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AP 7239 Working Remotely

References:

None


It is generally the philosophy of Rogue Community College (“RCC”) that we work on campus because this is where our students and the community come to connect. The relationships built through on campus collaboration between all members of the college community are what makes RCC a special place to learn and work. Engaging purposefully across divisions, departments and programs provides opportunities to leverage resources and better achieve our mission. Innovation relies on creative collisions beyond formal meetings and classes, and we believe this is often best accomplished in person.

RCC recognizes that there are occasions or positions that benefit from remote work options. In these circumstances, remote work options can increase an employee’s productivity, mitigate the college’s environmental impact by reducing employee commutes, and support flexibility for employees. Remote work can also offer the opportunity to be more flexible in scheduling/interactions with the students we serve.

Working remotely is generally a mutually agreed upon option between the college and the employee in which the employee works at an alternate worksite, typically their personal residence; formerly referred to as “telecommuting” or “teleworking.” Employees may be approved for remote work on regularly scheduled days/hours of the work week or on an as-needed/flexible basis.

In the event of an emergency, RCC may assign employees to work remotely. These employees will be advised of such requirements by their supervisor or Human Resources. When possible, preparations should be made in advance. IT staff will be available to review equipment needs and to provide support to employees in emergency remote work situations.

Initiation of Remote Work
An employee should contact their supervisor to initiate a request for remote work options. After a thorough discussion regarding job responsibilities, department needs, scheduling, and equipment needs, if the supervisor approves, they will forward the request to the applicable Vice President or President and the Chief Human Resources Officer for review. Considerations include but are not limited to:

  1. Positions that are assigned duties suitable for working remotely.
  2. Employees who consistently demonstrate work habits that are well-suited to working remotely, including, but not limited to, self-motivation, the ability to work independently, the ability to meet deadlines, and a demonstrated record of meeting established performance expectations.
  3. Working remotely meets the college’s business and operational needs, as well as those of the students and/or customers (as applicable) and the employee.
  4. Alternate work location is within Oregon. Exceptions for travel or temporary circumstances may be made when in the best interest of the college and with the approval of the appropriate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. These exceptions will generally not exceed fifteen (15) working days.

Working remotely is a prerogative of the college, not an entitlement of employees. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis consistent with the mission of the college and the considerations listed above as well as those included in the Remote Work Handbook. If the request is deemed not suitable for remote work options, the college will provide a timely written response to the employee and supervisor.

Agreement
A completed Remote Work Agreement is required and must be signed by the employee, supervisor, applicable Vice President, and the Chief Human Resources Officer prior to the commencement of remote work. A copy of the agreement will be kept in the employee’s personnel file and may be reviewed as necessary. The completed Remote Work Agreement will address the following:

  1. Remote tasks/duties definitions and/or scope;
  2. Performance expectations and measurements;
  3. Remote work hours/schedule;
  4. Duration of the agreement;
  5. A list of any pre-approved expenses/purchases;
  6. If applicable, the method of handling, transporting and/or storing of confidential RCC information/data; and
  7. Acknowledgement of the terms and conditions below.

An agreement or assignment to work remotely may be discontinued by the college at any time. Reasonable notice will be provided where possible. Employees may request discontinuation of a remote work agreement in writing to their supervisor or Human Resources.

Compensation and Benefits
An employee’s salary and benefits will not change during a remote work arrangement except as they might have changed had had the employee remained on-campus e.g., regular salary reviews will occur as scheduled, and employees will be entitled to any college-wide benefit changes that may be implemented.

Work Performance
The performance standards and job requirements for employees working at alternate worksites will be equivalent to the standards used when the employees are working at the campus worksite. Nothing in the remote work procedure waives or changes standards of employee performance or behavior.

Work Hours
The total number of scheduled work hours are not expected to change during the remote work arrangement. Hourly employees are responsible for providing information to their supervisor regarding actual hours worked. In the event that an employee expects to work more than their standard number of hours, this must be approved in advance by their supervisor, just as any overtime scheduling would normally need to be approved.  Any leave requests must be submitted using the standard process as if the employee were working on campus.

Schedule
The schedule for the remote work arrangement will be documented in the completed Remote Work Agreement. Employee requests for schedule changes are subject to review and approval by the supervisor as they would be if the employee were working on campus.

Employees may be assigned to come to campus on days they were scheduled to work remotely. Supervisors will provide reasonable notice of scheduling changes where possible. The college may also require employees who work remotely to use a shared workspace when assigned to work on campus.

