Jennifer Lucas, Co-Director of Human Resources, explains the college’s remote work policy and provides resources for employees who are working remotely.
As you are aware, the College made the decision to move to remote work for the majority of our employees effective, March 19. Only essential employees are permitted to work on campus through April 3rd and potentially longer. These are employees who are deemed absolutely necessary to be on campus to provide support for the residential life of our students remaining on campus and to support remote instruction and the work of our faculty and staff.
I understand that many employees will be working from home for the very first time. The purpose of this email is to clarify the College’s expectations regarding remote work, to provide guidance regarding data security and privacy, and to make you aware of some resources available to assist you while working remotely.
To begin, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for all of your patience and support over the last two weeks. The College has moved as quickly as possible in response to the many changes emerging at the state and federal level to control the spread of the Coronavirus in our communities.
I have attached our Temporary Alternate Work from Home Policy to this email. Please read the policy carefully and let me know if you have any questions. The terms and conditions of this policy apply to all employees working from home.
Expectations for Employees Working Remotely
The College expects the same level of productivity and accessibility from employees working remotely that are expected while working on campus. Employees should adhere to their normal shift start and end times. Generally, this means logging into your computer at your normal start time and being ready to respond to calls and emails (either 8:00am or 8:30am) and continuing through the close of your normal work day (either 4:30pm or 5:00pm). You should take time for lunch and breaks at your normal times.
Employees should perform their duties with the same level of professionalism that they display while on campus, responding to emails and phone calls promptly and professionally. It’s very important that regular communication continues between the employee, their co-workers and their supervisor.
Support staff should record their timesheet for all hours that they work while at home as they normally would as if they were on campus. From Thursday, March 19th at 5:00 pm through Friday, April 3rd, if not working from home or on campus, support staff should indicate OTH on their timesheets (essential staff who are required to work on campus and call off for any reason should indicate sick or vacation time on their timesheets). Please keep in mind that if you are able to work from home during this time, you are expected to do so as efficiently as possible. Support staff should not work overtime unless preapproved by their supervisor.
Now would be a great time to complete your required compliance training for the College. Much of the College’s required compliance training can be completed online while working from home. This includes Title IX, Bloodborne Pathogens, Campus Security Authority (CSA), and the online driver safety training (part of MVR compliance).
Here are the steps to check your training status:
- Access PeopleSoft Self-Service (requires Duo Security to login from home location)
- Click on “HR Compliance Employee Dashboard”
- View pending compliance items (there will be three tabs: pending/complete/delinquent)
Items listed under the “pending” tab are available for completion. Click on the item link (instructions and links are available under the item description). If your pending tab is not showing any compliance items, you are up-to-date. Delinquent items are “closed” and unavailable. The compliance dashboard will be updated throughout the week. You will receive a completion email from the College (from firstname.lastname@example.org) notifying you of your updated item status. Specific questions can be directed to Lynn Garskof in the Human Resources Office.
Employees must safeguard College information used or accessed while working from home, in accordance with the College’s Cyber Security Guidelines and technology policies. Even while working remotely, employees must ensure privacy, confidentially and protection of data. VPN access is only allowed on equipment that has an up-to-date antivirus program installed and running. Employees must adhere to all privacy, confidentiality and data security protocols established by their individual departments. Please be in touch with your supervisor if you have any questions concerning these matters.
Working remotely can create feelings of isolation. It’s important to stay engaged with your colleagues and your supervisor while working remotely. We encourage managers and supervisors to maintain regular communication with staff using Zoom or other video platforms to hold meetings virtually. To protect the privacy of individuals in Zoom meetings, do not record meetings by default. When scheduling a meeting, ensure that the “Record the meeting automatically” checkbox is not checked.
Finally, the Human Resources Office developed a website offering some helpful resources and other tips for working remotely. Please take a look to learn how to enhance your telecommuting experience.
In closing, I want to share again my deepest appreciation for your hard work these last few weeks. Continuing your excellent work during this difficult time will be extremely important. Thank you for your continued commitment to Gettysburg College and our students.