The experience with remote work gained during the 2020-21 COVID pandemic provides the opportunity for the university to re-examine how work is carried out in the future. Flexible work arrangements may be amendable while still meeting the needs of the unit and the university.

The university had created a Teleworking Policy that will outline the specific arrangements for a teleworking agreement. Teleworking is typically approved following demonstration of proficiency in the work and the ability to effectively perform remotely and is formalized in a written agreement between a supervisor and employee (Refer to the CSU Teleworking Policy and the Application and Memorandum of Understanding.) These agreements are a privilege and are not subject to the grievance procedure.

Eligibility and suitability of employees to participate in teleworking will vary among departments and business units, depending on the function and responsibilities of the unit and the employee. Therefore, each department/unit should determine whether there is a minimum complement of employees or specific positions that must work at a CSU designated worksite on a given day to function effectively.

The following questions should be used to spark dialogue within a team/department about teleworking arrangements. The information gathered can be used to co-create the future of the team’s environment. It will be imperative for coworkers to remain open to feedback and make adjustments to find an optimal arrangement where the entire team can thrive.

Start with what we have learned:

What have we learned during the past 18 months about working remotely?

  • What has worked well?
  • What has been challenging?
  • What is changing as we shift this fall to returning classrooms to full capacity?

What do we know about those we serve and support in our team/department? What are the needs of the people we serve?

  • What are the touchpoints that need to be face-to-face with students, external clients, and the public?
    • How frequently is this interaction necessary?
  • If an on-site presence is necessary for specific responsibilities, are there sufficient qualified employees available on-site on a given day?
  • When deemed necessary, what kind of schedule is required to ensure in-person coverage?
    • What impact would a rotation or flex schedule have on those we serve?

What are the needs of the team/department/unit?

  • Is face-to-face interaction and coordination of work with other employees needed?
    • If yes, how frequently is this interaction necessary?
    • What impact would a rotation or flex schedule have on the team/department/unit?
  • Are coworkers with similar roles and responsibilities allowed to work remotely?
  • What norms and protocols do we need to establish for teleworking?

Individual Roles:

  • Does an accurate, up-to-date job description list in-person presence as an essential function?
  • Does the nature of the work lend itself to working remotely? If so, for what percentage of the time?
  • What routine responsibilities/tasks cannot be fulfilled while working remotely, and how will it impact operations or other people? What are ways to reduce the impacts?
  • Do the employee’s duties require access to equipment or tools that are not available outside the workplace?
  • Does the employee need immediate access to documents or other information located only at work?
  • Can the supervisor adequately supervise the employee remotely?
  • Has the employee in question teleworked during core business hours in the past “without any attendance issues or decline in work product”?
  • What events or meetings scheduled throughout the year would this work arrangement impact?
  • Do other units have individuals with similar responsibilities who can work remotely? Is this different than the preferred approach in our unit? If so, how will we address the perceived ‘fairness’ issue?