To be responsive to the needs of the current workforce and in anticipation of the future demands of providing an efficient and qualified workforce, Kaskaskia College will support Telecommuting and Remote Work options in situations where it is reasonable and practical to do so in departments where the operations and functionality of the institution will not be adversely affected. Telecommuting and Remote Work may be required during times of crisis (natural or manmade) in order to continue regular College operations.
Kaskaskia College considers telecommuting and remote work to be a viable, flexible option when both the employee and the position are suited to such an arrangement. Telecommuting allows employees to work at home, on the road or in a satellite location for all or part of the work week. Although not all jobs can be performed satisfactorily from other locations, Kaskaskia College recognizes that, in some cases, telecommuting arrangements can provide a mutually beneficial option for both the college and the employees. Telecommuting is not an entitlement, it is not a college wide benefit, and it in no way changes the term and conditions of employment with Kaskaskia College.
Telecommuting can be informal, such as working from home for a short-term project or on the road during business travel, or can be designated as a formal, set schedule of working away from the office. Either an employee or a supervisor can suggest telecommuting as a possible work arrangement.
Any telecommuting arrangement agreed upon between the employee and Kaskaskia College administration will be conducted on a trial basis for the first six months and may be discontinued at will and at any time at the request of either the telecommuter or the college. Every effort will be made to provide 30 days' notice of such change to accommodate commuting, child care and other issues that may arise from the termination of a telecommuting arrangement. There may be instances, however, when no notice is possible.
Informal telecommuting or remote work arrangements, such as working on the road during business travel, do not require the completion of Kaskaskia’s College Telecommuting and Remote Work Agreement. Formal telecommuting or remote work arrangements, which are long-term and/or reoccurring, require the completion of Kaskaskia’s College Telecommuting and Remote Work Agreement.
Definition. A Telecommuting and Remote Work Arrangement allows an approved employee to be compensated for performing assigned responsibilities in a non-campus, non-College affiliated environment, typically their place of residence. Working remotely or telecommuting is an alternative work arrangement in which part of, or all of the weekly scheduled work is performed at an alternate work location. The arrangement permits employees to work outside of their normal physical place of employment on an agreed upon, predetermined work schedule.
Definition of Formal Telecommuting and Remote Work: Kaskaskia College defines formal telecommuting and remote work as allowing employees to work outside their normal physical place of employment on an agreed upon predefined predictable work schedule.
Definition of Informal Telecommuting and Remote Work: Informal telecommuting is defined as working from home for a short-term project or on the road during business travel. A short-term project is identified as a project that will take less than 40 business hours to complete.
Before entering into any telecommuting agreement, the employee and supervisor, with the assistance of the Human Resources department, will evaluate the suitability of such an arrangement, reviewing the following areas:
- The College has reviewed the job description of the employee as being in a position where remote work is possible for completion of the job duties for the defined period of time.
- Employee suitability. The employee, supervisor, Dean/Vice President and Human Resources will assess the needs and work habits of the employee, compared to traits customarily recognized as appropriate for successful telecommuters.
- Job responsibilities. The employee, supervisor, and Human Resources will discuss the job responsibilities and determine if the job is appropriate for a telecommuting arrangement.
- Equipment needs, workspace design considerations and scheduling issues. The employee and supervisor will review the physical workspace needs and the appropriate location for the telework. Appropriate internet and phone connectivity are mandatory to be considered for the request.
- Tax and other legal implications. The employee must determine any tax or legal implications under IRS, state and local government laws, and/or restrictions of working out of a home-based office. Responsibility for fulfilling all obligations in this area rests solely with the employee.
If the employee and the appropriate supervisor, Dean/Vice President agree, and the Human Resources department concurs, a draft telecommuting agreement will be prepared and signed by all parties, and a six-month trial period will commence.
Evaluation of telecommuter performance during the trial period will include regular interaction by phone and e-mail between the employee and the supervisor, and regular meetings to discuss work progress and problems. At the end of the trial period, the employee and supervisor will each complete an evaluation of the arrangement and make recommendations for continuance or modifications. Evaluation of telecommuter performance beyond the trial period will be consistent with that received by employees working at the office in both content and frequency.
1. An employee in good standing who desires a telecommuting or remote work arrangement submits a written email request to their department supervisor, and appropriate Dean and Vice President with a proposal.
2. Once requested, the appropriate supervisor and employee determine if the requested arrangement is informal, formal, or pursuant to a campus crisis.
- If the requested arrangement is deemed informal, completion of Kaskaskia College Telecommuting Agreement is not required, but the arrangement must be documented by the supervisor.
- If the requested arrangement is formal, the supervisor and Vice President/Dean, and employee must evaluate the suitability of a telecommuting or remote work arrangement, paying particular attention to the Rules and Guidelines listed in this procedure.
