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I searched the archives and have looked over some of the research on Educause online but didn't find an answer. Over the years our shop has allowed telecommuting a few days a week on a case by case basis due to after hours support and geographic distance from the main office. I was asked a question regarding how pervasive this was in higher education IT and frankly didn't know outside of our neighbor institutions in the state. I was wondering what other institutions have allowed part time telecommuting for their employees? This has become a pain point of sorts because other departments in our office have not embraced it and have employees that would like to. We have had a positive experience with it in general, but wanted to gather some additional data to justify. Thanks in advance, PC ----------------------------------------------------------- Paul Czarapata Interim VP Technology Solutions Kentucky Community & Technical College System 300 N Main Street Versailles, KY 40383 paul.czarapata@kctcs.edu ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Message from mahoneycutt@gmail.com

Though seldom used more than one day/week at a time
by my former staff members, I've never had a problem with telecommuting.
 
It comes down to:
 
Service - can the person provide the service the campus needs while working from home?
Be available to answer questions and attend meetings?
Accountability/Fairness - it should be easy to prove the person is working
the required number of hours and goals are being met.  Likewise, the reasons a person is allowed to
telecommute should be widely known because inevitably, another staff member
will want to also telecommute and not be allowed due to job requirements.
 
Mike Honeycutt
828-280-3676
 
==============
 
  
 



