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COVID-19 Interim Telecommuting Guidelines

The University is implementing short-term telecommuting as an appropriate option for staff during the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation. These Telecommuting Guidelines are to be used only during this public health situation, as defined and communicated by the University.

Essential Personnel

Essential employees are expected to report to work in the event of University closure or other extraordinary circumstances. In extreme circumstances, essential employees may have legitimate reasons for being unable to report to work. These employees should contact their director to address their individual needs. Human Resources & Talent Management (HRTM) will be available to directors for consult.


Divisional leadership and department directors will work with employees to establish a telecommuting work plan. If an employee cannot perform their essential tasks remotely, supervisors should contact their divisional vice president, who will consult with HRTM. When establishing a work plan, supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their departments perform critical work to maintain operations. Department directors & immediate supervisors should be in regular communication with their employees during the telecommuting assignment so that all parties are apprised of business demands, challenges, and needs.

Expectations for All Employees

Telecommuting employees are responsible for fulfilling the expectations agreed upon in the established work plan created with their department director and/or supervisor. In addition to the documented expectations, the following should be included in the work plan:

  • Duties, responsibilities, and/or projects to be performed, inclusive of any necessary deadlines.
  • Hours of work (contractual breaks, overtime, and other wage & hour requirements apply).
  • Hours of availability to communicate regarding University business.
  • Communication of work assignments and personal needs, including reporting absences due to injury, illness, or caring for a family member.
  • Completion of timesheets per University policy by established deadlines.
  • Appropriate use of university equipment and materials.
  • Protection of University data by following the University’s policies governing information security, software licensing, and data protection; ensuring that unauthorized individuals do not access BSU data, either in print or electronically; and do not access restricted-level information in print or electronically unless approved by the supervisor and protected by policy-compliant encryption and/or physical controls.
  • Maintain a safe environment in which to work.

Expectations for Department Directors & Supervisors

Department directors and supervisors should communicate specific expectations to individual team members based on each person’s circumstances. To ensure that the telecommuting assignment is mutually beneficial for both the University and staff members, planning and communicating expectations of the telecommuting assignment is crucial. Department directors & supervisors should be in regular communication with their employees to address tasks, projects and ongoing needs of the department. If an employee requires an accommodation to perform the essential functions of their position, the department director or supervisor should direct the employee to the Office of Equal Opportunity.

General Agreement

Employees must comply with University rules, policies, practices, and instructions. Short-term telecommuting in extraordinary circumstances does not change the basic terms and conditions of employment with the University. Telecommuting assignments do not change an employee's classification, compensation, or benefits. The policies applicable to leave and accrual use shall be applicable to all benefited employees, regardless of telecommuting privileges.

Employees will be solely responsible for the configuration of, and all expenses associated with, the telecommuting workspace and all services. This includes ensuring and maintaining an ergonomically appropriate and safe telecommuting worksite.

All injuries incurred by employees during the performance of official duties and during working hours must be reported promptly, and applicable Workers’ Compensation laws will apply. While telecommuting, employees are required to maintain a safe working environment.

Telecommuting privileges for employees during this limited time period shall be reassessed periodically and not later than 30 days from implementation. Telecommuting privileges can be canceled at any time and for any reason by the University.

The University has the sole discretion to amend, modify or replace these Telecommuting Guidelines at any time and for any reason.