Remote Work Procedures
The Remote Work Policy establishes standards for administrative and staff employees, including student employees, who work from home or from other non-university locations for all or some of their regularly scheduled workweek.
These procedures offer additional information to assist managers in determining whether an employee may work remotely. They also provide direction on what information must be included in the remote work agreement if a request for long-term remote work is approved.
Managers should consider the following factors to determine whether a request for a remote work arrangement should be approved:
- Job Responsibilities: Could the functions of the job be performed satisfactorily through a remote work arrangement? Would a remote work arrangement cause disruption to job performance and/or service delivery? Could supervision and mentorship of student employees be maintained at the highest level?
- Customer Service: Does the position require in-person contact? Could the employee carry out the same duties and assignments and provide the same level of customer service working remotely as the employee does when working on university premises?
- Resources: Would the employee have access at a remote location to the equipment, supplies, workspace, software, internet, data security, or other resources necessary to complete work successfully?
- Teamwork: Will communication and collaboration with the employee’s manager and other team members become difficult? Would there be a negative impact on the employee, coworkers, or the team?
- Productivity: Would a remote work arrangement allow the unit to meet organizational needs and maintain or improve work productivity, employee satisfaction, and engagement?
- Job Performance: Do the employee’s performance evaluations and demonstrated reliability, work style, etc. support remote work being accomplished effectively? While working remotely, can the employee prioritize work to meet deadlines, accomplish job duties with minimal supervision, communicate effectively with customers and team members, manage time effectively, etc.?
- Consistency: Is the decision regarding suitability of the position for remote work applied consistently across the department?
It is strongly recommended that new hires be brought on campus for orientation and onboarding whenever possible. Employees who supervise and mentor student employees or who regularly serve students on campus are encouraged to work on-site as needed to provide the highest level of service to the campus community.
If there is uncertainty about the potential effectiveness of a proposed remote work arrangement, a manager may consider allowing an employee to work remotely on a trial basis. In this case, a review period should be established, after which a decision can be made about a long-term remote work arrangement.
If an employee is not eligible to work remotely, it is important that a manager provide an explanation to the employee based on policy, position responsibilities, impact on unit operations, or the employee’s past job performance to demonstrate the consistent and equitable application of the Remote Work Policy within the department.
Remote Work Agreements
Remote work agreements are not required for short-term (two weeks or fewer) remote work requests, though requests must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor (via phone, email, messaging application, etc.).
Before the employee starts long-term remote work, all aspects of a remote work arrangement must be documented and agreed upon by the employee and a minimum of two levels of management in the remote work agreement. The first approver is the employee’s immediate supervisor. Under the direction of the responsible vice president or assistant to the president, additional levels of authorization may be required. Where additional authorization is required, second-level approvers must obtain and document that authorization prior to approving and submitting the remote work agreement. The remote work agreement must address the following issues.
- Duration: Specify the duration of the remote work agreement, an anticipated end date, and a designated review period. At a minimum, remote work agreements should be reviewed annually.
- Work Schedule: Identify a work schedule that specifies when and where (onsite/remote) an employee will be working, availability expectations, and any requirements for on-site attendance at meetings, trainings, etc. See the Workweek for Employees Policy for more information regarding alternative work schedules.
- Communication Expectations: Determine what communication methods will be used and establish responsiveness expectations. Generally, remote employees are expected to be available and communicative during scheduled work hours. Managers and employees must create and agree to a plan that maintains clear and consistent communication with each other.
- Performance Evaluation Criteria: Define anticipated outcomes and how they will be measured. Employees should be expected to fulfill the responsibilities of their position and consistently demonstrate the ability to complete tasks and assignments on a timely basis. The same performance standards should be applied to employees regardless of work location.
- Office and Information Technology (IT) Resources: Determine what office furniture, computers, and other IT equipment, internet service, etc. are required to create a safe and productive remote work environment and what expenses related to remote work may be paid or reimbursed by the university. For employees approved for hybrid remote/on-site work, management should determine if employees will maintain a dedicated campus office/workspace or use a shared workspace.
- Conditions of Remote Work: The agreement requires employees to affirm their understanding of, and agreement to, the Remote Work Policy.
Staff and administrative employees and managers must submit and approve the Remote Work Agreement online form and comply with its requirements. Submission of remote work agreements for student employment positions is strongly encouraged, though not required. At a minimum, unit managers should review aspects of the remote work agreement with each student employee approved to work remotely to ensure a clear understanding of work expectations and the Remote Work Policy.
Other than exceptions outlined in the Out-of-State Work Policy, employees are not authorized to work outside the state of Utah. Remote work agreements may be terminated by the department or employee at any time. Managers should provide an employee as much notice as possible if the conditions of the remote work agreement will be modified or terminated.