Working Remotely

Information for Supervisors

In response to COVID-19, formal telecommuting agreements are not required at this time for remote work arrangements. The Office of Human Resources wants to offer guidance is to help supervisors, employees, and departments set up temporary remote work arrangements quickly and successfully.

If remote work is appropriate, supervisors and employees need to consider:

  • Expectations for working from home. Supervisors will talk with their employees about how they can work from home, including their work hours and technology, plus access to information needed to carry out the work. A Remote Work Agreement is available to help document the expectations for working from home during this period.
  • Supervisors should engage and communicate regularly with the people who report to them. Additionally, supervisors should define the channels for communications with individuals and groups. With proper planning, communications problems associated with remote work can be minimized.
  • Needs will change as the situation evolves. Supervisors and their direct reports will need to remain in close communication while working remotely.

The University has recommended these best practices for managing remote workers.

Tips for Working Remotely

Prepare your home work location. Be sure you have access to the UMN network via VPN and review your two-factor authentication preferences. You may need to update your Duo settings to accommodate working remotely. For example, if you currently opt to use a landline phone, you may wish to add a mobile phone number as an option.

The Office of Information Technology has a page dedicated to resources for working remotely including connecting to the network with VPN, accessing systems with DUO, scheduling a Zoom meeting, and collaborating with Google.

The Disability Resource Center provides digital accessibility resources and best practices, accommodations/access information for instructors who have students with disabilities in their courses, and Disability Resource Center related FAQs. Students are also encouraged to work with the DRC and their instructors if they need accommodations.

We recognize this is a stressful time for many University faculty and staff

If you are unsure about how to cope with these changes or feel overwhelmed and want to talk with someone, free and confidential counseling is available through the Employee Assistance Program through Sand Creek. This program provides access to counselors, including 24/7 access to a Sand Creek clinician if the need is urgent. The plan covers employees in the UPlan health coverage. Additional community resources for those not in the UPlan are available on OHR ‘s Mental Health Resources page.

Be sure you're connected. Internet connection will be key for maintaining your ability to do work outside of the office. Check with your provider to ensure your connection speed is good. Some internet providers are offering services for those with limited internet access.

Keep your typical routine. Wake up at a similar time, get dressed, eat a healthy meal.

Set up a dedicated space for your work. This can help you reduce distractions and get into the proper frame of mind for completing your tasks. Create a workspace that supports your body with tips from the Work-from-Home Ergonomics Fact Sheet.

Check-in with your team and colleagues frequently. Whether through email, zoom, or chat, maintaining regular communication is the only way to continue to move work forward smoothly and efficiently. Plus, connecting with colleagues can help us to remain engaged and connected while working in different locations.