Staff Remote Work Policy

Objective

Lewis & Clark College is committed to providing in-person instruction and support to students while maintaining a close-knit, collaborative, and supportive work environment that recognizes the intrinsic value of personal interactions, both formal and informal, among faculty, staff, and students. As a result, the Lewis & Clark College campus is the primary workplace for most staff members.

The College is also committed to providing staff with a flexible and responsive work environment that supports employee engagement, productivity, job satisfaction, autonomy, and a healthy work-life balance. The College recognizes that all work does not need to be done on campus, and that the need for staff to be present on campus for their entire work schedule will vary based upon the operational and other requirements of their departments and positions. Working remotely can provide beneficial flexibility to employees, while also decreasing the need for parking and office facilities and reducing commuting time, traffic congestion, and air pollution.

This policy provides the process and requirements for a staff member and supervisor to agree on and document a remote work arrangement for a portion of a staff member’s weekly schedule. Remote work arrangements must be agreed to by both the staff member and their supervisor, in accordance with this policy and the unit’s operational needs.

This revised policy has been put in place beginning with the fall 2021 semester, as we return to more normal operations following the COVID pandemic. The College will revisit and revise this policy, as necessary, as we move forward. Feedback to members of the Executive Council regarding the effectiveness of this policy is encouraged.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to ongoing remote work arrangements agreed to by a staff member and their supervisor. It does not apply to occasional or infrequent work-from-home that may be approved on a case-by-case basis, or to staff members doing incidental work while off-campus, such as fulfilling on-call or off-hours work obligations. This policy also does not apply to remote working as a disability or pregnancy accommodation, which is overseen by Human Resources through the accommodation process. This policy does not limit the ability of supervisors to agree to different arrangements with a particular staff member when doing so is in the best interests of the College.

Remote Work Eligibility

A remote work arrangement is a voluntary work alternative that is appropriate for some staff members and positions, but not all. Whether a remote work arrangement is appropriate for a particular staff member is a case-by-basis determination, taking into account the nature of the position and the likely ability of the employee to succeed in a remote environment. Considerations include:

  • Position responsibilities. The employee and supervisor will discuss the position responsibilities and determine if the position is appropriate for a remote working arrangement. When evaluating a remote work request, the supervisor should take into account specific position requirements, the service needs of the community, impact on a team, the need for in-person meetings, consultations, and other factors impacting whether the position duties can effectively be performed while working remotely. Student and/or public-facing positions may not be suitable for a remote working arrangement. The need for specialized material, equipment, or materials secured at the College, must either be minimal or flexible.
  • Work schedule. Remote work arrangements will generally provide for remote work on one day per week, or up to two days in appropriate cases, unless specific circumstances warrant a different arrangement. The employee and supervisor should agree upon a work schedule that meets the needs of the department and complies with applicable wage and hour laws and collective bargaining agreements. The employee’s remote work schedule likely needs to be consistent with the schedule of the department in order to facilitate necessary communication and collaboration. The employee must be available and reachable through agreed-upon methods during agreed-upon work hours while working remotely. The employee and supervisor shall agree on turnaround time and the medium for responses. Additionally, overtime work for a non-exempt employee must be pre-approved by the supervisor. Employees and supervisors must ensure accurate recording of hours worked.
  • Employee suitability. The employee and supervisor should take into account the conditions and circumstances that are customarily recognized as appropriate for successful remote work in determining whether an employee can effectively perform their duties in this manner. For instance, in some circumstances, employees on performance improvement plans or with recent disciplinary action may not be appropriate candidates for remote work.
  • Tax and other legal implications. The employee and supervisor, with the assistance of Human Resources, may need to consider and resolve any tax or legal implications under IRS, state and local government laws, and/or restrictions of working out of a home-based office, if any. For instance, working remotely from certain states may not be permissible due to requirements to register as an employer in that state. Remote work arrangements that involve working outside of the state of Oregon require approval by Human Resources.
  • Work Site. The remote worker must establish and maintain a workspace that is quiet, clean, and safe, with adequate lighting and ventilation. The remote worker will not hold business visits or meetings with professional colleagues, students, or others at a remote worksite.
  • Personal business and dependent care. Employees shall not perform personal business during hours agreed upon as work hours. Remote work is not a substitute for childcare or other dependent care. Remote workers shall make or maintain dependent care arrangements to permit concentration on work assignments and availability for on-campus meetings that may be required at relatively short notice.

