Telecommute FAQ

PAU Telecommute Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.  Who is responsible for approving an employee’s request to telework?

a. Employee would complete and submit Telecommute Assessment paperwork to their immediate manager for approval at which time the immediate manager then fills out the .   Paperwork includes the following, which can be found on the PAU portal: Telecommuter Self-Assessment, Telecommuting Feasibility Assessment.

 2.  Does an employee have a right to telecommute?  Could an employee be forced to work at home?

a. No, to both questions.  Subject to why management decides whether the employee can work off‐site, depending on the nature of the position and the characteristics of the employee.  Management has the right to end an employee’s use of the option to telecommute if, for example, the employee’s performance declines or if the arrangement no longer meets the organization’s needs.

3.  What about telecommute employees during emergency closures?   Do they still telecommute?

a. PAU policy is that all employees, including telecommuters, who are designated as “emergency employees” should report to or remain at work.  However, other telecommuting employees should follow the same procedures as their non‐telecommuting colleagues.

 4.  Will an employee’s work suffer without direct, on‐site supervision?

a. The opposite is more often the case, partly because the employee working at home has fewer interruptions and distractions, and partly because the individual has a strong incentive to demonstrate the value of working at home.

 5.  How can a supervisor monitor work performance when the employee is not physically present?

a. Managers can measure what the employee produces by examining the product or results of the employee’s efforts.  It is also helpful to use project schedules, key milestones, regular status reports and team reviews.  Managers may call employees who are working at home any time during work hours.

6.  What equipment will the employee need at the home‐based worksite and who will provide it?  

a. All equipment used for telecommuting will be PAU furnished equipment.  Management will decide what equipment will be issued on a case by case basis depending on the criteria of the employee.

7.  Who is responsible for maintaining and servicing the PAU furnished equipment used at the alternative worksite?

a. IT Support (Service Desk)/Facilities Support will be responsible for the service and maintenance of this.

 8.  Who does the telecommuter call if they have a problem getting into the system or with the equipment itself?

a. All problem calls should be directed to the IT Support Service Desk for resolution, 650‐433-3832, between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00pm.  Normal procedures will be followed for all resolution as if the employee was at their official workplace. 

9.  Are business calls made from the home reimbursable?

a. An employee may be reimbursed for business‐related long distance phone calls made on their personal phone.  Standard expense form will be used for reimbursement of long distance telephone calls approved by the Manager per PAU Policy.   

10.  How will computer updates be done?

a. It is the responsibility of the telecommuter to make an appointment to bring their computer into their official workplace when computer updates are required.

11.  Will I have to bring in the equipment or will there be at home service for technical support?

a. The telecommuter will have to bring the equipment into their official workplace for problems that cannot be resolved over the phone by the IT Support Desk.  

12.  Will the workstation at home mirror the workstation at PAU, the same abilities, security in place, etc.?

a. Yes, the workstations will have the same standard image, any special software needed that has been approved for working off‐site, security software, and configured with virtual private network (VPN) for communications back to PAU.  NOTE:  In most cases, the workstation being used at the official workplace (portable laptop) will be the workstation used at the alternate work site.

 

13.  What is the minimum/maximum time allowed for Telecommuting?

a. At the present time, Management has agreed each telecommuter will be on different schedule approved by their immediate manager, depending if the telecommuter is on the time share or co-habit plan.  The telecommuter’s immediate manager is the approving authority in determining this factor and each request will be considered on a case by case basis.

14.  Who is eligible for Telecommuting?

a. Job duties were surveyed and reviewed by the Manager and HR, using a specific criteria to determine if the position would qualify to telecommute.  Management determines which positions will be eligible for telecommuting.  Suitable employees occupying eligible positions will be offered the opportunity to participate in the telecommuting program.

15.  How much notice does a manager have to give a telecommuter if they decide to terminate their privilege?

a. Management shall provide 30 days’ notice prior to canceling an employee’s participation to allow sufficient time for the employee to reestablish arrangements for commuting to work, or for child/elder care, etc.  NOTE:  Although telecommuting will give some employees more time for their family responsibilities, they may not use duty time for providing dependent care or any purpose other than official duties.  Failure to adhere to this shall be sufficient reason for a manager to terminate an employee’s participation in the telecommute program.

16.  Can a Manager deny telecommute privileges if they deem the alternate work site is unsafe?

a. Yes, a manager may deny an employee the opportunity to participate or may rescind a telecommuting agreement based on safety problems or suspected hazardous materials in the home.  The manager may also inspect the home office for compliance with health and safety requirements when deemed appropriate.  

17.   Will PAU pay for communication services and extra charges encountered for the alternate work site?

a. TBD at a later time

18.  Can telecommuters take home confidential and or important original documents?

a. No, the telecommuting employee cannot, if they need to use any dept. documents to do their work, then they will have to come into the office to do so.

19.  How much time should be given to a telecommuter if needed to come into office on work from home day, if called in for emergency?

a. The telecommute should be able to get into work as soon as possible, but no later than 2 hours after being notified to come into the office. 

 
 
 

Contact

1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Phone: (800) 818-6136 Fax: (650) 433-3888

EMAIL ADDITIONAL CONTACT INFORMATION

MAPS

 

Social

Twitter Icon Facebook Icon LinkedIn icon YouTube icon Tintup icon