- If the requested arrangement is pursuant to a campus crisis, the supervisor, Vice President/Dean, and employee must evaluate the suitability of a telecommuting or remote work arrangement, paying particular attention to the Rules and Guidelines listed in this Procedure.
3. The Cabinet level supervisor and Vice President/Dean determines if the telecommuting request is denied or granted.
- If the request is denied, the employee may send another request if the employee experiences a change in job responsibilities.
- If the request is granted, the employee and Cabinet level supervisor and Vice President/Dean must prepare and sign a Telecommuting and Remote Work Agreement .
4. The supervisor must send a copy of any signed agreement to Human Resources, the reporting Vice President and to IT department.
5. The Director of Human Resources will review documentation for quality control purposes and notify VP of any concerns and/or discrepancies.
Rules and Guidelines:
- Discuss the employee’s job responsibilities and goals and determine if their position is appropriate for a telecommuting or remote work arrangement. Examples of jobs that may be suitable for telecommuting or remote work arrangements include those that have minimal face-to-face interaction, heavy data entry tasks, or specific objectives and performance standards that can be measured.
Department and Employee Suitability:
- Examine the needs of the department, including frequency of meetings, department goals and projects, other departments’ schedules, and space constraints.
- Assess the performance of the employee to ensure that the employee is in good standing and to determine if the employee’s work habits display the traits customarily recognized as appropriate for successful telecommuters such as strong organization skills, effective communication skills, self-discipline), reliability, responsiveness and the ability to work independently.
- The employee’s direct supervisor is responsible for evaluating the work completed by the employee and to review progress with the employee. Kaskaskia College policies and procedures remain in effect and all employees are expected to adhere to applicable work polices while working remotely.
- If an employee is approved to work remotely and has been doing so, the annual evaluation of the employee by the direct supervisor should indicate as such, as well as the employee’s work in the remote setting should be designated as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
- Discuss and agree upon the number of telecommuting or remote days allowed each week, the work hours and schedule that the employee will customarily maintain, and the manner and frequency of regular communication (i.e. via phone, video conferencing, and/or in person, etc.) with the supervisor and others in the department.
- Telecommuters or remote workers must be as accessible as their onsite counterparts during their agreed-upon regular work schedule, regardless of work location, and have the ability to communicate in a professional and clear manner with limited interruptions. Telecommuters may be required to work at their onsite location for meetings, events, and other situations deemed necessary by their supervisors.
- Telecommuters or remote workers may be required, at any time, to commute to their onsite work location. This is considered commute time, and telecommuters are not eligible to receive reimbursement for this travel.
On a case-by-case basis, Kaskaskia College will determine, with information supplied by the employee and the supervisor, the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, modems, phone and data lines and other office equipment) for each telecommuting arrangement. The Human Resources and IT department will serve as resources in this matter. Equipment supplied by Kaskaskia College will be maintained by the college. Equipment supplied by the employee, if deemed appropriate by the college, will be maintained by the employee. Kaskaskia College accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment. Kaskaskia College reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time. Equipment supplied by the organization is to be used for business purposes only. The telecommuter must sign an inventory of all Kaskaskia College property received and agree to take appropriate action to protect the items from damage or theft. Upon termination of employment, all company property will be returned to the company, unless other arrangements have been made.
Kaskaskia College will supply the employee with appropriate office supplies (pens, paper, etc.) as deemed necessary.
The employee will establish an appropriate work environment within his or her home for work purposes. Kaskaskia College will not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of the employee's home office, such as remodeling, furniture, or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space. An appropriate work environment includes the background that is visible during the employees work appearances. The same professional decorum expected at the institution is expected in the remote work environment.
Consistent with the organization's expectations of information security for employees working at the office, telecommuting employees will be expected to ensure the protection of the College and student information accessible from their home office. Steps include the use of locked file cabinets and desks, regular password maintenance, and any other measures appropriate for the job and the environment.
Employees are expected to maintain their home workspace in a safe manner, free from safety hazards. Injuries sustained by the employee in a home office location and in conjunction with his or her regular work duties are normally covered by the company's workers' compensation policy. Telecommuting employees are responsible for notifying the employer of such injuries as soon as practical. The employee is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to his or her home worksite.
Telecommuting is not designed to be a replacement for appropriate child or pet care. Although an individual employee's schedule may be modified to accommodate these child care needs, the focus of the arrangement must remain on job performance and meeting business demands. Prospective telecommuters are encouraged to discuss expectations of telecommuting with family members prior to entering a trial period.
Telecommuting employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to accurately record all hours worked using Kaskaskia College's time-keeping system. Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per workweek require the advance approval of the telecommuter's supervisor. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the immediate termination of the telecommuting agreement.
Approval History: August 2, 2021; Revised 11/17/22