Remote Work Guidelines
NOTE: These guidelines and the form used to establish a Remote Work arrangement are in the process of being updated. Until finalized, please refer to the 'Telecommuting Policy' and associated form.
These guidelines apply to work conducted in a place other than PSU owned or managed property, including home office locations, within or outside of Oregon. It may be used for an ongoing or temporary work arrangement. A written agreement must be established between an employee and their direct supervisor before remote work begins.
PSU supports remote work when it meets the needs of the University. It can maximize productive work time, decrease the need for parking and office facilities, and decrease traffic congestion and air pollution while providing flexibility for employees. The remote work location may be the employee's home or another suitable location.
Remote Work includes:
- Work conducted in a location other than an employee’s traditional workplace.
- Work conducted in a place that is not owned or managed by PSU.
- Ongoing or temporary arrangement
- Examples: Working from home occasionally or on a set schedule (i.e. last Friday of the month); Hired to work from out-of-state location; Working from home to accommodate temporary medical condition.
If the remote worksite is not in Oregon, the supervisor and employee must submit the Authorization to Work Out of State Form, before work begins.
Remote Work does not include (an agreement is not required):
- Occasionally, or permanently working from a location owned by PSU (i.e. Salem location)
- Attending and working at a conference or training hosted at non-PSU location
- Fulfilling on-call or off-hours work obligations as part of job (i.e. responding to urgent issues from off-campus)
These guidelines apply to work outside of the office on a routine basis, temporary arrangements, or occasional work arrangements. The employee works at their primary worksite the remainder of the time and maintains flexibility to meet the needs of the work unit. The employee's supervisor must approve Remote Work arrangements and should review them annually.
These guidelines create no employee rights in relation to remote work. PSU’s Human Resources department has established the guidelines and agreement below:
Any PSU employee whose work does not require face-to-face interaction, or for which that interaction may be scheduled, may be eligible to work remotely. All remote work is subject to advance approval and must comply with applicable policies and Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Tasks that benefit from uninterrupted work time are suitable for remote work. Such tasks include writing, editing, reading, analysis, design work, computer programming, word-processing and data entry. Remote work may not be suitable for all employees and/or positions. The need for specialized material, equipment, or materials secured at PSU, must either be minimal or flexible.
- Employee discusses their request to work remotely with their supervisor.
- Employee completes the PSU Remote Work Agreement (linked above).
- Supervisor reviews Agreement and approves, or makes edits.
- If approved, the Agreement is sent to Human Resources.
- If edits are made, the Agreement is electronically sent back to the Employee to review again.
- Once all approvals are received, the Remote Work Agreement is routed to Human Resources for filing in the Employee’s personnel file.
- The Employee and Supervisor receive a notification once the Agreement has been finalized.
Remote work must not adversely affect customer service, employee productivity, or progress of an individual or team assignment. Approval of remote work is at the discretion of the supervisor, and the next level supervisor when appropriate.
The supervisor shall consider an employee request to work remotely in relation to the operational and customer needs of the department. The supervisor will take into consideration the overall impact of the employee’s total time out of the primary worksite, including flextime, compressed workweek schedules, meetings, consultations, presentations, and conferences. The supervisor will also consider the applicant's demonstrated conscientiousness about work time and productivity, and their ability to be self-motivated and have minimal face-to-face daily supervision.
Employees who are approved for remote work shall abide by these Remote Work Guidelines and the Remote Work Agreement. A copy of the Agreement shall be retained in the employee's electronic personnel file with Human Resources. The agreement should be reviewed annually, and revised as needed.
Unless otherwise stated in the agreement, the supervisor, the next level supervisor, or the employee may discontinue the arrangement, generally giving at least one week's written notice. The parties may negotiate a longer notice to provide for a smooth transition.
A. Communication. While working remotely, the employee shall be reachable through the agreed-upon methods during agreed-upon work hours. The employee and supervisor shall agree on turnaround time and the medium for responses.