Message from dthibeau@post03.curry.edu

I have staff "on-call" 7x24 for "major" events. However, since everyone now gets their e-mail immediately on their smart phones, my staff are aware of other problems that occur. They often, late in the evening or on weekend respond to and correct these problems from home. Without providing them appropriate access they would not be able to do so. We feel that it is a customer service requirement to provide this level of service. We also don't discourage employees who are out sick from getting on-line and doing a few hours of work from home. We do not however have a policy that allows employees to work from home on a pre-scheduled or regular basis. In fact, the unwritten policy is just the opposite. In spite of this, we often do parts of major upgrades remotely. For example, with upgrade to our ERP system, much of the work can be done remotely, and since there are steps that take hours to run, but only a short time to start up, it allows employees to get the bulk of the work done from home, get somewhat of a good night's rest, and still complete the work on schedule. Complex, but it seems to work. Dennis Thibeault CIO, Curry College
While we do not have a continuing policy within the University for Teleworking, the IT department allows managers to use their discretion in the scheduling of staff - and that includes where physically they are permitted to perform their duties. Dennis very clearly described the situation I believe we all find ourselves in repeatedly and we need to have that flexibility. Where we are experiencing increasing difficulty is with using these options for FLSA Non-Exempt staff. Allowing these classified employees to work unmanaged at home and at non-business hours leaves the University open to claims for overtime that has not been approved in advanced or budgeted for. Education of our managers in this area is making them more aware of the issue but it is impacting their ability to schedule non-business hours stand by call rosters. Bill Paraska Director, Business Support Services Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) 404-413-4401
I have a similar situation to Dennis for my IT staff. No one officially telecommutes and almost everyone comes to the office every day but we do allow for a work at home day when a child is sick, a home repair is required or if there is bad weather etc. Almost all major upgrades are done from home for the reasons Dennis states, especially since they are done on weekends and often in the wee hours of the morning. A number of staff, including myself, have pretty significant drives to work, and in this day of technology I don't want anyone putting themselves at risk to make it to the office. We have also had people on work at home due to injury or illness for a period of time. I have another department who, before I took over, established a telecommuting policy and almost everyone (30+ people) telecommute 2 days a week. This is our online consortium comprised of technical staff, instructional designers, academic deans and chairs, business staff etc. I find a few issues with this although overall it seems to work. Meetings all seem to get jammed in on the one day a week everyone is supposed to be in the office (Wednesday). I see very little email or other meeting/chatter activity on days when most people telecommute. However, things seem to get done, so I have not made an issue of it. But I do find that a bit odd. The policy states that staff must come into the office as required, but trying to schedule an in person meeting on a Thursday is next to impossible. I also stopped allowing the carryover of "at home" days. If someone does have to come into the office 4 days one week, they do not get to carryover an at home day the next week. This was allowed earlier and is not appropriate. I do remind the staff that it is a privilege, not a right, to telecommute as no other department in our system has this opportunity. Other departments, especially the IT department, are not happy that this department is allowed to telecommute and they are not. But so far I have dodged that bullet as our President would be more likely to revoke telecommuting than add an additional department. I do suggest allowing a telecommuting day a week for IT periodically due the wage freezes we have had, but haven't been successful at expanding it. Our telecommuting policy does require staff to have specific and dedicated office space, connectivity and a telephone and they are intended to be working at home and available. I do find the telecommuting group very cohesive as a group and perhaps their overall ease of communicating online helps that process. I have pushed them for less siloed meetings and projects and that has probably increased the number of meetings on office days, but as I said the department does function well. I imagine that a few people do abuse it, but not to a blatant extent. If an employee has other performance problems their telecommuting privileges can be revoked and we have had to do that a couple of time and in both instances the employee was terminated eventually. A new employee has to earn the privilege of telecommuting, usually over a few months of initial employment. Julie Julie Ouska CIO/VP of IT Interim Executive Director CCCOnline Colorado Community College System Julie.ouska@cccs.edu (720) 858-2781 On 12/15/11 6:05 AM, "Thibeault, Dennis" wrote: >I have staff "on-call" 7x24 for "major" events. However, since everyone >now gets their e-mail immediately on their smart phones, my staff are >aware of other problems that occur. They often, late in the evening or >on weekend respond to and correct these problems from home. Without >providing them appropriate access they would not be able to do so. We >feel that it is a customer service requirement to provide this level of >service. We also don't discourage employees who are out sick from >getting on-line and doing a few hours of work from home. We do not >however have a policy that allows employees to work from home on a >pre-scheduled or regular basis. In fact, the unwritten policy is just >the opposite. In spite of this, we often do parts of major upgrades >remotely. For example, with upgrade to our ERP system, much of the work >can be done remotely, and since there are steps that take hours to run, >but only a short time to start up, it allows employees to get the bulk of >the work done from home, get somewhat of a good night's rest, and still >complete the work on schedule. Complex, but it seems to work. > >Dennis Thibeault >CIO, Curry College > >
This is a very timely discussion for me. As a matter of fact I am telecommuting today! At Portland State, sustainability has become core to our university. I sit on the university policy committee and recently raised the issue of our very outdated telecommuting policy. The policy is very strict, references outdated technology, and requires documenting a telework agreement in advance of any telecommute activity. This all feels absurd to be when we are very deliberately working to decrease our carbon footprint and are so space constrained that we have many people working in large noisy cube farms.

My intention is to rewrite the telecommuting policy to encourage the practice. We already use collaborate workspaces such as Google Apps and Elluminate when we are on campus. I often call in for an on campus meeting (from my on campus office) just to avoid losing 30 minutes of on campus commute time. In a sense, we are already telecommuting so I want to make it easier for folks to telecommute from home. I am wondering if anyone else has taken this approach and if there are some sample policies that could be shared. 

