By Sandy Bryan, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Cochise College
Thank you for stopping back in to learn a bit more about Remote Working, or Telework, or Telecommuting, or Remote Employment. A job, by any other name….
Last month’s article laid the groundwork for our decision to explore a telework partnership with an analyst who was leaving the area due to her spouse’s relocation. This month I’d like to share with you the results of my research about this type of working arrangement.
I learned that considerations for continued employment fell into three general areas: benefits (health insurance), facilities/equipment/supplies, and working conditions. Below is an outline of these areas and the concerns I encountered within each.
Benefits: Compensation In Lieu Of Healthcare
The healthcare system in our state is not transportable to other states except in the case of emergencies. Since my analyst was moving out of state, I had to consider alternate healthcare benefits to stay in line with federal mandates and to ensure she was receiving full compensation for her work.
Search the internet with the phrase “compensation in lieu of benefits” to find out more about this alternative.
Facilities, Equipment, and Supplies
The employee provides a personal and appropriate space for the job function.
The college provides the employee with the necessary equipment to perform the job function. Network access to the employee’s computer will be provided to college Information Technology technicians to upload, install, and configure all necessary software. At a minimum, the college will provide and update a computer with the following, as necessary:
- Startup and System Password Protection
- Up-to-date operating system
- Task software (Microsoft Access, Excel and Word, FTP, Teamviewer, Oracle, Java, Zoom, Security, SQL Developer)
- Camera and microphone to facilitate Zoom meetings
We asked the employee to provide:
- Internet connection – minimum connectivity of 20-25 mbps download speed
- Appropriate surge suppression for computer
Secure storage environment for equipment/files
A secure FTP site will be established by the college and utilized for exchange of documents. College-related data will not be stored locally, either printed or in electronic format.
Office and printing supplies
The college should provide a stipend to compensate the employee for office and printing supplies.
The college should provide a stipend to compensate the employee for use of a personal cell phone during working hours.
- Equipment may not be used for personal purposes.
- The employee is required to participate in multiple weekly Zoom meetings.
- The employee is required to make a minimum of four trips annually, up to 3 days each, to campus, reimbursable up to the cost from the home of record. Convocation and Commencement will be two required trips; the remaining trips will be at the discretion of the Dean. Trips will typically coincide with major project planning/completion or provide professional development. The number and length of trips can be flexed depending on the distance the employee will need to travel.
- The work schedule will be similar to an on-campus work schedule, with flexibility for time zone changes.
- The employee must be reachable via telephone, within reason, during agreed upon work hours.
- The employee must notify the supervisor if the employee leaves their working location.
- The employee must agree to call in to the college’s voice mail system to retrieve messages at least 2 times per day.
- The employee is required to complete a Confidentiality agreement.
- The employee is required to follow established security protocols.
- The employee follows an established calendar of recurring task responsibilities.
- The employee works to meet established goals, including clear due dates, common processes to follow, and established deliverables.
With some minor tweaking, most of the above items were included in the employee’s Telework Contract. This contract is separate from the annual college employment contract and may be terminated by either party with a 30 day notice. A longer notice period was established so there is additional time for the college to receive its computer, close down any accounts, and other tasks that take longer given the distance. Both the employee and I appreciated the extended time frame.
Watch for a final post in the coming months about how things are working out!