Policy Manual

Telework Policy

Policy Name: Telework

Policy Statement: It is a policy of the University System of Georgia to allow teleworking for employees who fill job classifications/positions that have been designated as eligible for telework, as requested by the employee and approved by the supervisor and Human Resources.

Definitions:

  • Alternate Workplace: A worksite other than the employee’s usual and customary worksite (primary workplace). The alternate workplace may be the employee’s home.
  • Core Operating Hours: Each institution may establish operating hours according to the operating needs of the institution during which all full-time employees are expected to work forty (40) hours in a workweek. Core hours, which are a subset of operating hours, are the time period during which all regular professional/administrative and staff employees will normally be expected to be present. During this time, all offices are to be open for business, unless administratively and/or programmatically unfeasible. All offices are to be adequately staffed to transact business during these hours and to provide the necessary and appropriate services. An employee’s flexible schedule will always include the core hours to facilitate the scheduling of institutional business.
  • Eligible Employees: An employee, in an eligible position, who has been identified by the employee’s supervisor as satisfactorily meeting performance standards, terms, and conditions of employment of their position. The employee shall have no active formal disciplinary actions on file for the current or immediately preceding review period.
  • Eligible Positions: A position having measurable quantitative or qualitative results-oriented standards of performance that is structured to be performed during a work period that may vary from the core work hours established. For teleworking, the position must be structured to be performed independently of others and with minimal need for support and can be scheduled at least one day a pay period to participate in teleworking without impacting service quality or organizational operations. The eligibility of a position for teleworking may change depending on circumstances.
  • Mobile Worker: An employee who travels continuously and whose current work location is their home or an assigned office. The duties of these positions generally require the employee to meet and work off-site with prospective students who are dispersed throughout a geographic territory. GC Admissions staff are an example of a Mobile Worker. For the purposes of this policy, mobile workers are not considered teleworkers.
  • Occasional Teleworker: A teleworker, who with the approval of their supervisor, works at home on an infrequent basis. Approval is usually task or project-specific and is normally approved in writing at least the day before the employee teleworks. Occasional teleworkers do not telework on a scheduled basis. For the purpose of this policy, occasional teleworkers are considered teleworkers.
  • Primary Workplace: The teleworker’s usual and customary workplace.
  • Teleworker: A person who for at least one or more days in a particular pay period works at home, or a satellite office, to produce an agreed upon work product. All teleworkers should complete the telework agreement and training. A teleworker is not a mobile worker.
  • Teleworking: Working at a location other than the employee’s usual and customary workplace.
  • Teleworking Agreement: The signed document that outlines the understanding between Georgia College and the employee regarding the teleworking arrangement. The telework agreement documents the mandatory policies in effect and the results of any other agreements between the supervisor and the teleworker. The agreement must be signed by both parties and approved by Human Resources prior to the start of the telework period agreeing that both parties will abide by the terms and conditions of teleworking. The agreement must be reviewed and renewed at least annually to ensure that the guidelines for participating in the program indicate continued eligibility and are well understood. A supervisor may elect to revise the agreement when a need arises. In addition, the teleworking agreement should be reviewed and revised if necessary when there is a change in supervisor, job responsibilities, or change in work circumstances or performance. The agreement must have a place where the employee acknowledges that they have read and agree to the terms of the policy and items listed in the agreement.

Key Words:

Childcare/Dependent Care
Mobile Worker
Telework
Workspace
Workers’ Compensation

Reason for Policy: To ensure that all Georgia College (GC) employees understand that teleworking is an option on an occasional or regular basis, as requested by the employee and approved by the supervisor and Human Resources, for eligible employees.

Proposed Outcome: Reinforces Georgia College’s commitment to ensuring the proper and fair use of teleworking.

Policy Provisions:

 

Georgia College Guidelines Specific to Telework and Conditions of Employment

Offering the opportunity to work at home is a management option and is not an employee right. An employee's participation in the telework program is entirely voluntary. A supervisor has no authority to require an employee to telework unless it was a condition of employment or a requirement of the job description. The employee, supervisor, or Human Resources may terminate teleworking at any time and without cause.

 

The teleworker conditions of employment remain the same as for non-teleworking employees. Employee salary, benefits, and employer-sponsored insurance coverage will not change as a result of teleworking. The employee shall adhere to all policies, rules, and regulations of the institution, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and the state while teleworking. Further, an employee must have the willingness of their supervisor to perform the necessary supervisory responsibilities required for teleworking. The employee agrees not to conduct personal business while in official duty status at the alternate workplace.

 

Documents Required for Submission:

An employee will be required to provide the following documents to their supervisor to request to Telework:

GC Telework Agreement

  GC Telework Self-Assessment

GC Workspace Self-Certification Checklist

The supervisor will submit all documents to Employee Relations for review and final approval. Employee Relations will communicate approval or denial of the Telework Agreement within five business days.

 

Child and Dependent Care

Teleworking is not a substitute for childcare or dependent care. The teleworker shall continue to plan for child or dependent care to the same extent as if the teleworker were working at the primary workplace.