Thanks,

Sharon

Hi Paul, Our institution has flexible and tele- work options for all university employees. There are many, many excellent reasons, especially in northern Virginia, for offering this work option to our staff. And I am very pleased that the university has policies and processes that make these options as open to as many employees as possible. The policy is available here: http://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/2202adm.html The agreement between the employee and the university is here: http://hr.gmu.edu/forms/TeleworkRemoteWorkAgreement.pdf (I have one of these on file.) That said, however, there are some positions that are simply ineligible to participate in telework or flexible work because of the nature of their work responsibilities. I do find, as well, that if we really need staff to be available for meetings, they come in. We try to provide other options for staff to participate in meetings, including video conference, web conference etc. We also provide a resource site for university employees who telework. As we have multiple campuses at George Mason, it is possible that using such resources is more common among our employees, thus making the jump to telework less high. Best, Sharon At 12:16 AM 12/15/2011, Czarapata, Paul (KCTCS) wrote: >I searched the archives and have looked over some of the research on >Educause online but didn't find an answer. Over the years our shop >has allowed telecommuting a few days a week on a case by case basis >due to after hours support and geographic distance from the main >office. I was asked a question regarding how pervasive this was in >higher education IT and frankly didn't know outside of our neighbor >institutions in the state. I was wondering what other institutions >have allowed part time telecommuting for their employees? This has >become a pain point of sorts because other departments in our office >have not embraced it and have employees that would like to. We have >had a positive experience with it in general, but wanted to gather >some additional data to justify. > > > >Thanks in advance, > > > >PC > > > >----------------------------------------------------------- > >Paul Czarapata > >Interim VP Technology Solutions > >Kentucky Community & Technical College System > >300 N Main Street > >Versailles, KY 40383 > >paul.czarapata@kctcs.edu > >********** >Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE >Constituent Group discussion list can be found at >http://www.educause.edu/groups/. Sharon P. Pitt Executive Director Division of Instructional Technology George Mason University 416 Innovation Hall MS 1F3 Fairfax, VA 22030 703.993.3178 (W) 703.993.4544 (F) spitt@gmu.edu http://doit.gmu.edu To access courses, go to http://mymason.gmu.edu ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

 

From my stand point of tight budgets you have given me some great input on how to save funds. I can either contract for hire or buy a cloud service because there is no need for this position to be on campus.  My argument against telework is relationships with the broad campus community and these take place when you are on campus.  If it  is just about sitting in front of a machine messing with bits and bytes then lets save insurance cost, social security and other benefits and outsource.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Sharon Blanton
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 8:23 AM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] Telework Privileges in IT

 

This is a very timely discussion for me. As a matter of fact I am telecommuting today! At Portland State, sustainability has become core to our university. I sit on the university policy committee and recently raised the issue of our very outdated telecommuting policy. The policy is very strict, references outdated technology, and requires documenting a telework agreement in advance of any telecommute activity. This all feels absurd to be when we are very deliberately working to decrease our carbon footprint and are so space constrained that we have many people working in large noisy cube farms.

 

My intention is to rewrite the telecommuting policy to encourage the practice. We already use collaborate workspaces such as Google Apps and Elluminate when we are on campus. I often call in for an on campus meeting (from my on campus office) just to avoid losing 30 minutes of on campus commute time. In a sense, we are already telecommuting so I want to make it easier for folks to telecommute from home. I am wondering if anyone else has taken this approach and if there are some sample policies that could be shared. 

 

Thanks,

 

Sharon

Mike,

Just to be clear, I am not advocating for 100% telecommuters. I am advocating for making the process and policy create an environment where employees are fully supported in their desire to telecommute (on occasion). I would not reject 100% telecommuting in certain circumstances. For example, we have one employee, who for medical reasons, has been telecommuting for 5 years. I have a couple of positions that have been impossible to fill. We have seen a significant decrease in applicants from outside of the Portland metro area. Not many people can afford to sell their house and move the family across country any more. It is too risky a proposition and they can't get the money they need out of their home. If I can't find a qualified candidate that can move to Portland then I would much rather have a telecommuter filling the role rather than have the position sit empty.

Message from ppettit@mail.millikin.edu

I have attached a telecommuting guideline and agreement that we have just approved.  I have two employees that telecommute two days per week regularly.  They each live over an hour away and this is a real advantage for them to not travel everyday and is working out very well for the department.  We make sure they check in with their supervisor several times every day and log all their work.  They use IM, audio, and video software to communicate and share their desktop and applications with others.  We are looking at one of our staff who is moving out of state due to his spouse's job transfer and having him work entirely from home.  We have a considerable investment in training in these individuals and want to continue to benefit from that.
Telecommuting is working well for the positions we have tried.  Of course, not all jobs are suitable for this kind of situation but some IT jobs are very easily adapted to anywhere, as long as they have the tools to communicate.
 


