Telecommuting Policy for Staff
Definition: Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which some or all of the work is performed at an off-campus work site such as the home or in office space near home. (Field stations are not telecommuting locations because they are established permanent work sites for groups of employees within a department.) Communication may be by one of several means, such as phone or laptop. Equipment may be owned and maintained by the employee or by the university.
Authority: Department heads or their designees have the authority to establish telecommuting arrangements, and are encouraged to give serious consideration to all reasonable requests. However, arrangements should be authorized only when it is in the best interest of the university to do so.
Process: These steps should be followed:
- Either the employee or the department may initiate the request.
- If the employee initiates the request, the employee should complete the checklist, "Developing a Proposal for a Telecommuting Arrangement," before requesting an appointment with the supervisor to discuss the proposal.
- If and when the department head or designee agrees to a telecommuting arrangement, the department should complete a formal, written agreement, using the Telecommuting Guidelines and the Model Telecommuting Agreement.
- Once all required signatures have been obtained, the employee should be given a copy of the document, and the original should be maintained by the department.
- As questions arise, they should be directed to the appropriate resources listed below.
Resources: In establishing telecommuting arrangements, departments should apply the enclosed Telecommuting Guidelines to develop a formal written agreement based on the enclosed Model Telecommuting Agreement. Employees requesting telecommuting arrangements should complete the enclosed checklist, "Developing a Proposal for a Telecommuting Agreement," before entering into detailed discussions with supervisors.
Since many telecommuting arrangements involve use of computers, departments are encouraged to supply employees with copies of materials from Ergonomics@Work, to be kept at the alternative work site for easy reference. Useful documents include: A User-Friendly Workstation (PDF), Personal Workstations Checklist (PDF), and Computer and Desk Stretches.
For information about technology options, services, and resources for telecommuting, please visit the IT Services page.