Requirements for in-person attendance (e.g., group training, team meetings, retreats, etc.) can override regular remote work schedules. Supervisors should discuss such instances with the employee.

Remote work arrangements can be discontinued at any time, at the initiative of either the employee or the supervisor. Employees and supervisors should agree on any applicable performance indicators relevant to remote work. Repeated and significant failure to meet expectations due to factors related to working remotely may be a basis for requiring the employee to discontinue remote working.

Efforts will be made to provide 30 days’ notice of a change to a remote work arrangement in order to accommodate commuting and other issues that may arise. There may be instances, however, when such notice is not possible.

Remote Work Requirements

A. Remote Work Agreement

Staff members with a remote work arrangement are required to enter in a Remote Work Agreement with their supervisor. Remote Work Agreements are to be provided to Human Resources and maintained in the employee’s personnel file.

The Remote Work Agreement is to include any specific requirements or expectations applicable to the employee’s situation, including confirmation that the staff member:

  • Has reviewed and understands this policy;
  • Will be available and responsive during scheduled work hours;
  • Understands that work duties, obligations, and responsibilities when working remotely are the same as for employees working on campus, including the obligation to respond to voicemail, email, and other messages in a timely manner;
  • Will work the agreed upon hours, at the agreed upon location, unless prior approval is provided by the supervisor;
  • Will follow normal procedures for pre-approval of vacation time and overtime;
  • Will comply with all College policies and rules while working remotely.

The Remote Work Agreement should be reviewed by the employee and supervisor at least annually.

Remote Work Agreements that provide for work outside the state of Oregon must be approved by Human Resources.

B. Equipment and Materials

The College provides employees with equipment and materials necessary for the employee to work from their primary work station. The College will not generally provide equipment or materials beyond that which is necessary to work from campus. For example, the College will not pay for duplicate equipment or supplies, such as desks, chairs, computer monitors, printers, or other items that are available on campus. Out-of-pocket expenses for supplies normally available in the office will not be reimbursed. Employees with a Remote Work Agreement whose campus work station includes a desktop computer may request a laptop replacement to support hybrid work. Laptop replacements may be limited by budgetary and/or supply chain availability.

When discussing a proposed remote work arrangement, the staff member and supervisor are to discuss physical workspace needs and the appropriate location for the remote work. Remote work may be unavailable or limited based on availability of equipment and supplies. If equipment and/or software are provided by the College for remote work, such equipment and software are for the exclusive use of the employee and are intended for conducting College business. The staff member is responsible for protecting College-owned equipment from theft, damage, and unauthorized use. The Information Technology Department will maintain, service, and repair college-owned equipment, but will not be responsible for transporting or installing equipment, nor for returning it to the campus or service facility for repairs or service.

C. Internet, Telephone, and Other Costs

Remote workers are responsible for purchasing secure and adequate internet and phone services to work remotely. The College is not responsible for these costs. The College is also not responsible for an employee’s expenses related to heating, electricity, water, security, insurance, and usage of personal residence.

D. Information Technology and Data Security

Employees working remotely are expected to maintain reliable access to up-to-date technology tools necessary to interact with colleagues and others, such as Zoom and Google Meet.

Employees must safeguard College information used or accessed while working remotely in accordance with Lewis & Clark’s Information Security Policy, Responsible Use of Technology Resources Policy, and other applicable Information Technology policies. Employees working remotely must agree to follow College-approved security procedures in order to access college resources in order to ensure security of data. VPN access is provided to employees working remotely. Access to certain restricted or confidential materials may be limited to the campus worksite.

If an employee is using home equipment and/or software to perform remote work, such equipment and software must have up-to-date anti-virus protection and be password protected and that password may not be accessible to any person but the employee. For example, if an employee is using a home computer that is shared with family members, the employee must have a separate password that is exclusively used by the employee and the employee must not store any College data on the computer. The College is not responsible for maintenance of any employee’s personal computer.

