Working during COVID-19

Teleworking during COVID-19

As a part of UW’s move to modified operations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, departments have been urged to require telework eligible employees to telework and provide maximum flexibility to teleworkers. As a result of this necessary, temporary measure, telework is no longer just an option to offer, it is a necessary mode of work to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If an employee can telework, they should be teleworking.

While teleworking during COVID-19 should follow the existing telework policy, there are some key differences:

  • Departments may temporarily allow employees to telework who are in positions where regular telework is not normally possible. For example, customer and student-focused positions may temporarily be teleworking because clients and students are also not on-site.
  • While employees should strive to be available during normal work hours, teleworking during COVID must acknowledge that this goal may be affected by circumstances such as school closures and caregiver responsibilities. During modified operations, there is no prohibition on working from home with family at home.
  • Consistent with the direction of the President and Provost, organizational leaders and managers should provide employee caregivers with maximum flexibility allowable. Maximum flexibility includes the ability to telework, consistent with the responsibilities of the employee’s position.

Clear and consistent performance management principles should guide managers as they work with teleworking employees. Managers must hold staff accountable for performance, not their presence. However, consider that performance may look different right now. Our resilience as valuable members of the University community depends on how flexible we are in this moment of unprecedented uncertainty, disruption, and stress.