Faculty and staff shifting to work from home

D

ear Fellow Bobcats,

We’re living through an unprecedented health crisis that is stressful and upsetting to all of us. There’s no doubt that our lives have been upended for a while. Our focus at the university is on safeguarding the health of our community so we minimize the impact on the Quinnipiac family and do not add further burden to an already stressed health care system. We also are making sure that our students continue their academic progress without interruption. That’s why we quickly moved, last week, to prepare for online delivery of all academic programs starting March 18. 

As we follow the recommendations and urging of government officials to try and slow the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are asking all Quinnipiac employees who have the capability to perform their job duties remotely to shift to a work-from-home arrangement. This is effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. Below are several important resources to assist our employees in the transition to work from home, as well as health and benefits-related services to support our faculty, staff and their families. 

Working remotely
We will shift largely to virtual university operations, which will enable us to continue supporting students’ academic needs, while significantly minimizing the density of our on-campus workforce. We ask that employees contact their supervisor to confirm their work-at-home status, and that they have the necessary technology to work remotely. All employees working from home are expected to continue fulfilling normal job duties and hours, and to make arrangements at home that support regular work performance and hours.

Individuals may return to their office to gather any necessary materials to support working from home. If some employees prefer to continue working on campus, they are permitted to do so but are expected to practice responsible social-distancing measures. Some employees may need to continue coming to campus based on their job responsibilities, but our goal is to have as many employees as possible working remotely. Under no circumstance should you leave the house if you are feeling unwell. 

We also are asking supervisors to assess whether certain employees have extra capacity or time given the reduction in on-campus activity, and whether those employees can be shifted to perform other duties in support of business continuity. 

  • Technology resources – please visit the Information Services page on MyQ for tools and resources that will support your transition to working from home.
  • Tips for working from home – please review our Quinnipiac University Remote Work Expectations & Guidelines, outlined below (download as a PDF)
  • University updates – all employees should regularly check our COVID-19 website for the latest information about QU’s efforts.

Health and Wellness Resources

Supporting our employees’ physical and mental well-being is a vital priority, and we encourage individuals and their families to take advantage of the many support services available to them.

HealthAdvocate
HealthAdvocate is an employee assistance program that provides a variety of physical and mental well-being services. 

Virtual Doctor Visits
Anthem recommends members use telehealth when possible, as it can help prevent them from spreading a virus further within a physical clinical setting. Anthem’s telehealth provider, LiveHealth Online is a safe and effective way for members to see a doctor to receive health guidance related to COVID-19 from their homes via smart phone, tablet or computer-enabled webcam.

NurseLine
Anthem also offers a telephonic NurseLine, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak with a registered nurse about any of your health concerns. Spanish-speaking nurses and translators are available. TTY/TTD services are available, too. 

  • Anthem 24/7 NurseLine: 1-800-337-4770

If you have any additional questions about either Quinnipiac’s work-from-home policies or benefits-related health and well-being resources, please contact Human Resources at 203-582-6486, or email humanresources@qu.edu

I want to thank the many members of our Bobcat family who are working tirelessly to make sure that we stay healthy and continue the work of the university. You are all on the team, doing your share, and more, to assure that Quinnipiac shines in this moment of challenge. Quinnipiac University will weather this challenge, and we will be even stronger as a community, together.  

This is when the power of “we” is so important. We have crucial work to do – each of us – to take care of our students, of each other, and to care about a much bigger “we” because of the impact we each have on the lives of many others. Thank you for being so committed, caring and strong.

Take special care,

Judy Olian
President, Quinnipiac University

Remote Work Expectations and Guidelines

March 16, 2020, until further notice

To safeguard the health of the Quinnipiac community and that of our neighbors, we are moving to significantly reduce the number of people present on campus. Medical experts suggest that social distancing and careful hygiene are key in reducing the contagion of the coronavirus. The healthier we are, the lower the burden we impose on our already strapped health care system, or the risk we impose on our neighbors. Accordingly, we are asking those who can to work from home while assuring undisrupted online delivery of our full set of academic programs and continuous operations of the university.  

The following guidelines will help faculty and staff work successfully from home or other remote locations. Note that these measures are temporary and – pending further guidance from the university – will be in effect from March 16 until further notice. In some instances, employees may prefer to continue working on campus. They can do so only after receiving permission from their manager and must practice responsible social-distancing measures. A short list of FAQs follows these guidelines. 

Tips and guidelines

Tips for successful telework:

  • Establish a routine similar to your normal workday.
  • Avoid procrastination – have a schedule for the day and stick to it; set deadlines.
  • Establish a work space that minimizes disruptions while you are working.
  • Take regular breaks throughout the day.
  • Set ground rules with other household members about when and why you can be interrupted when you are working.