E. Safety and Injuries

Employees working remotely are expected to maintain their home workspace in a safe manner, free from safety hazards. An employee who is engaged in remote work will be covered by workers’ compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the designated workspace, including the remote worker’s home, during the defined work period. In the case of injury occurring during the defined work period, the employee shall immediately report the injury to their supervisor. Workers’ compensation will not apply to non-job-related injuries that might occur in the home. Lewis & Clark College does not assume responsibility for injury to any persons other than the College employee at the remote worksite.

F. Travel

Employees working remotely will not be paid for time or mileage involved in travel between the remote worksite and the campus worksite.

Process

A conversation about remote work may be initiated by either a staff member or supervisor. The following process should generally be followed:

  1. Discussion by employee and supervisor regarding suitability and potential terms of a remote work arrangement.
  2. Development of a Remote Work Agreement to be completed online. The agreement is reproduced below so that you can prepare ahead of time to fill out the online form.
  3. Supervisor review and approval (and Human Resources approval, if required)
  4. When and if approved, the Remote Work Agreement is sent to Human Resources to be included in the Employee’s Personnel File.

REMOTE WORK AGREEMENT [to be completed online]

Lewis & Clark College employees are generally required to work on Campus. However, where appropriate an employee may also work remotely. This Agreement is intended to ensure that both the supervisor and the employee have a clear, shared understanding of an employee’s remote work arrangement.

This Agreement is not a contract of employment and does not provide any contractual rights to continued employment. It does not alter or supersede the terms of the existing employment relationship. The employee’s employment with the College remains at-will. The College may terminate the employment relationship or remote work agreement at any time.

This Agreement and the remote work arrangement are in the context of and subject to Lewis & Clark College’s Remote Work Policy for Staff.

EMPLOYEE INFORMATION

Employee Name:

Job Title:

Department:

Supervisor:

Arrangement requested by: __ Employee __ Supervisor

ADDRESS(ES) FOR REMOTE WORK:

Remote Work arrangement effective dates:

Start date:

End date, if applicable:

Indefinite?

REMOTE WORK SCHEDULE

Describe the schedule for remote work (e.g., the number of days the employee will work remotely, whether the days are fixed or flexible, whether there is any seasonal variation to the schedule, etc.):

Work Hours:

REMOTE WORK EXPECTATIONS

The expectation for a remote work arrangement is that the employee will effectively accomplish all of their regular job duties, regardless of work location.

Employee agrees:
  • To be available and responsive during scheduled work hours.

• That duties, obligations, and responsibilities as an employee working remotely are the same as employees working on Campus, including the obligation to respond to voicemail, email, and other messages in a timely manner.

• Remote work will occur only at the above-listed location(s) during the employee’s work schedule, unless the employee receives prior approval to temporarily work elsewhere.

• While working remotely, any time off or overtime will be pre-arranged according to department guidelines and consistent with the laws and policies that govern employment.

• To comply with all College policies and rules while working remotely.

Summarize specific expectations for this remote arrangement below. Additional rows may be added as needed.

Remote work agreements must be renewed at least annually. Temporary and short-term modifications to this agreement should be discussed between the employee and supervisor. Long-term or substantive modifications should be documented by revising this Agreement.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

By signing below, I acknowledge that

  • I have read and understand Lewis & Clark College’s Remote Work Policy for Staff. I understand that I will not be provided special equipment to work remotely.

  • I understand that I am required to comply with all timekeeping and overtime regulations defined by state and federal law (e.g., the Fair Labor Standards Act), applicable College policies, and/or collective bargaining agreements.

  • I understand that the work I do while working remotely remains subject to College policies.

  • I understand that work-related injuries at my Alternate Work Location during agreed-upon working hours may be covered by Workers’ Compensation. I am required to report any work-related illness or injury to my supervisor immediately and am required to fill out an accident report as an internal record of the incident within 24 hours of the event or claim as well as cooperate in any investigation.

  • I agree to maintain the confidentiality of all College information and documents and prevent unauthorized access to any College system or information.

  • I agree to follow secure computing practices as specified in Lewis & Clark’s Information Security Policy and Responsible Use of Technology Resources Policy while working remotely.

Employee signature: ______________________________________________________
Date: ________________

Manager signature: ______________________________________________________
Date: ________________