The University continues to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 to our work and educational environment. Florida State University is open and fully operational, but is encouraging employees to work remotely unless they are unable to do so.
FSU is committed to supporting FSU employees in meeting the public health challenge presented by COVID-19 by ensuring FSU employees can work from home or another remote location when feasible and with advanced approval. Additionally, due to the statewide closure of all K-12 schools and guidance from health officials, the University understands that many employees will need flexibility in allowing their responsibilities to be carried out at home. As such, the University has created Temporary Remote Work Guidelines.
Remote Work Definition
Remote Work is a work arrangement in which an employee's regular duties and responsibilities are performed from home or another off-site location. In general, regularly scheduled work hours should be adhered to. Any deviations from an employee's normal work schedule require supervisory approval in advance, including the earning of overtime. Typically, this type of arrangement would be approved through the University's Telecommuting Process. However, in an effort to expedite the approval process, and allow for additional flexibility for employees to care for family needs, the University is providing the Temporary Remote Work option as an enhanced policy.
Positions Best Suited for Remote Work
Remote Work is for positions with duties that can be done from any location and involve reading, writing, research, working with data, and communication that can be done via phone or email. In general, all or some components of a job may be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication. All employees, including students and OPS employees, are eligible for this agreement if their work duties permit.
Positions Not Suited for Remote Work
Employees performing duties that require in-person contact and/or customer service or that rely upon specific equipment or supplies to work on site may not be eligible for remote work. This would include employees that must be on campus to perform those duties. As an example, because the University remains fully operational, front desk employees may be needed in departments to greet students, faculty, and staff and provide services needed for departments to continue to remain open. Supervisory roles also may be excluded from consideration unless a department does not have concerns about this arrangement.
Steps for Employees to Move to Remote Work
Communication is key in having a productive remote work arrangement. Approval from supervisors and Deans/Directors/Department heads must be obtained in advance of moving to remote work. Supervisors/Managers should set expectations with employees to build trust and understanding while we all work together to balance personal needs and the needs of the University. For employees moving to remote work, the following steps should be taken:
- Employees must complete the Temporary Remote Work Acknowledgement and submit to email@example.com.
- Managers and employees agree upon a set schedule when the employee should perform the work. Flexibility is encouraged as outlined below.
- Managers and employees agree on the duties and assignments that will be carried out. In some instances, employees may not be able to carry out all of their duties from home, so they would need to work out the specifics of any special projects or assignments that would supplement. Supervisors should ensure the University's functions continue but may be flexible on postponing duties that are not time-sensitive and/or necessary to complete during this period of Temporary Remote Work.
- A communication plan should be developed so supervisors and employees have scheduled times they can communicate directly. Examples include a daily check-in, being responsive to emails, and a weekly Zoom conference meeting.
- Employees need to have appropriate equipment and technological access to ensure duties can be completed remotely. Please see ITS guidance on Employee Remote Work Essentials.
- Employees should review Key Tips for Transitioning to a Remote Work Employee
Flexible Arrangements and Social Distancing
We understand the importance of social distancing with the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Employees who are unable to do their work from home because their duties require them to be physically present on campus should work with their departments to devise an alternative arrangement. Departments and Managers should be flexible with these arrangements. In some cases, employees may need to be on campus for part of their duties, but they can perform some duties from home. Supervisors should be lenient in these situations, when possible, to allow as much flexibility as possible. These agreements may also include modified work schedules to allow later or earlier start and end times for the work to be performed on campus so as to promote social distancing.
We understand the dynamic situation has had a significant personal impact on our employees. The University will allow employees to care for children at home while on the Temporary Remote Work agreement. Unfortunately, the University will not allow minors in the workplace during these times. We urge supervisors to be as flexible as possible in approving remote work and alternative work schedules.
Questions? For faculty or staff matters related to this issue, please contact Tracey Pearson (staff) at (850) 644-3694 or Rebecca Peterson (faculty) at (850) 645-2202, both in the Office of Human Resources.