Telecommuting Policy

Definition

A Telecommuting arrangement allows an employee to be compensated for performing assigned responsibilities in a non-campus, non-University affiliated environment, typically their place of residence. Telecommuting requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, and are not a right or guaranteed. Final approval is granted and communicated by the Human Resources office.

Conditions Necessary to Consider an Employee to Telecommute

  • There is mutual agreement between employee and supervisor, with approval by vice president and Human Resources. 
  • Documentation of the arrangement is developed and submitted to Human Resources.
  • All or significant components of the work can be done remotely
  • The operational needs of the department are met.
  • The work is considered official University business.

Telecommuting may be requested and/or approved:

  • on a short or long-term basis.
  • for specific day(s) of the week, or on an occasional basis.

Approval Process

First, an employee should make the supervisor aware of the desire to telecommute. If the supervisor approves the telecommuting request, the next step is for the supervisor to complete the Telecommuting Request Form . Supervisor completion of this form indicates approval. Requirements include:

  • A brief description of the work to be accomplished while working remotely.  
  • Identification of job responsibilities which cannot be accomplished remotely, and will require on-campus presence.
  • An explanation of how the supervisor will monitor for reasonable productivity.
  • The beginning and ending dates for working remotely and the daily work hours; 
  • A telephone number where the employee can be reached during work hours.
  • A record of the university-owned equipment that will be used in telecommuting.

Evaluation of success and continuation of telecommuting arrangement will be evaluated as circumstances suggest, but no less than twice a year.

The request form should be filled out by the supervisor. The supervisor and employee will be notified by HR when the request is approved or denied.

Telecommuting Assignment Agreement

The telecommuting assignment agreement (signed by the employee and the supervisor) should outline the supervisor’s general expectations regarding work hours, productivity/volume of work, quality of work, timelines, and any allocation of University resources.   

  1. The employee must complete assigned work according to established procedures and within reasonable and/or determined timeframes.
  2. The employee will provide progress reports on a regular basis outlining work completed and work in progress.
  3. The supervisor is responsible for evaluating the work completed remotely and reviewing progress with the employee.  
  4. Regular feedback and communication should occur with the employee during the telecommuting arrangement. If the employee has not completed assigned tasks within the reasonable and/or determined timeframe, vacation or personal time may be charged after conferring with the employee.

At the conclusion of the telecommuting arrangement, an evaluation of the employee’s performance and the overall effectiveness of the telecommuting situation will be conducted and documented in the personnel file.  

Use of University Resources While Working Remotely

Equipment and supplies can be made available by the University on a case-by-case basis depending on the work to be done and the availability within the department or unit.

Neither confidential information nor original University records should be taken off campus.

Access to University resources through the IWU network should be done through an approved and secure method such as VPN.

A record of University-owned equipment used by the employee remotely should be developed and retained by the supervisor for inventory and control purposes.

Employees designated by the University administration may, with 24 hours’ notice, visit the remote work site to examine workplace safety, University equipment, supplies, and records in possession of the employee.

Employee Responsibilities for University Equipment, Supplies, or Records at the remote location. 

Care of the University-owned equipment, supplies, and records is the responsibility of the employee.

Copies of all records, papers, and correspondence must be safeguarded by the employee to protect them from unauthorized disclosure, loss, or damage, and for their return to the appropriate University location.

Release or destruction of any records is only done at the University location, according to statute and regulation.

The employee agrees to return such items to their appropriate campus location when no longer needed for the telecommuting assignment, or when otherwise requested by the appropriate official.

Equipment owned or provided by the employee is used at no cost or risk to the University and is maintained by the employee. Exceptions to this should be prearranged, documented, and approved by the supervisor and the appropriate vice president.

The employee is responsible for operating costs, maintenance, or any other incidental cost (e.g. utilities) associated with the use of his/her residence or other location.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged University Equipment

If University equipment is lost, stolen, or damaged, the employee agrees to participate in any investigation and to include the University equipment in his/her homeowners’ insurance claim.

Injury During Predetermined Telecommuting Schedule

Workers’ Compensation laws may apply if the employee is injured in the course of performing official duties at the alternative work location. The University is not liable for other property damage or bodily injury that results from participation in a telecommuting arrangement.