RFCUNY REMOTE WORK GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19 EVENT (AS OF 03/31/2020)

PROCEDURES UPDATE - NEW!

After more than two weeks’ experience with remote work, we have revised the Remote Work Agreement  ("Agreement") to facilitate the identification of tasks that can be performed remotely on a case by case basis.  While it is not necessary to resubmit the newly revised Agreement if you already have one on file, the submission of a Remote Work Agreement to the RF is mandatory.  In the event you have not already submitted an Agreement to the RF, please use the updated form. Copies of the Agreement are needed for many purposes, not the least of which is their availability for inspection upon demand by the sponsor of your project and for reconciliation of payroll records. A copy will also be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Please note that a Remote Work Agreement submitted without the supervisor’s approval is not valid and will be returned for follow up.  If the technology available to you does not permit the use of the electronic signature feature, please attach the form to an email and indicate in the body of the email that you were unable to sign the form electronically but agree to the terms and conditions therein. 

In addition, some colleges may require an additional level of approval for remote work.  Please follow your campus’ requirements in this regard. 

Finally, we note that a great many of our employees are working remotely but a Remote Work Agreement is not yet on file at the RF.  Please send the Agreement to the mailbox we have designated to receive them, i.e., Nida_Balal@rfcuny.org, as soon as possible.

Candidates for Remote Work

In general, any employee may be eligible to work remotely. The manager will determine if the individual’s position and responsibilities lend themselves to remote work or could be temporarily modified to integrate short-term remote work.

Most characteristics of successful long-term remote workers do not apply in this short-term situation.  The employee should be meeting basic performance expectations, have basic computer skills for email, internet browsing, and possibly Microsoft Word (and/or other Microsoft Suite software), and commit to working productively from their remote location for the duration identified.

Non-exempt (Hourly) Employees

Non-exempt (Hourly) employees may be eligible to work remotely with manager approval.  However, they must adhere to the same time reporting requirements (including meal periods) and processes already in place with their manager and department.  Non-exempt employees must receive advanced approval from their manager before incurring overtime.

Disability Accommodations

In general, disability accommodations made in the workplace may also be made for the home work environment.  Due to the possible sudden and short-term nature of some remote work arrangements, RFCUNY may not be able to offer certain accommodations – for example, specific furnishings.  When feasible, safe, and granted permission, an individual may transport small lightweight equipment home for the duration of their remote work arrangement (e.g. ergonomic keyboard, footstool, etc.). 

Schedule & Workload

Managers and employees should have realistic conversations about how much work can be conducted remotely. This may be about the amount of work available for the employee to do or about the limitations the employee is facing due to their home environment (e.g. children are present). When possible, consider allowing for greater schedule flexibility (weekdays, early mornings, and late evenings) or reduced work options (part time).

Communication Expectations

When setting communication expectations for employees, consider the nature of their work and what services may be disrupted. Also consider the availability of the manager and other team members. Common items for discussion include:

  • Frequency of connection with manager (daily, every few days, weekly)
  • Frequency of checking email
  • Calls and texts with home and cell phones

Documenting Agreements

Managers are encouraged to discuss and document the agreement with the employee and confirm it in writing (e.g. email to the employee and the local HR rep), including:

  • Approval to work remotely and duration of agreement
  • Hours of work agreed upon and any flexibility with those hours
  • Work responsibilities and areas of focus during remote work
  • Communication expectations (with manager, team, and/or customers)
  • If internet service (or other systems) become unavailable, how will the employee work or will they need to then use their paid leave
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