 
 


CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This message along with any included attachments may contain information that is confidential and privileged. Unless you are the addressee (or authorized to receive for the addressee,) you may not use, copy, or disclose to anyone any information contained in this message. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and immediately delete the message and any attachments. Thank you for your cooperation.
>>> Sharon Blanton <sblanton@PDX.EDU> 12/15/2011 9:27 AM >>>
Mike,

Just to be clear, I am not advocating for 100% telecommuters. I am advocating for making the process and policy create an environment where employees are fully supported in their desire to telecommute (on occasion). I would not reject 100% telecommuting in certain circumstances. For example, we have one employee, who for medical reasons, has been telecommuting for 5 years. I have a couple of positions that have been impossible to fill. We have seen a significant decrease in applicants from outside of the Portland metro area. Not many people can afford to sell their house and move the family across country any more. It is too risky a proposition and they can't get the money they need out of their home. If I can't find a qualified candidate that can move to Portland then I would much rather have a telecommuter filling the role rather than have the position sit empty.

I have three employees that live about 3000 miles from campus. Two of them are programmers and the third is an instruction designer. It has worked out well. While I was at another institution, my DBA was about 14,000 miles away (in Asia). With VoIP and other technologies, many of the campus staff did not know he was actually not on campus. He did most of his upgrades in the evenings. When we are some serious issues that we could not solve, he would pick-up the pieces and continue the work while my staff in the states was sleeping. In all cases, the staff is familiar with the campus and was on campus for a while before moving away. When I owned my own business, we had staff in Europe and Asia. This allowed 24 hour support and systems management. We always had someone on staff to handle any emergencies. The management of the staff was bit difficult as I and others had to schedule our time very carefully. God bless, Sam. Sent from my iPad On Dec 16, 2011, at 3:00 PM, "Pat Pettit" > wrote: I have attached a telecommuting guideline and agreement that we have just approved. I have two employees that telecommute two days per week regularly. They each live over an hour away and this is a real advantage for them to not travel everyday and is working out very well for the department. We make sure they check in with their supervisor several times every day and log all their work. They use IM, audio, and video software to communicate and share their desktop and applications with others. We are looking at one of our staff who is moving out of state due to his spouse's job transfer and having him work entirely from home. We have a considerable investment in training in these individuals and want to continue to benefit from that. Telecommuting is working well for the positions we have tried. Of course, not all jobs are suitable for this kind of situation but some IT jobs are very easily adapted to anywhere, as long as they have the tools to communicate. CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This message along with any included attachments may contain information that is confidential and privileged. Unless you are the addressee (or authorized to receive for the addressee,) you may not use, copy, or disclose to anyone any information contained in this message. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and immediately delete the message and any attachments. Thank you for your cooperation. >>> Sharon Blanton > 12/15/2011 9:27 AM >>> Mike, Just to be clear, I am not advocating for 100% telecommuters. I am advocating for making the process and policy create an environment where employees are fully supported in their desire to telecommute (on occasion). I would not reject 100% telecommuting in certain circumstances. For example, we have one employee, who for medical reasons, has been telecommuting for 5 years. I have a couple of positions that have been impossible to fill. We have seen a significant decrease in applicants from outside of the Portland metro area. Not many people can afford to sell their house and move the family across country any more. It is too risky a proposition and they can't get the money they need out of their home. If I can't find a qualified candidate that can move to Portland then I would much rather have a telecommuter filling the role rather than have the position sit empty.
Sharon and all,

Have you found that you needed to pay attention to socializing telecommuting practices for those who are not telecommuting too?   For example, I often find myself reminding people who are in the office that just because someone is telecommuting is not a reason to wait until tomorrow to ask them a question and is certainly not a reason to postpone a meeting.  What have you found to be the most useful ways to keep communication going on the days when people telecommute?   Also, did you notice any shift from informal information sharing (in the office, over the cubicle, at the water cooler) to more formal information sharing (more meetings, notes from meetings, intentional checks about how needs to be informed)?   One of my staff mentioned to me some reading she'd done about corporations that had backed away from telecommuting because information was flowing less freely than it used to because their culture involved more informal information sharing.  I found that fascinating.

