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Equipment and supplies for teleworking

Under UWHR telework policy, a teleworking employee must establish a safe work environment that is conducive to successful teleworking and is consistent with the guidelines outlined in the telework agreement. The telework agreement should be used to outline the materials, equipment and supplies the UW will provide and which will be provided by the employee.

If possible, centralize requests through a central administrator so that there is equity across your units and consistent tracking of the equipment going home with each employee.

EMPLOYEE AND DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Employer purchased and provided equipment

Materials, equipment, and supplies purchased and provided by UW remain the property of the University of Washington. The teleworking employee may only use this equipment for state business and must ensure University property is secured and that expectations for information security are met.

The UW is responsible for maintaining an equipment inventory, for the service and maintenance of University equipment, and for ensuring equipment is returned at the end of a teleworking arrangement. An employee may purchase necessary equipment, but if the employee is reimbursed for the purchase, the item belongs to the UW and must be returned at the conclusion of the telework arrangement.

Employee purchased equipment

Teleworking employees may receive an allowance (called a Remote work allowance, not yet configured in Workday) to cover one-time costs of equipment, supplies, or other materials. This allowance is considered taxable wages for the employee and items purchased using an allowance are not considered property of the UW and can be used for personal reasons.

APS 55.1 Mobile Device Use and Allowance Policy allows employees, including regular teleworking employees, to receive a monthly allowance for mobile devices.

Considerations

Departments can decide whether to provide an allowance to teleworking employees or provide the equipment (or reimburse the employee for purchased equipment), bearing in mind:

  • Whether the equipment can be easily reused by another employee when the teleworking employee no longer needs it.
  • That equipment decisions demonstrate consistency and equity within a department and are transparently communicated to employees.
  • That telework arrangements will not typically result in the duplication of office equipment.
  • Teleworking employees and their units will work together to ensure that home worksites are safe, productive, and ergonomically suitable.
  • Employees who use a UW-issued or personal mobile device or computer to conduct UW business are covered by all policies and laws that would apply to the activity, including public records law.

EQUIPMENT BY TYPE OF WORK ARRANGEMENT

The information below outlines minimum employer and employee equipment responsibilities by type of telework arrangement. For either type, the University assumes no responsibility for the teleworker’s expenses related to internet service, heating, electricity, water, home security or insurance, and usage of personal residence.

Remote work arrangement

The information below outlines minimum employer and employee equipment responsibilities for remote work.

Standard equipment to be provided by the UW to employees working remotely include equipment that the department would normally provide if the employee were working onsite at a University owned work location such as:

  • Computer or laptop
  • Peripherals such as keyboard, mouse, monitors
  • Office furniture such as a desk and chair

Additional equipment, which may vary by unit business needs may include:

  • Webcam
  • Phone
  • Headset or microphone
  • Power strip/extension cord
  • Printer
  • Sit/stand station
  • Office supplies
  • Ergonomic modifications (e.g., keyboard tray, glare filter, foot stool, etc.)
Regular/Hybrid work arrangements

Telework arrangements will not typically result in the duplication of office equipment. For regular/hybrid work arrangements where an employee teleworks for part of the workweek and works onsite part of the workweek, UW recommends the following practice:

  • Computer or laptop: If possible, provide the employee with a laptop and docking station at work, so that when teleworking, the laptop can be taken home and only duplicate peripherals may be necessary. UW does not provide duplicate peripherals for home use.
  • Peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitors, etc.): The teleworking employee may supplement their UW-provided computer with personal equipment if appropriate security/privacy measures are in place.
  • Office furniture: Employee uses shared resources and workspaces when in the office (may include docking stations with monitors, etc.). Home office furniture is not provided.

Exceptions, additional equipment, or modifications to this list may vary depending on your department’s telework program.  These guidelines do not address provision of equipment, supplies or other materials as part of reasonable accommodation for a disability under Administrative Policy Statement 46.5.