805: University Local Telework Policy
The scope of this Policy is limited to telework opportunities for University Staff and AAP employees who live within daily commuting distance of a campus location in Washington, D.C. or Doha, Qatar. For workers in other geographic locations, please refer to University Policy FA 177-14. This Policy is intended to address regular telework arrangements, not occasional instances, such as working from home for a day or two at a time due to unique or unforeseen circumstances with supervisory permission.
The ability to telework is a privilege and not an entitlement, and is granted at the discretion of the University. The determination of whether an employee is eligible to participate and will be approved for telework, will be made in accordance with this policy and the department’s business needs. The supervisor, in concurrence with the department head and Human Resources, is ultimately responsible for any decision to start or discontinue a telework arrangement. Final approval and arrangements for situations covered by this policy are at the discretion of the University.
The teleworking employee must comply with all University and departmental policies and procedures. The teleworking employee’s compensation, benefits, work status, work responsibilities, and all other conditions of employment with Georgetown University remain the same.
In appropriate circumstances, and with authorized approvals, Georgetown University allows teleworking where such arrangements are consistent with departmental goals and business operational requirements. Teleworking arrangements should be approved and managed on a consistent basis and must not adversely affect departmental operations or productivity.
“Telework” is an approved ongoing, regularly scheduled work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work during any part of the employee’s regular work hours at an approved alternative worksite such as an employee’s home or a telework center. This definition of telework includes what is sometimes referred to as working remotely. The definition of telework does not include any work done while on official travel or work that is approved on a case-by-case basis, where the hours worked remotely were not part of a previously approved, ongoing and regular telework schedule (i.e. for inclement weather, doctor appointment, or special work assignments).
Requests for a regular telework arrangement may be initiated by an employee or a supervisor. Final approval for telework is at the discretion of the department head, with approval from Human Resources and the appropriate Vice President or designee.
Employees who would like the opportunity to telework may submit a Telework Application to their supervisor. An approved Telework Agreement must be signed by the employee, the supervisor, senior management, Human Resources and one of the following: President’s Designee; Senior Vice President or Designee; or Executive Vice President or Designee. The Telework Agreement will specify the terms and conditions of the employee’s off-site work, as outlined in the policy. Agreements will be reviewed by Human Resources on an annual basis. The Telework Agreement will become part of the employee’s personnel record. A Telework Agreement is mandatory in order for an employee to participate in telework.
Not all positions are suitable for telework. Following a discussion with the supervisor and the employee, Human Resources will review the position description with the supervisor to determine the suitability of the position for teleworking. Jobs best suited for telework are those that require independent work and little face-to-face interaction, and result in a specific, measurable work product. Other factors that may be considered in connection with a Telework Application include, without limitation: potential impact on co-workers; whether the employee works with restricted data; financial or other possible burdens to the department; consistency with other requests; and, the number of other existing approved telework arrangements.
Telework is not to be used as a substitute for leave for personal needs or dependent care including, but not limited to, child care or elder care.
Eligibility for a telework arrangement includes satisfactory completion of applicable probationary periods, and absence of active disciplinary actions (as defined in Human Resources Policy #302 Disciplinary Actions and Dismissals).
The supervisor will agree on the number of days of telework allowed each week, and the daily work schedule the employee will maintain. Teleworkers are expected to establish work practices that make working remotely as seamless as possible to colleagues and clients.
Salary, benefits, and job responsibilities will not change when participating in telework. All University policies and procedures will continue to apply, including but not limited to those relating to leave and working overtime.
The employee must establish an appropriate and safe work environment consistent with the guidelines outlined in the telework agreement. Teleworkers are expected to ensure that the expectations for information security are met and that University property is secured the way it is for employees working at the office. The University assumes no responsibility for the teleworker’s expenses related to heating, electricity, water, security, insurance, and space usage.
The employee and department shall work together to determine whether an employee is required to buy his/her own equipment for telework or whether the department will issue an employee the equipment necessary to perform the job, or if an employee already has the required equipment, the department may agree that the employee may use his/her own equipment. It should not be expected that the University will incur equipment costs in order to permit an employee to telework. Generally, the University will be responsible for the service and maintenance of University-owned equipment and an individual teleworker will be responsible for the service and maintenance of his or her own equipment.
The supervisor may make an on-site visit to the teleworker’s remote work site during the employee’s scheduled telework hours for the purposes of verifying that the employee is teleworking as scheduled, determining that the site is safe and free from hazards and to maintain, repair, inspect or retrieve University property.
Management and Supervision
Supervisors are responsible for managing the telework arrangement and work product with the employee, and must ensure that departmental needs are met and all work is accomplished at or above existing levels absent the telework arrangement. Supervisors shall maintain regular and necessary communications with the teleworker, and include the teleworker as appropriate in meetings and other interactions.
Evaluation and Discontinuation
All telework arrangements will be periodically assessed for their effectiveness. They will be reviewed for renewal on an annual basis. The University has the right to terminate a teleworking arrangement at any time at the discretion of the supervisor. Where practicable, employees will be given a two week notice regarding the termination of the telework agreement, so all arrangements may be appropriately concluded.
Departments are responsible for ensuring that employees follow the procedures in accordance with the policies and abide by the Telework Agreement.
For additional information, resources are as follows:
- Human Resources: Telework Agreement, Application, job criteria, employee performance, evaluation, telework orientation.
- Office of Risk Management: Workers Compensation, issues of workplace safety and liability insurance.
- University Information Services (UIS) Help Desk: Questions regarding technology, connectivity, systems security, and protection of intellectual data.
Doha Campus: Human Resources unit (Telework Agreement, Application, job criteria, employee performance, evaluation, telework orientation, Workers Compensation); Office of Information Technology Help Desk (questions regarding technology, connectivity, systems security, protection of intellectual data); Facilities Management (issues of workplace safety and liability insurance).