 

Teleworking Self-Assessment

A successful teleworker has particular traits, a job suitable for telework, and a telework site that is conducive to the work assigned. A self-assessment helps an employee interested in teleworking decide whether telework is right for them. The employee shall complete a self-assessment to submit to the supervisor as part of the request to telework. The supervisor will submit the telework self-assessment to Human Resources with the completed Telework Agreement and Workspace Certification Checklist. 

 

Worksite and Work Hours

A defined workspace and defined core work hours are necessary (1) to reduce GC's exposure to risk, (2) to facilitate proper management of teleworkers, and (3) to ensure work is conducted in a productive environment.

 

Alternate Workplace

As a condition of permission to telework, the employee must verify that home facilities used for telework purposes are safe and suitable for the purpose of the employee's work. The department may deny an employee the opportunity to telework if the alternate worksite is not conducive to productive work. The department will provide the employee with a self-certification checklist as part of the request to telework. The checklist is necessary to reduce GC's exposure to risk and liability and helps the employee verify that the alternate workplace is conducive to productive work.

 

An employee approved to telework shall be responsible for setting up an appropriate work environment within their home. GC will not be responsible for any cost associated with the set-up of a home office. Upon request, GC will consult with an employee on any modifications or requirements to operate GC-owned equipment at the home office. Employees must complete the GC Property Off-Campus Authorization form for any GC equipment used off campus (see related links)

 

Equipment and Supplies

Office supplies (e.g. pens and paper) shall be provided by the department and should be obtained during the teleworker's in-office work period. The employee is expected to use their own furniture, telephone, internet access and other equipment. Any use of private facilities of the employee will be at the employee's discretion and not at the behest or expense of Georgia College. This applies to all physical improvements and conveniences, as well as services. Under no circumstances should GC-owned equipment be installed in an employee's home. Upon approval of a GC Property Off-Campus Authorization form, employees may take GC owned equipment off-campus to be used at the alternate worksite. As GC's equipment is the property of the state, GC will retain the responsibility for the inventory and maintenance of state-owned property following state laws and procedures.

 

Work Hours

Each employee who teleworks shall develop a work schedule with the employee's supervisor, and the employee's supervisor must agree in advance to any changes to the employee's work schedule. The employee must obtain approval in advance from their supervisor before taking leave during a designated telework day.

 

The employee must maintain contact with the office as specified in the work schedule, department policy, and telework agreement. An employee's activities outside the time of work or outside the place designated for work will be deemed to be in the employee's own personal time and place, unconnected with work activities.

 

Expenses and Compensable Time

Work-related long-distance phone calls should be planned for in-office days. The teleworker is responsible for the cost of maintenance, repair, and operation of personal equipment including phone and internet.

 

Liability

The employee's home workspace, when used for telework, is an extension of the department workspace. GC's liability for job-related accidents will continue to exist during the approved work schedule and in the employee's designated work location. The teleworker is covered under the State's Workers' Compensation Law (see related links) for injuries occurring in the course of the actual performance of official duties at the alternate worksite.

 

If an injury occurs during teleworking hours, then the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor. The employee, supervisor, and GC Human Resources should follow the institution's policies regarding the reporting of injuries for employees injured while at work.

The State of Georgia and GC are not responsible for any injuries to family members, visitors, and others in the employee's home. The teleworker may not have business guests at the alternate workplace.

 

To the extent permitted by law, the employee will not attempt to hold GC or the state responsible or liable for any loss or liability in any way connected to the employee's non-work-related use of their own home. The teleworker is responsible for contacting their insurance agent and a tax consultant and reviewing local ordinances for information regarding home workplaces.

 

Telework Coordination

The Office of Human Resources (HR) will ensure the appropriate coordination of teleworking. HR will serve as a liaison to departments and the Statewide Telework Coordinator. HR representatives will provide guidance and clarification to departments on telework, act as a liaison regarding compliance with policies, procedures, and guidelines and will report the results of telework to the Statewide Teleworker Coordinator.

 

Security and Access to Information

The teleworker is responsible for maintaining confidentiality and security at the alternate workplace, as the teleworker would at the primary worksite. The employee must protect the security and integrity of data, information, paper files, and access to agency computer systems. All institutional policies on Information Technology and Internet and technology usage apply to teleworking, as they would in the primary workplace. All employees must follow their Departmental Information Security Plan and the Technology Policy regarding General Acceptable Use (see related links).

 

Program Reporting and Evaluation

The employee agrees to participate in studies, inquiries, reports, or analyses relating to teleworking at GC's direction.

 

Related links and forms:

Procedures: Georgia College will follow all applicable University System of Georgia policy.

Non-Compliance:

Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies and may result in prosecution in accordance with state and federal law.

 

Creation Date:  November 2020

Revision Date:  Month, Year

Last Reviewed Date:  Month, Year

Next Review Date:  Month, Year - Two years from Last Reviewed Date

Responsible Department:  Office of Human Resources

Cabinet Approval Date: December 15, 2020

Effective Date: December 15, 2020