FAQs for Managing in a Remote Work Environment
Managing through the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all to pivot quickly and for the vast majority, move our business to a remote work environment. Now that we know that most employees will continue to work from home for the foreseaable future, we've put together the following FAQs for managing remote workers. FAQs will be updated as situations change and information becomes available.
Here are some tips for managing remote workers:
- Review and clarify performance expectations, responsibilities, and assignments.
- Communicate timelines and deadlines.
- Communicate expectations for employees working hours, availability, contact methods and what to do if an employee becomes sick while working remotely.
- Regularly review expectations; communicate updates as needed.
Be Available for Your Team
- Respond to your team members in a timely manner. Provide timely and clear communication as to how you can be contacted.
- Encourage team members to call, Google chat, or email you while working remotely.
- Be accessible to team members by phone and email - ensure they know how to contact you.
- Need to meet? Consider a conference call, Google Hangout, or Zoom.
- Open Google Chat to create chatrooms for periodic check-ins (e.g. once per day) or to interact with another co-worker so no one feels isolated.
Manage Customer Expectations
- Ensure your customers know how to contact you and your team members.
- Let customers know when and what they can expect from you and your team.
- Communicate your timelines for responding to inquiries—share it on your voicemail and email signature line.
- Response should be seamless, similar to being in the office.
Tools & Technology
- Ensure team members have the tools and technology to work remotely.
- Encourage team members to find a private and quiet location for working.
- Review SCU’s Technology for Working Remotely site for accessing email, network drives, VPN, voicemail, and Zoom.
In the Resources section, you will find tip sheets and articles from a number of sources. Topics include: Successful Teleworking, and a Guide to Managing Remote Workers, among others. If you would like to discuss a particular concern, please contact Shirley Mata at email@example.com to for additional guidance and resources.
Depending on the needs of the employee, there are a number of resources available for all benefits-eligible employees.
On the COVID-19 HR Resources page, you will find information on Health & Well-being, Financial Related and Family Resources. Some of the main services that are available for all benefits-eligible employees include:
CONCERN Employee Assistance Plan offers confidential counseling for benefits-eligible employees and their immediate family members. The counseling sessions include 10 virtual or phone consultations per member per issue per year, as well as online resources. On the website, CONCERN also provides work/life services for assistance with parenting and childcare, eldercare, relationships, legal and financial services, emotional and psychological matters, alcohol and drug abuse and grief and loss. To access services, call 1-800-344-4222 or visit the CONCERN website, using company code: scueap.
Health Advocate is another resources available to employees to assist with navigating the health care system. They can help find the right doctors, dentists, and specialists, schedule appointments or arrange for treatments and tests; answer questions about test results, treatments and medications; uncover billing errors, get appropriate approvals for covered services; negotiate payment arrangements with providers; and more. Call Health Advocates at 866-695-8622 or visit their website where they also have a number of resource sheets and webinars for coping with the various challenges being faced during these challenging times.
Bright Horizons supports our families with back-up child and adult/elder care at subsidized rates, provides assistance in finding caregivers, find elder care resources, pet care, and provides discounts on tutoring and test prep. Between July 1 and December 30, 2020, each family is eligible for up to 5 uses. In addition, Bright Horizons offers free resources and webinars on work, life, family, and education topics on the Bright Horizons website, username: SantaClara, password: backup12.
For information on other benefits or wellness resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
See the COVID-19 HR Resources under “Staying Engaged” for articles. For additional resources and guidance, contact Shirley Mata, Employee Development manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this time, communication with your employees and understanding your employees' situation is important. Supervisors are expected to be flexible and creative in scheduling the workday during this time. There are many resources available to you and your staff depending on the needs. Start with the Covid-19 HR Resources or contact Shirley Mata (email@example.com) for information on additional benefits and resources that may be available.
HR resources are available to address health and well-being concerns as well as family related resources. Supervisor flexibility and support are strongly encouraged.
There may be a need to redistribute work or temporarily reassign employees during this time. Here are some things to consider. Be sure to involve your team in helping to figure out how to best divide the workload. If you'd like to discuss this further, email Shirley Mata, Employee Development Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Review business needs. What tasks and services need to be done during this time?
- Review current staff workloads. Note any unbalance.
- Are there opportunities for redistribution of tasks or projects either within the team or with help from other teams?
- Communicate your initial plan and ask your team for input.
- Implement the plan - be sure to communicate roles and expectations.
- Schedule check-in dates to re-evaluate everyone's workload. This is a time for team members to share progress, ask for help, solve problems, and redistribute workload if needed.
Make Sure Your Team's Workload is Divided Fairly (HRB, 2016)
If the position is conducive to remote work, employees should continue to work from home, even when a unit has been notified they can resume on-campus operations. Supervisors and/or department leadership will determine which positions will return to campus based on business need. If due to personal circumstances and employee cannot return or does not want to return, contact your HR liaison to discuss options.
Employees who have been approved to work remotely may borrow their existing SCU ergonomic office equipment to assist with remote work, with approval from their supervisor before removing it. All equipment must be returned once your area returns to campus.
You will need to work with your respective cabinet member for approval prior to any purchases being made.
Budget information is now with the respective Vice Presidents and Budget Managers. The general timeline may be found at https://www.scu.edu/ubo/building-budgets/fy21-timeline/. Contact your department business manager for unit-specific questions and the budget office for questions about the general timeline.
Please connect with you business manager or director/department head for purchasing needs. There is no end date currently in place for the p-card restriction. We await further notice.
The General Counsel’s office has been reviewing contracts throughout the shelter-in-place. In an effort to curb expenses, our process now requires that all contracts must be approved by the COO and/or VP for Finance and Administration.
There are a number of Zoom Web Conferencing tutorials available from Information Technology