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Frequently Asked Questions - Supervisors


Telecommuting may be used when appropriate to the specific needs of a department and employee. Telecommuting may be approved on an ongoing basis or a time-limited basis and exceptions may be required to meet department needs.  Employees and supervisors should work together to determine if telecommuting is appropriate for the job duties and role of the position; however, any telecommuting arrangements must be approved by the manager.

Departments/units should consider position-specific tasks and requirements; impact on students, coworkers, and the public; and any employee performance concerns. You should consider employee performance and determine if the employee has enough training/knowledge of their duties and tasks to successfully telecommute.

Telecommuting is not appropriate for all employees and jobs, and does not need to be approved for all employees in the same or similar jobs. Telecommuting should be considered on a non-discriminatory, case-by-case basis.  Agreements should be evaluated based on the business need of the department and the specifics of each employee’s work abilities and job description.

Telecommuting may be approved on an ongoing basis, or a time-limited basis and exceptions may be required to meet department needs. It is recommended that departments review telecommuting arrangements annually to determine if the arrangement should continue.

The employee should seek department manager approval before incurring any business expense. To receive reimbursement for pre-approved expenses, the employee must present proper documentation to support the expenses, in accordance with all applicable accounting, ethics and financial control policies and procedures.

Telecommuters who need an accommodation may contact the ADA Coordinator in Human Resource Management to file a request. The ADA Coordinator will analyze such requests according to established policy and procedures.

Telecommuters will be covered by the University Workers Compensation Insurance only for work-related injuries incurred during the normal course and scope of their employment and job duties, including only being covered during agreed-upon work hours, in accordance with Policy 5-404.

All employees must report any work-related injuries to their supervisor immediately, but no later than 24 hours after such injury, using the University’s standard injury reporting process.

The employee should receive care at RedMed if the injury and/or distance allows. Otherwise, the Telecommuter should go to the nearest appropriate provider.

Managers are responsible to develop a means of tracking the employee’s hours worked and evaluating work performance, and holding the employee accountable, as they would normally do for an employee working in the office. It is important to provide clear performance expectations. Regular communication with the employee is also very important.

Currently, there are two webinars about supervising remote employees and UHRM is in the process of creating additional online training.

As a manager, you can go to the insights page in Bridge and see your employees and any outstanding trainings. The following is a direct link. https://utah.bridgeapp.com/insights

Carefully consider the performance issues that are causing you concern. Discuss any concerns with your HR Employee Relations Specialist – their contact information can be found here.  Ensure that you have clearly communicated your expectations with the employee and provided feedback on areas where they can improve.

Managers in departments utilizing UUPM can access active and historical employee annual reviews through the Team Performance tile in CIS. Instructions can be found on the HR website.

HR can help navigate concerns regarding staff performance. Visit the HR website to find your HR Contacts.

Yes, if circumstances change and telecommuting is no longer appropriate, telecommuting arrangements may be discontinued by the University at any time, with a minimum of 15 business days’ written notice to the employee.

Teleworking agreements should allow for the possibility that management may occasionally require everyone to be physically present.

Managers should carefully analyze the job duties to determine if the duties are appropriate for telecommuting. Job expectations should be clearly communicated and monitored.

Telecommuting is not designed to be a substitute for active dependent care (exceptions may be granted for exceptional circumstances, such as a pandemic). Work schedules may be negotiated as appropriate to accommodate dependent care needs.

When arrangements are made for telecommuting, University equipment may be assigned to the employee to utilize from home. If University equipment is used, the employee must exercise reasonable care for the equipment. Department approval should be obtained, prior to taking University-owned equipment home or elsewhere for the purpose of Telecommuting, per Property Accounting form "Request to use University Property Off-Campus". Employees telecommuting outside the state of Utah may be required to provide their own equipment, which complies with all University security rules.

Unless otherwise specified in the Telecommuting Agreement, the employee’s work status, job duties and responsibilities will remain unchanged because of telecommuting.

A hybrid schedule includes some on-site work and some telecommuting. This schedule works well for employees who can perform the duties of the position successfully from a remote location but the position also requires some in-person interaction and/or team collaboration/team building and/or not all customer interactions are suitable for email, phone, Zoom, Teams. Employee is equally productive in both locations.

The employee is responsible for recording vacation, sick or other leave as they would do at the primary work location, in accordance with Policy 5-401.

Yes. The Telecommuting Agreement establishes guidelines that should be followed whether telecommuting is the primary mode of work or whether it is just done occasionally.

Yes, surge telecommuting may be appropriate for a mandatory action day or a special circumstance day (e.g., natural disaster, snow day, red air quality day, etc.).

While it is not required to complete a new Telecommuting Agreement, new supervisors should review the existing agreement with their employees. If changes need to be made, a new agreement should be completed.

Telecommuting is neither a universal employee right nor a universal employee benefit; telecommuting is a management option for an alternative work arrangement. When considering whether or not employees may telecommute, be sure to apply consistent evaluation.

For conditions that may qualify, employees who need an accommodation may contact the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator in Human Resource Management to file a request. The ADA Coordinator will analyze such requests according to established policy and procedures.

It may be helpful to begin by considering groups of jobs within your department. Are there positions that are conducive to telecommuting? Are there responsibilities that cannot be done from a remote work site? Can the employee rotate telecommuting schedules? It can then become easier to evaluate individual requests to determine if telecommuting is possible in specific situations. Be clear about the criteria being used for determining telecommuting options.

Managers should contact University Human Resource Management prior to approving a telecommuting agreement for work outside of Utah/US.