Employee Resources

Telework FAQs for Employees

These FAQs are provided to help employees in understanding expectations, implementing the new policy, and responding to employee questions related to USU Policy 330: Telework. If there is a conflict between the FAQs and the policy, the policy document will govern.

What are the different types of telework?

Regular Full-Time Telework: An employee works every workday at a location other than a USU location.

Regular Part-Time Telework (Hybrid): An employee works one or more workdays at a location other than a USU location and the remainder of the week’s workdays at a USU location (e.g., M-W alternative work location from home; Th-F work from USU workplace). The schedule is fixed to be the same each week to facilitate meeting schedules and other office activities.

Flexible Telework: An employee varies their work location throughout the week based on business and/or personal work/life needs, but works at least one or more days each week at the alternate location.

Surge Telework: Surge telework is for those positions that a dean/vice president and department head/director has identified as being able to temporarily telework on days where the Utah Division of Air Quality has forecast an air quality of “unhealthy” (red) or higher at least 48 hours in advance for that county/location. Since surge telework is expected to be temporary and infrequent, it does not require a formal telework agreement. USU positions that provide in-person services, or which have an in-place-duties requirement are not eligible for surge telework and will still report to their normal work location as scheduled.

What does it mean to telework?

Telework is a flexible work arrangement that allows an employee to work at an approved alternative work location other than USU for part or all of their regular work schedule.

What is the approval process for telework?

If employees are interested in teleworking, they should first talk with their supervisor. Your situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, considering duties performed and the impact on students, faculty, other staff, and the public. If approved, a Telework Agreement is required.

If I am approved for telework, can I work outside of Utah?

Telework should be performed within the state of Utah. Requests for an exception that would permit employees to telework from an out-of-state location for any period of time longer than 30 days must be recommended by the responsible dean/vice president and reviewed and approved by the telework eligibility committee.

How do I know if my position is eligible for telework?

Employees should communicate with their supervisor to determine if telework is appropriate for their position. Supervisors will consider position-specific tasks and performance expectations as well as the impact on students, coworkers, and the community we serve.

How will my performance be evaluated while I telework?

Supervisors are responsible to develop and clarify expectations regarding the monitoring of employee’s work hours, evaluating work performance, and ensuring accountability as they would normally do for an employee working in the office. Employees should work with supervisors to ensure clarity about performance expectations and maintain regular communication with their supervisor.

If I telework, can I work any time during the day or night?

You and your supervisor will agree on the number of days or hours for telework to take place each week, the work schedule, and the manner and frequency of communication.

I believe I can perform my job remotely, but my supervisor has denied my request for telework. What can I do?

Telework is a privilege, subject to university approval, and is neither a guarantee nor a university-wide benefit. USU permits telework arrangements, and when doing so it should meet the specific needs of both the department and the employee. If the department determines telework is not appropriate, they may deny a request to telework and should explain that rationale to the employee.

Can a telework agreement be revoked or cancelled?

Yes, if circumstances change and telework is no longer appropriate, the telework arrangement can be discontinued by and at the discretion of the department head/director and/or responsible dean/vice president at any time based on business and performance management considerations.

What are the requirements for my alternative workspace?

Employees who telework are responsible for establishing and maintaining an adequate and safe work environment. The employee is responsible for ensuring the alternative workspace is free of safety hazards and other dangers.

The employee is also responsible for establishing a work environment free of interruptions and excessive distractions that would affect performance and professional workplace conduct. See USU Policy 330: Telework section 2.3.3 Setting Up an Alternative Workspace.

What equipment will be provided to me for telework?

Teleworkers should coordinate with their supervisor(s) to determine if university equipment will be assigned. See USU Policy 330: Telework section 2.3 General Expectations and Conditions.

Will inspection of my alternative workspace be required?

No, inspection of remote workspaces will not be required. You are responsible for establishing and maintaining an adequate and safe work environment. However, USU reserves the right to inspect the alternative workspace to ensure safe working environment. See USU Policy 330: Telework, section 2.3 General Expectations and Conditions.

Will I receive compensation for my phone or internet bills if I telework?

USU is not obligated to assume responsibility for operating costs, home maintenance, or other costs incurred by employees in their alternative work location. USU may provide a communication allowance per USU Policy 518: Cell Phones.

Should I telework if USU has a delayed start or if the campus closes due to inclement weather?

Teleworkers should discuss the expectations for working during delayed starts or a campus closure day with their supervisors. Delayed starts and/or campus closures are more about safety at campus locations and may have minimal impact on teleworkers. Employees who can, or are approved to telework, may continue to work to ensure continuity of university operations.

What are my options if I’m either under quarantine or sick but well enough to work?

Employees should only come to work if healthy. Please work with your supervisor on a case-by-case basis to determine your options, which may include telework temporarily, taking available leave, or flexing your work schedule.

Will the expectations of work I perform, while teleworking, change from the work I perform on campus?

Unless otherwise specified in the Telework Agreement, the employee’s work status, job duties and responsibilities will remain the same due to teleworking.

What happens if I am unable to telework from home due to a power or internet service outage?

You are advised to find an alternative working location for the day, which may include coming to campus. If you have questions, coordinate with your supervisor.

Do I need to submit a Telework Agreement form if I’ve already been teleworking?

Yes. An official USU telework policy was implemented on 10/15/21. Prior to that time, all telework was done either ad hoc or under the temporary COVID policies. It is important for employees and supervisors to understand the responsibilities and expectations outlined in the newly implemented policy and adhere to those requirements going forward.

May I telework while caring for others at home?

Telework is not intended to serve as a substitute for child or adult care (exceptions may be granted for exceptional circumstances). If children or adults in need of primary care are in the alternative work location during the employee’s work hours, other arrangements must be made.