B. Conditions of Employment. The remote workers’ conditions of employment shall remain the same as for non-remote work hours. Wages, benefits and leave accrual will remain unchanged.
C. Equipment, Supplies, Expenses. Worksite furniture and equipment shall generally be provided by the remote worker. If equipment and software is provided by PSU at the remote worksite, such equipment and software shall be used exclusively by the PSU employee and for the purposes of conducting PSU business. The parties shall consult with their supervisor regarding the availability of equipment to loan. If PSU provides equipment, the remote worker is responsible for safe transportation and set-up of such equipment.
PSU shall provide any necessary office supplies. Out-of-pocket expenses for supplies normally available in the office will not be reimbursed. The remote worker and supervisor will follow PSU procedures for handling phone and internet expenses.
D. Equipment liability. The employee will be responsible for:
- any intentional damage to the equipment;
- damage resulting from gross negligence by the employee or any member or guest of the employee's household;
- damage resulting from a power surge if no surge protector is used.
PSU employees are responsible for the safeguarding and proper care of the equipment provided them. The Equipment Loan Agreement must be completed whenever employees use PSU-owned equipment (laptops, digital cameras, etc.) off-campus.
E. Personal Business & Dependent Care. Remote work employees shall not perform personal business during hours agreed upon as work hours. Remote work is not a substitute for childcare or other dependent care. Remote workers shall make or maintain dependent care arrangements to permit concentration on work assignments.
F. Work Site. The remote worker must establish and maintain a workspace that is quiet, clean, and safe, with adequate lighting and ventilation. The remote worker will not hold business visits or meetings with professional colleagues, customers, or the public at a home worksite. Meetings with other PSU employees will not be permitted unless approved in advance by the employee's supervisor.
G. Hours of Work. The remote worker will have work hours agreed upon with the supervisor, including specific core hours. The remote worker will attend job-related meetings, training sessions, and conferences, as directed by supervisors. The agreed-upon work schedule shall comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations and applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements. Overtime work for a non-exempt employee must be pre-approved by the supervisor.
H. Incidental Costs. Unless otherwise stated in the Remote Work Agreement, all incidental costs, such as residential utility costs or cleaning services, are the responsibility of the remote worker.
I. University Closure. If the primary worksite is closed due to an emergency or inclement weather, a remote worker may continue to work at the remote worksite, if possible. If there is an emergency at the remote worksite, such as a power outage, the remote worker will notify the supervisor as soon as possible. The remote worker may be reassigned to the primary worksite or an alternate worksite. See University Closure Policy for more details.
J. Inspections. In case of injury, theft, loss, or tort liability related to remote work, the employee must allow agents of PSU to investigate and/or inspect the remote worksite.
K. Injuries. The employee will be covered by workers' compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the designated workspace, including the remote worker's home, during the defined work period. In the case of injury occurring during the defined work period, the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor. Workers' compensation will not apply to non-job related injuries that might occur in the home. PSU does not assume responsibility for injury to any persons other than the PSU employee at the remote worksite.
L. Intellectual Property & Records. Intellectual property developed by PSU employees working remotely is subject to PSU's Copyright Ownership Policy. Products, documents, and records that are used, developed, or revised while working remotely shall be copied or saved in a PSU system, file or network drive.
M. Leave. The remote work employee must obtain supervisory approval before taking leave in accordance with PSU policy.
N. Performance & Policies. All work shall be performed according to the same standards as is expected at the primary worksite. The supervisor and employee will meet at regular intervals to review the employee's work performance. PSU policies, rules and practices shall apply at the remote work site. Failure to follow policy, rules and procedures may result in termination of the remote work arrangement and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
O. Security. Security and confidentiality shall be maintained by the remote worker at the same level as expected at all worksites. Restricted access or confidential material shall not be taken out of the primary worksite. The remote worker is responsible for ensuring that non-employees do not access PSU data.
P. Travel. The remote worker will not be paid for time or mileage involved in travel between the remote worksite and the primary worksite.