Date: March 9, 2020
Last Review Date: March 9, 2020