Hillmer: Updated information on telecommuting

This message was distributed to department chairs, center directors and administrators on 3/13/20.

Department Chairs, Center Directors, and Administrators:

On 3/13/20 the Office of Human Resources posted updated information on telecommuting.

On Friday, March 13, units in CALS should engage supervisors immediately and have them assess the capability of their employees to work remotely. Supervisors should be flexible and actively support employees working at home including working on special projects.

The ability of an employee to work remotely is determined on a case-by-case basis by considering the type of work performed, whether work functions can occur outside the employee’s physical office location, and if the employee has access to appropriate technology (e.g., computer, WiFi, VPN, Webex). Accountability measures should also be implemented for telecommuting including regular supervisory check-ins via technology (telephone, Microsoft Teams, etc.).

OHR has created an addendum to the telecommuting policy, which vastly streamlines the approval process for telecommuting. Under the addendum provisions supervisors just need to initiate a telecommuting agreement by sending an email to an employee that outlines the parameters of the telecommuting arrangement. An e-mail template is provided to execute the telecommuting agreement.

Here is a link to the original telecommuting policy.

Telecommuting arrangement memos do not need to be issued to faculty who will be working remotely due to the COVID-19 situation. We will interpret remote work options inherent in their appointments during this evolving situation.

Telecommuting agreements will still be required for faculty who are on sabbatical or working from a designated location which is long-term or due to other work related matters.

A few key reminders regarding remote connectivity:

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, see the UW-Madison COVID-19 website.

Carol Y. Hillmer
Associate Dean, CALS Human Resources