Telecommuting Policy

Last Updated: 
04/27/1999
Effective Date: 
04/27/1999

Responsible University Office And Contact Person

Reason for Policy: 

To set forth guidelines and procedures for administering telecommuting options for university employees.

Policy Statement: 

The University of Oregon endorses telecommuting when there are opportunities for improved employee performance, reduced commuting miles or university savings. Telecommuting is defined as work and transportation alternatives that substitute home-to-work commuting with the option of working at home or at satellite work locations for all or part of the employee's assignment. This policy applies to classified employees and officers of administration. Supervisors and employees are encouraged to refer to Office of Human Resources document "Telecommuting Guidelines" for more information.

Procedures and Requirements:

1. Telecommuting Agreement

  1. A University of Oregon Telecommuting Agreement must be signed by the employee, his or her supervisor, and dean/director/department head. Signed telecommuting agreements should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources.
  2. The employee, supervisor, or dean/director/department head may terminate the telecommuting agreement at any time with reasonable notice.
  3. Telecommuting is a voluntary option and does not include work at home due to temporary special conditions such as inclement weather, recovery from illness, caring for an ill family member, or caring for a newborn or newly adopted child.

2. Work Assignments and Supervision

1. The telecommuter and his or her supervisor shall mutually agree upon modes of communication (i.e., telephone, fax, network access, or e-mail).

a. A consistent schedule of hours shall be established. 

2. During established work hours, family care demands shall not compete with work except in the case of emergency. Telecommuting shall not be a substitute for day care. Other personal business shall not be conducted during scheduled work hours.

3. The employee may be required to attend department meetings. Travel expenses incurred by the telecommuter for campus meetings are his or her responsibility.

3. Work Space and Equipment

  1. A designated work space shall be maintained by the telecommuter that is conducive to working and free of hazards.
  2. Office supplies will be provided by the University of Oregon; however, out-of-pocket expenses for supplies normally available in the office will not be reimbursed. The University shall not provide office furniture.
  3. Generally, a telecommuter will provide their own telephone service, however departments may chose to pay for alternative or additional service.
  4. Generally, a telecommuter will provide his or her own computer equipment and software. Any arrangements otherwise must be approved by the dean/director/department head and a Property Receipt must be completed and submitted to the Office of Business Affairs for the use of university property at off-campus sites. Computers used for University of Oregon business must have acknowledged computer safety precautions (such as UL approved surge protector) and virus protection.
  5. University computer modem usage is limited to 14 hours per week. If work from home requires heavy computer use, telecommuters or their departments must buy modem access via commercial provider, departmental sponsored modem pool, or other evolving solutions approved by the university's Telecom and Network Service Departments.
  6. Telecommuters will not hold business visits or meetings with professional colleagues, customers or the public at home work sites; meetings with other UO staff must be approved in advance by the supervisor. Teleconferences are acceptable methods for meetings.

4. Conditions of Employment and Pay Status

  1. The criteria for evaluation of the telecommuter's performance shall be the same as for on-site employees.
  2. All employment responsibilities and conditions (e.g., compensation, benefits, vacation, rights, and privileges and disciplinary procedures) apply at the telecommuting site.
  3. Classified and non-exempt employees shall fill out time sheets indicating actual hours worked each day with breaks and meal periods taken as appropriate. Overtime work for non-exempt employees must be pre-approved by the supervisor.
  4. Classified employees shall be covered under all provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.

5. Work Site Safety, Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

  1. Because the employee's home work space is an extension of the university, the telecommuting employee is covered by workers' compensation insurance during the course and scope of employment, during the approved work schedule, and in the designated work location. The telecommuter is responsible for immediately informing his or her supervisor of any work-related injury or illness.
  2. To ensure safe working conditions exist, the University of Oregon retains the right to make on-site visitation of the home work space.

6. Liability

  1. Unless otherwise agreed in writing prior to any loss, damage, or wear, the University of Oregon does not assume liability for loss, damage, or wear of employee-owned equipment.

7. Security

  1. Restricted-access materials shall not be taken out of the office or accessed through the computer unless approved in advance by the supervisor.
  2. Telecommuters are responsible for making sure that non-employees do not access University of Oregon data, either in print or electronic form.

8. Assessment and Evaluation

a. A review process shall be established between the employee and supervisor to evaluate the telecommuting arrangements and to assure that work standards continue to be met. It is recommended that evaluation meetings be held at least every three months during the first year of the telecommuting agreement.

Reviewed and Approved By: 
President's Staff
Date: 
04/27/1999
Issued by: 
Vice-President for Administration
Revision History: 

02/08/2010 Policy number revised from 3.710 to 03.12.03

Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement