COVID-19: Remote Work Guidelines for Employees
Remote work can be useful in pressing circumstances, considering the continuity of task operations is imminent to the success of a business. This guide is just an example framework of best practices, key methods, and guidance in response to COVID-19 remote work for employees, including data that might be unique in relation to your present organization arrangement and strategy.
Key Considerations Checklist
- Priorities & Essential Work
Assess the obligations and needs of your staff’s positions and responsibilities, thinking about client/partner effects and the possibility of being able to finish as many tasks remotely (with or without changes). Discuss your ideas with your administrator or direct supervisor.
At the least, staff needs a PC, internet access, and a VoIP telephone or cellular phone. In the event you do not have company-issued equipment but do have a personal PC or laptop, this can be adequate for temporary teleworking. With that being said, you are responsible for following all organizational best practices to keep up-to-date security and malware protection on your device(s). Discuss options with your ISP or Cellular Company to see what they offer for temporary increases in use or overages to know if they provide any type of coverage due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Most companies will not reimburse for the cost of home internet and cellular phone bills, so this step is essential. Having homeowners or renters insurance on your equipment is also advised.
- Home Environment
Things to consider are your home environment. Is it conducive to complete your work tasks efficiently? Consider whether your home environment is conducive to remote work. Other circumstances to consider are the needs of other members of your home, any renovations being done in the home or neighborhood, and space to adequately accommodate your equipment. Ensure your family or other household members understand the circumstances to ensure limited disruption during your teleworking situation.
Check with your Human Resource Admin or Supervisor to get clarification on rates of pay and any expected changes during the time teleworking is in place. Typical questions could be related to classifications such as non-exempt employees, exempt employees, and whether overtime will be available.
- Contact Information
Ensure your direct supervisor has your correct contact information, including address. Be sure to update your information if any circumstance, location, or availability changes to ensure proper transmission of updates.
- Agreements & Expectations
Because COVID-19 was deemed a national emergency, and the swift progression the virus has made, most offices are not requiring approval to telework as part of their normal process. This may be different, and you should consult with your direct supervisor or HR admin to determine how they are approaching this. It is recommended to get your plan in writing so that you and your supervisors and team are on the same page regarding your whereabouts, duties, and anticipated duration. Get a confirmation that this is received before you depart.
Get clarification on meetings, including any required equipment such as a camera that may be necessary to accommodate attendance for meetings. See if management has already set up meetings in advance and if so, add them to your calendar.
- Time Tracking
Communication with your supervisor or HR admin on how you should track your hours.
- Remote Work Tips
- If you use video to attend meetings, be mindful of your location, persons in the vicinity, and privacy. Ensure that private or proprietary information is not being breached by outside parties.
- If you have never worked remotely, you may experience difficulties adjusting to this environment, especially if you are used to social interactions, or your job was physically engaging. Incorporate physical movement into your daily plan, take breaks, and have conversations with colleagues over the phone and not just family or household members.
- Choose a location in your home that will limit distractions and privacy breaches.
- Take regular breaks to walk, stretch, and get away from your screen.
- Stay consistent with your schedule where possible, work start times, lunch breaks, and end of work times.
- Setup your days to include social time, time outdoors, and doing regular non-work related activities.
- Maintain home and work-life boundaries to prevent overload and stress.
- DOL: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the FFCRA Notice
- Coronavirus IRS Tax Relief Page
- Employee Rights for FFCRA
- EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (EDD)
- CA UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI)
- CA PAID FAMILY LEAVE (PFL)
- CA STATE DISABILITY INSURANCE