FAQ’s: Remote Work During COVID-19

Do I need to complete the formal Telework Agreement form?

No. During the COVID-19 related events, “Telework”  will be referred to as remote work and normal telework agreement forms will not be required.  However, the University has a Remote Workspace Checklist that may help you evaluate your remote workspace.

Who is eligible to work remotely?

All UMBC staff are presently eligible to work remotely, including regular exempt and non-exempt staff, contingent I and contingent II employees, regular faculty, graduate assistants, postdoctoral fellows, student employees, adjunct faculty, hourly faculty, or any other employees whose duties can be accomplished via remote work safely and productively.

Will I be restricted from working remotely if I am also providing care to my children?

No.  The restriction on teleworking from home when caring for children or other dependents will be waived if the employee believes they can safely and productively work remotely while providing any necessary care.  It is also important for supervisors to be flexible with their employees during this time.

UMBC’s Workplace Learning & Wellness will be periodically providing tips and guidance for employees and supervisors during this time.  Please make sure to follow the UMBC Training group in myUMBC.  In addition, UMBC’s EAP though ComPsych GuidanceResources provides a toolkit for supervisors and employees to help navigate the unique challenges of working during COVID-19.

What if I am designated to work on campus during the COVID-19 period?

Some employees, based on the nature of their work, must work on campus to provide services that are critical to the operation of our physical campus, operations, and/or research.  These employees should work closely with their supervisors to make sure they are appropriately designated to work on campus.

No staff member who is immuno-compromised or otherwise considered by CDC guidance to be high-risk regarding COVID-19 will be required to work on campus. Community members over the age of 60, or those with CDC-recognized underlying conditions, can contact Human Resources at covid19hrresponseteam@umbc.edu on a confidential basis and to arrange remote work, if possible; use accrued sick or other leave, or receive an excused absence. See USM guidance.

What if I cannot work remotely based on the nature of my job?

Employees in regular and contingent II positions who are not on previously approved leave of any type and are in positions that are not appropriate for teleworking will be given administrative leave at this time.

Students will remain in a paid status through May 20, 2020.  Contingent I employees will remain in a paid status through the end of their contract period. Please see the Timesheet & Leave FAQ page as well as the COVID-19 Timekeeping and Instructions Reference Guide for timekeeping instructions.

I am a student worker, can I work remotely?

Student employees and graduate assistants are eligible for remote work at this time. They may be assigned remote work or alternative work assignments, and those who cannot work remotely will remain in paid status. Students should work with their supervisor to ensure they follow the COVID-19 Timekeeping and Instructions Reference Guide to properly record and submit time.

If am a graduate assistant, can I work remotely?

Graduate assistants will continue to be paid per their current assistant-ship agreement. Supervisors will provide guidance if the graduate assistant is able to fulfill their duties remotely. Graduate assistants may only come to campus if they have been pre-approved through the dean of their respective college. They should work directly with their department supervisor and/or graduate program director if they have specific questions.

If it is determined that I am eligible to remote work, how do I obtain the appropriate equipment and access to systems?

Employees should consult with their immediate supervisor regarding the equipment needed to perform their job remotely and access to systems. Additional guidance and resources can also be found at https://doit.umbc.edu/business-continuity/

If I am Remote Working, how do I access files and other systems that are not web-based?

DoIT has posted guidance on virtual desktop that may be helpful.  Employees should work with their supervisor to determine the level of access needed along with identifying and planning for any constraints.

Virtual desktop Instructions: https://wiki.umbc.edu/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=41190286

Web browser instruction from a chrome book:  https://wiki.umbc.edu/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=49610947