What is the University’s policy for teleworking?
The University has adopted a formal Policy that permits local (Georgetown or Doha campus) Staff and AAP employees to telework if an application is duly submitted and approved, and a formal Telework Agreement is signed.
Why has the University decided to establish a Telework Policy?
There are a number of reasons to support teleworking arrangements, including improving work-life balance, reducing costs and time lost in connection with commuting, reducing the University’s carbon footprint, supporting business continuity and enhancing the University’s ability to attract and retain a world-class workforce.
What types of positions are suited for possible telework?
Positions suited for telework are those that require little face-to-face interaction, and/or for which performance results in a specific, measurable work product. However, many factors are considered when evaluating an application for telework – for example, potential impact on co-workers, whether the employee works with restricted data, financial or other burdens on the department, and consistency with other [telework?]requests.
Are temporary or special employees eligible for teleworking?
No. Eligibility is limited to regular and term Staff and AAP employees.
If my telework application is denied, will a reason be provided for the record?
Teleworking is not a right, and it is not required that management specify in writing a reason for denying a telework application. Nevertheless, it is expected that your supervisor will discuss with you the considerations given to the decision.
If my position isn’t well suited for teleworking, is it possible for me to adjust my work schedule in another way?
Yes, with supervisory approval. University HR Policy 801 permits departments to establish a new work schedule for an employee if the scheduling needs of the department or employee change.
My child is finished with school in mid-afternoon; may I telework so that I can be home when she is back from school?
No. Teleworking is not a solution for managing personal needs such as dependent or elder care.
What is a permissible reason to apply to telework?
The University will evaluate the circumstances that exist when an employee is engaging in telework rather than the reason for the application. While engaging in telework, an employee must devote full attention to his/her job duties, and not use telework time as an opportunity to be available for personal or family matters.
If I am already teleworking, but do not have a telework agreement in place, do I need to submit an application?
Yes. All current telework arrangements must be submitted for approval in accordance with the Policy.
If I am approved for telework, can the approval be rescinded?
Yes, all telework agreements are subject to annual review as well as termination at the discretion of the University.
Will the University provide me with the equipment that I need in order to telework?
Possibly, although you may have to provide or use your own equipment. Details as to equipment needed to perform your job remotely must be agreed upon by you and your supervisor. It is your responsibility to ensure the safe use of equipment and compliance with UIS and University confidentiality and other policies.
If I telework, how will that affect my other terms and conditions of employment?
It won’t. All other terms and conditions of employment remain unchanged.
Are there any other teleworking responsibilities that I need to be concerned about?
As stated in the Policy, and defined in further detail in individual agreements, teleworkers have a number of other responsibilities, including maintaining regular communication, returning to campus as requested on what is otherwise a scheduled telework day, establishing and maintaining a safe telework environment, abiding by all University policies regarding confidentiality and information security, and maintaining appropriate personal insurance coverage for the telework location.
As a manager, how will I know whether to approve or deny a telework request?
First, you need to be sure that you understand the details of how the applicant proposes to perform all of the responsibilities of the job. Review the application and engage in a detailed discussion with the employee. Remember that jobs requiring face-to-face interactions likely are not appropriate for teleworking. For example, an employee with receptionist responsibilities cannot perform those duties remotely. On the other hand, an employee who performs data entry duties in a manner that can be readily transferred to University systems may have duties well suited to telework, so long as appropriate measurements and arrangements are put into place. The bottom line is that the University supports reasonable telework arrangements, but all material components of the job must be performed at levels that equal or exceed those existing absent the telework arrangement. Customer service must be seamless. A good rule of thumb is that any colleagues outside the department who work with a teleworker should not know that the employee is teleworking. In addition, departmental colleagues should be able to consult and communicate with a teleworker as though no telework was being done.
What if an employee who works with protected health information, or other restricted data, applies to telework?
If the employee will have to use, or access, restricted data while working remotely, you must carefully consider the risks. It is critical that you consult with UIS to understand the technical and equipment requirements necessary in such a situation, and that those requirements be specified in the Telework Agreement if telework is approved. In addition, if telework is approved, the employee will need to sign one of two University Information Systems forms: (1) Information Security Requirements for Teleworkers; or (2) Requirements for Teleworkers Using PHI (Protected Health Information).
What are my responsibilities as a manager if one of my staff members has a telework arrangement?
As the supervisor of a teleworker, in addition to ensuring that the work is appropriate for telework and that a satisfactory Telework Agreement is in place, you are responsible for managing the telework arrangement, ensuring that all work is performed without prejudice or diminution due to the telework arrangement, maintaining regular communication with the teleworker, and including the teleworker in meetings and other interactions as appropriate.
What if I approve a telework arrangement, and subsequently circumstances change, or it is determined that the telework is detrimental to customer service or achievement of other departmental goals?
The department has the right to terminate any and all telework agreements, so you should reassess all agreements and determine what changes should be implemented to ensure that all responsibilities are achieved and goals are met as they would be without any telework agreements in effect.