Communication/Availability/Responsiveness
Employees working remotely must be reasonably available and responsive to phone calls, email, and/or chats while working as they would be if they were on campus.

Office Supplies/Expenses
Office supplies will be provided by RCC with supervisor approval. Out-of-pocket expenses for other supplies will not be reimbursed unless prior approval is obtained from the supervisor. The college will not reimburse travel expenses to and from the campus. For more information, please reference the travel procedure. Employees are responsible for any costs to obtain and/or maintain telephone service for use while working remotely. Employees are responsible for any costs to obtain and/or maintain internet access while working remotely. The college is not responsible for costs associated with the set-up of the alternate worksite such as construction, renovations, heating/air conditioning, lighting, furniture, and/or electricity.

Requests for equipment or furniture as an accommodation for a disability should be submitted to Human Resources.

Computing Equipment and Other Work Materials
If access to college-based software or applications is necessary while working remotely, employees will work with IT/Help Desk to obtain applicable access. If college computing equipment is issued, it will generally include a re-purposed desktop computer, one monitor, mouse, keyboard, and headset. Employees are responsible for adhering to all requirements set forth by AP 3720 (Computer and Network Use) while using their own personal computing equipment and/or college-issued equipment to work remotely. Work-related data should not be stored locally on personal devices. Employees are expected to utilize a college-approved file storage service such as OneDrive, SharePoint, and/or network drives accessed via Remote Desktop to store any work-related data. If using personal computing equipment, employees must understand and agree that the college may access any documents and/or internet records used for college-related business purposes while working remotely.

Any equipment or supplies provided by the college are provided primarily for use on college assignments. The equipment and software may not be used by other household members or non-employees. College-owned software may not be duplicated except as formally authorized.

Employees utilizing college-issued computing equipment are responsible for bringing the equipment to campus for software and security updates as necessary per IT/Help Desk. Employees who use their own personal computing equipment are solely responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of their own equipment.

Employees are expected to take reasonable precautions to protect college-issued equipment from theft, damage, or misuse. Employees are required to contact their homeowner’s/renter’s insurance carrier to determine to what extent this property is covered under their existing policy. If RCC is not covered, employees must notify their supervisor.

Any college materials taken to the alternate worksite should be kept in the designated area and not be made accessible to others. In no case will an employee take proprietary or confidential materials home except with the approval of their supervisor. Employees are expected to ensure the protection of student, employee, and college information accessible from their alternate worksite.

Any equipment provided should be maintained in a safe and secured manner. Any college electronics should be connected to a properly-grounded electrical outlet and all wires kept out of walkways. If an employee has questions about the adequacy and/or safety of their alternate work area, they should contact their supervisor or Risk Management for guidance.

Any RCC equipment used by an employee working remotely will remain the property of the college and must be returned upon request in the case of an extended leave of absence, upon separation of employment, or if the remote work arrangement ends.

Employees working remotely must contact their supervisor as soon as practicable if equipment, connectivity, local power failures, or other supply problems prevent them from working. Employees may be required to work on campus or use leave as appropriate.

Safety
Employee health and safety is of utmost importance while working remotely, just as it is when working on campus. For this reason, employees are required to maintain a clean and safe alternate workspace. RCC has the right to visit alternate worksites to determine whether the workspace meets RCC’s safety standards. Such visits will be scheduled with at least 24 hours’ advance notice.

RCC is responsible for work-related injuries under Oregon’s workers’ compensation laws, but this liability is limited to injuries resulting directly from work and only if the injury occurs in the designated work area. Any claims will be handled according to the normal procedure for Workers’ Compensation claims. If an on-the-job injury does occur, employees must report it to their supervisor as soon as practicable and immediate access to the alternate worksite may be required by RCC and/or agents of the college’s workers’ compensation carrier. The college assumes no liability for injury at the alternate site to any other person who would not be in the work area if the duties were being performed on campus.

In-person Meetings
Employees will not hold work-related in-person meetings with students or co-workers at the alternate worksite unless approved by the employee's supervisor.

Dependent Care
Employees working remotely are expected to balance personal needs with work obligations and commitments. Employees should reasonably arrange child, elder, or other dependent care as needed to complete their work and actively participate in meetings and other college commitments during their scheduled work hours.

Tax Implications
It is the responsibility of the employee to determine any potential income tax implications of maintaining a home office area. RCC will not provide tax guidance nor will the college assume any additional tax liabilities. Employees are encouraged to consult with a qualified tax professional.

Rescinds Procedure Number: None

Approved: December 1, 2020

Revised: June 8, 2021
November 2, 2021