Telework Policy

The University has a formal University Telework Policy (HR Policy #805) covering Staff and AAP employees. Teleworking provides opportunities to improve work-life balance, reduce commuting time and costs, and enhance the University’s ability to attract and retain top talent.

While we are excited about this policy and the opportunity it offers to consider telework arrangements, please note that careful consideration must be given before requesting the ability to telework. Not all positions are suitable for teleworking, and anyone requesting to telework must provide a detailed description of the manner in which they will perform all of their duties without loss of efficiency or effectiveness. Telework related forms for the application process can be downloaded online. The decision to grant or deny a request to telework is at the discretion of the University. Further details and explanation are available in the Policy and other associated documents.

We encourage anyone who may have an interest in teleworking to talk to their supervisor before submitting a formal application. Managers and others who have questions or concerns may contact their HR Client Services Partner. Employees at the Doha campus should consult with the Human Resources unit at GU-Qatar for applicable forms and other information.

FAQ

Q: What is the University’s policy for Teleworking?

A: The University has adopted a formal Policy that permits local (Georgetown or Doha campus) Staff andAAP employees to telework if an application is duly submitted and approved, and a formal Telework Agreement is signed.

Q: Why has the University decided to establish a Telework Policy?

A: There are a number of reasons to support teleworking arrangements, including improving work-life balance, reducing costs and time lost in connection with commuting, reducing the University’s carbonfootprint, and enhancing the University’s ability to attract and retain a world-class workforce.

Q. What is the process for submitting an application to telework?

A: The Telework Application form must be fully completed and submitted to your supervisor. TheUniversity retains complete discretion whether to approve the request, deny the request, or approve someaspect of the request. Human Resources and the appropriate Vice President (or designee) also mustapprove the request for it to be granted. If the request or some aspect of it is granted, a formal Telework Agreement must be signed.

Q: What sorts of positions are best suited for possible telework?

A: Positions best suited for telework are those that require little face-to-face interaction, and for whichperformance results in specific, measurable work product. Other factors that may be considered includepotential impact on co-workers, whether the employee works with restricted data, financial or other burdens on the department, and consistency with other requests.Q. Are temporary or special employees eligible for teleworking?A. No. Eligibility is limited to regular and term Staff and AAP employees.Q. If my telework application is denied, will a reason be provided for the record?A. Teleworking is not a right, and it is not required that management specify in writing a reason for denying a telework application. Nevertheless, it is generally expected that your supervisor will discuss with you the concerns that were involved regarding the decision.

Q: If my position isn’t well suited for teleworking, is it possible for me to adjust my work schedule in another way?

A. Yes, with supervisory approval. University HR Policy 801 permits departments to establish a new workschedule for an employee if the scheduling needs of the department or employee change.

Q: My child is finished with school in mid-afternoon; may I telework so that I can be home when she is back from school?

A. No. Teleworking is not to be used as a substitute for personal needs such as dependent or elder care.

Q: What is a permissible reason to apply to telework?

A: The issue is not so much the reason for applying, but rather the circumstances that will exist when anemployee is engaging in telework. While engaging in telework, an employee must devote full attention tohis/her job duties, and not use telework time as an opportunity to be available for personal or family matters.

Q: How many days per week are allowed for telework?

A: There is no specific limit to telework schedules. Telework schedules must be assessed and approved bydepartmental supervision such that all duties and responsibilities are accomplished at or above existing levels absent the teleworking arrangement.

Q: If a University Holiday falls on one of my scheduled telework days, will I be able to make it up by teleworking on another day outside my normal telework schedule?

A: No. A telework schedule is not a guarantee of a set number of telework days; it is the establishment of aregular schedule of days upon which, generally speaking, you will be permitted to work remotely.Therefore, if a holiday falls on one of your telework days (and you do not otherwise have to work), itsimply means that you may observe the holiday on that day. Similarly, if it turns out that you arerequested to come to your campus work location on a day that is normally a telework day, it is notrequired that you be permitted to telework on a different day outside your normal telework schedule (although management, at its discretion, may make such an arrangement with you).

Q: If I am already teleworking, do I need to submit an application?

A. Yes. All existing telework arrangements must be submitted for approval in accordance with the Policy.

Q: If I am approved for telework, can the approval be rescinded?

A: Yes, all telework agreements are subject to annual review as well as termination at the discretion of the University.

Q: Will the University provide me with the equipment that I need in order to telework?

A: Possibly, although you may have to provide or use your own equipment. Details as to equipment neededto perform your job remotely must be agreed upon by you and your supervisor. It is your responsibility toensure the safe use of equipment and compliance with UIS and University confidentiality and other policies.

Q: If I telework, how will that affect my other terms and conditions of employment?

A. It won’t. All other terms and conditions of employment remain unchanged.

Q: Are there any other teleworking responsibilities that I need to be concerned about?

A: As stated in the Policy, and defined in further detail in individual agreements, teleworkers have a number of other responsibilities, including maintaining regular communication, returning to campus as requestedon what otherwise are telework days, establishing and maintaining a safe telework environment, abiding by all University policies regarding confidentiality and information security, and maintaining appropriateinsurance coverage for the telework location.

Q: As a manager, how will I know whether to approve or deny a telework request?

A: First you need to be sure that you understand the details of how the applicant proposes to perform all ofthe responsibilities of the job. Review the application and engage in a detailed discussion with theemployee. Remember that jobs requiring face-to-face interactions likely are not appropriate forteleworking. For example, an employee with receptionist responsibilities cannot perform those dutiesremotely. On the other hand, an employee who performs data entry duties in a manner that can be readilytransferred to University systems may well be able to telework, so long as appropriate measurements and arrangements are put into place. The bottom line is that the University supports reasonable telework arrangements, but all material components of the job must be performed at levels that equal or exceed those existing absent the teleworkarrangement. Customer service must be seamless. A good rule of thumb is that any colleagues outside thedepartment who work with a teleworker should not know that the employee is teleworking on scheduledtelework days. In addition, departmental colleagues should be able to consult and communicate with ateleworker as though no telework was being done.

Q: What if an employee who works with protected health information, or other restricted data, applies to telework?

A: If the employee will have to use, or access, restricted data while working remotely, you must carefullyconsider the risks. It is critical that you consult with UIS to understand the technical and equipmentrequirements necessary in such a situation, and that those requirements be specified in the TeleworkAgreement if telework is approved. In addition, if telework is approved, the employee will need to signone of two University Information Systems forms: (1) Information Security Requirements forTeleworkers; or (2) Requirements for Teleworkers Using PHI (Protected Health Information).

Q. What are my responsibilities as a manager if one of my staff members has a telework arrangement?

A: As the supervisor of a teleworker, in addition to ensuring that the work is appropriate for telework andthat a satisfactory Telework Agreement is in place, you are responsible for managing the teleworkarrangement, ensuring that all work is performed without prejudice or diminution due to the teleworkarrangement, maintaining regular communication with the teleworker, and including the teleworker in meetings and other interactions as appropriate.

Q: What if I approve a telework arrangement, and subsequently circumstances change, or it is determinedthat the telework is detrimental to customer service or achievement of other departmental goals?

A. The department has the right to terminate any and all telework agreements, so you should reassess allagreements and determine what changes are to be implemented to ensure that all responsibilities areachieved and goals are met as they would be without any telework agreements in effect.