Joseph
Joseph Vaughan CIO/Vice-President for Computing and Information Services Harvey Mudd College vaughan@hmc.edu 909 621 8613 free/busy info at http://tinyurl.com/vaughanfreebusy
On 12/15/2011 6:22 AM, Sharon Blanton wrote:
This is a very timely discussion for me. As a matter of fact I am telecommuting today! At Portland State, sustainability has become core to our university. I sit on the university policy committee and recently raised the issue of our very outdated telecommuting policy. The policy is very strict, references outdated technology, and requires documenting a telework agreement in advance of any telecommute activity. This all feels absurd to be when we are very deliberately working to decrease our carbon footprint and are so space constrained that we have many people working in large noisy cube farms.

My intention is to rewrite the telecommuting policy to encourage the practice. We already use collaborate workspaces such as Google Apps and Elluminate when we are on campus. I often call in for an on campus meeting (from my on campus office) just to avoid losing 30 minutes of on campus commute time. In a sense, we are already telecommuting so I want to make it easier for folks to telecommute from home. I am wondering if anyone else has taken this approach and if there are some sample policies that could be shared. 

Thanks,

Sharon

We did have a conversation on the list back in 2009.  At that time someone shared this NIST guideline:
This was useful for security considerations.

Our university does not officially recognize work from home, likely due to risk.  Jobs require that an employee be in the office 40 hours a week; flexible scheduling is allowed.  FLSA non-exempt employees always work in the office.  Exempt employees can continue to work from home, but only above 40 hours;  you can't work from home to replace any of a normal 40 hour work week.    We just had one non-IT area get audited internally and a major time/pay fraud was uncovered, so I don't see anything changing soon.

I've really wanted to develop a policy and form based on what I see University of Michigan doing.  They describe all sorts of acceptable flexible work arrangements here:
The sample agreement main page is here:  http://hr.umich.edu/worklife/flexwork/telecommuting.html
The form for employees to sign is here:


Seems like they've thought about the safety and liability issues.  I don't know if there's anyone on the list from there who can comment on how it works for them.

Theresa

Viva la differance!!! between "a public" and "church related privates" whose mission is, you know, "to be kind!!!'"
 
Best,
Rob
 
 
Dr. Robert Paterson
Vice President, Information Technology, Planning and Research
Molloy College
Rockville Centre, NY
 
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Theresa Rowe [rowe@OAKLAND.EDU]
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2011 5:58 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] Telework Privileges in IT

We did have a conversation on the list back in 2009.  At that time someone shared this NIST guideline:
This was useful for security considerations.

Our university does not officially recognize work from home, likely due to risk.  Jobs require that an employee be in the office 40 hours a week; flexible scheduling is allowed.  FLSA non-exempt employees always work in the office.  Exempt employees can continue to work from home, but only above 40 hours;  you can't work from home to replace any of a normal 40 hour work week.    We just had one non-IT area get audited internally and a major time/pay fraud was uncovered, so I don't see anything changing soon.

I've really wanted to develop a policy and form based on what I see University of Michigan doing.  They describe all sorts of acceptable flexible work arrangements here:
The sample agreement main page is here:  http://hr.umich.edu/worklife/flexwork/telecommuting.html
The form for employees to sign is here:


Seems like they've thought about the safety and liability issues.  I don't know if there's anyone on the list from there who can comment on how it works for them.

Theresa

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