Communicate:

  • All staff must clearly communicate their work-at-home schedule/status to their supervisor.
  • Supervisors should keep track of who is at the office, and who is remote on a daily basis.
  • Supervisors should collect current team contact information.

Set performance goals: 

  • Clarify unit/team/individual goals.
  • Agree on expected deliverables and metrics of success.
  • Ensure that everyone understands expectations/performance outcomes.

Observe core hours: 

  • Working your normal business hours and coverage is expected during this time.
  • Staff should take breaks and lunch hours as they would in the office.

Establish coverage and communications procedures:

  • Ensure you’re monitoring your phone during normal business hours.
    • Share team phone numbers with each other.
    • Check voicemail via Outlook or cell phone.
  • Establish protocols for virtual attendance at staff and other meetings.
  • Schedule regular check-ins with team members and direct reports.
  • Observe existing expectations about after-hours emails (i.e., don’t send/expect email responses after business hours unless urgent).

Observe regular sick/vacation reporting protocols: 

  • Sick and PTO protocols remain the same; report any PTO or sick time to your supervisor.
  • Isolate at home if you are feeling sick. If you need to self-isolate at home or be quarantined due to possible exposure to an individual known to have COVID-19, rest assured that the university will continue to pay you for that time away from work, even if you have exhausted your paid sick leave. Your health – and the well-being of the rest of our community – are vital at this point and are our most important priorities.
  • Specific benefits-related questions, including additional resources, such as the Employee Assistance Program and LiveHealth Online, should be directed to Laura Lepeska, director of benefits, at laura.lepeska@qu.edu

Prepare yourself for remote technologies and troubleshooting:
Please visit the Information Services page on MyQ for tools, resources and support for your teleworking needs.

Other important online resources: 

FAQs

The university’s COVID-19 website has an informative FAQ section, including information relevant to students and faculty, as well as staff. Here are some additional Qs and As:

Am I able to return to campus to retrieve what is needed to perform my duties from home?
Yes, you can return to your office, but we encourage you to retrieve your belongings and return home.

Can I return to campus and work in my office since no one else will be there?
We are encouraging all employees to work from home and not come to campus. Employees who prefer to work on campus can do so only after permission from their manager, and they must practice responsible social-distancing measures. Some employees may need to continue coming to campus based on their job responsibilities, but our goal is to have as many employees as possible working remotely.

How can I log in to Kronos to record my time?
If you have VPN on your laptop, you can log in as if you were on campus. We are working to lift the IP restriction. Once lifted, you will be able to log in through qutime.quinnipiac.edu

As a manager, how will I log in to Kronos to approve timecards?
If your employee has not been able to timestamp, you should request their hours be sent via email so you can manually enter them into the Kronos system. You should record any paid time off as you normally would, e.g. vacation, sick.

Will student workers have the ability to work remotely as well?
Student employees may work remotely if their duties are conducive to doing so. You will be able to track their time through Kronos similar to other hourly employees. 

Will we continue to have staff meetings?
Departments will be able to use Zoom to conduct meetings. We strongly encourage all managers to schedule regular meetings to stay connected with staff members. Communication during this time is extremely important. 

If I don’t have a computer to work remotely, how do I acquire one?
Please inform your manager if you need a loaner laptop and provide a list of applications you will need access to.

Can I still travel for work purposes?
All university-sponsored travel is prohibited until further notice. Any exceptions must be approved by the relevant VP or dean.

What if I become ill while during the time period we are telecommuting?
Please inform your manager that you are sick and aren’t able to perform your duties. You will be paid sick time as if you were absent from the office. 

Am I still able to take scheduled time off during the period of telecommuting?
Yes, if your department is able to accommodate your being away. Please seek permission from your manager.

What if I have a vacation scheduled, must I still take it?
Please consult with your manager about rescheduling your vacation in the event you are unable to travel.

I am not enrolled in direct deposit; will I still receive my paycheck?
Please review the instructions on how to enroll in direct deposit. We strongly encourage that you do so to assure uninterrupted delivery of your pay. If a check needs to be issued, it will be mailed from the post office, so there will be a slight delay in receipt of your paycheck.

Should I change my voicemail given the duration of how long I may be working from home?
Following is a recommend recorded message you may use for your voicemail:
Hi, you’ve reached [first & last name] in the office of [name of office]. The majority of our Quinnipiac faculty and staff will be working remotely until further notice. While the university remains open, the best way to reach me during this time will be via email at [insert email address]. Thank you for your call, and be well!