Keep Working

With many offices modifying operations and utilizing telework schedules in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this page has been established to provide information for employees and supervisors on working remotely and help the University to "Keep Working."  As conditions change, this page will be regularly updated.  

Additional information and updates on the impact of the Coronavirius (COVID-19) on Radford University's operations can be viewed on the Monitoring the Cononavirus site. 

Teleworking / Remote Working Basics

Teleworking / remote working can be helpful in urgent situations, allowing for continuity of operations.  It is designed to allow employees to work from home just as they would in their office (i.e, respond to emails, work on projects, attend meetings via teleconference services, etc.). With the growing recognition of an increased need for remote work, we recommend that you partner with the Division of Information Technology to take stock of your equipment (computers, chargers, etc.) and proactively test your capability for reliable remote access. This may include testing your home network connection and your ability to remotely access critical applications and on-campus systems, as well as applying necessary software updates. 

If applicable to your role, please leave work each day prepared to work from home the next day. That includes taking your laptop and any other equipment you may need to continue to work remotely.

Be Prepared

  • Make sure you have internet connection.
  • Make sure you know your login information (usernames and passwords). 
  • Have your Duo two-factor authentication device(s) set up and with you.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate greeting on your work phone. Do not forward your office phone to alternate numbers as there are limited connections.
  • Secure your devices.
  • Install all updates and patches.
  • Understand tips for protecting your computer.
  • Gather supplies you will need to effectively do your job and communicate with others.  These may include:  
    • Physical files or records;
    • Keyboard and mouse;
    • Power adaptors; and
    • Speakers and microphones.

Remote Work Guidelines for Departments and Supervisors

Remote work or telework can be helpful in urgent situations, allowing for continuity of operations.  This guide outlines key considerations, best practices and University guidance specific to COVID-19 workforce planning, including information that may be different from the Telework Policy (HR-PO-1401)

  • Gather cell phone/home phone numbers for all employees you supervise.  Discuss how and with whom this information is shared.
  • Due to the fast pace of evolving health regulation and the wide spread use of telework/remote work, employees and supervisors are not required to complete the standard telework agreement.  Supervisors are encouraged to discuss the agreement with employees.  It is good practice for a supervisor to confirm this in writing by sending an email to the employee.    
  • Identify who has a Radford University issued laptop and for employees who do not, find out if a backup is available.  If their only option is to use a personal computer or laptop, they are still required to follow all University practices and policies to maintain security on their device.
  • Determine how schedules and availability will be known and communicated to colleagues and or customers. 
  • Consider alternating or rotating schedules for your team where possible and reevaluate this approach on a weekly basis. The idea is that, in general, team members could share on-site responsibilities but not all members would need to be on-site every day.
  • Experiment with different schedules. If you try something one week that does not work for your team, adjust the following week.
  • Determine what tools you will use to hold meetings. If possible practice holding meetings remotely.
  • Discuss how time and performance will be managed with employees. Once remote work begins, in general, focus on the output and the completion of deliverables when evaluating performance.
  • Supervisors shifting from seeing everyone at their desks working to not seeing anyone at all is a mindset change. A supervisor should clearly outline what the output expectations are from each team member and have routine check-ins (by email, phone, Zoom, etc.) to understand progress and challenges. 
  • When setting communication expectations for employees, consider the nature of their work and what services may be disrupted. Also, consider the availability of the manager and other team members. Common items for discussion include:
    • Frequency of connection with manager (daily, every few days, weekly);
    • Frequency of checking email (employees participating in mandatory online training may not immediately see emails); and
    • Availability via an instant messenger, calls and texts.

Remote Work Guidelines & Tips for Employees

  • Evaluate and understand the responsibilities and priorities for your position.  Ask questions and share any concerns with your supervisor.
  • For telework you need a computer, internet and phone access.  If you do not have a Radford University issued laptop, but a personally owned computer/laptop, you may use that if you choose.  You will be responsible for following all University policies for maintaining security on your device. 
  • Provide multiple forms of contact information to your supervisor and/or your colleagues.
  • Due to the fast pace of evolving health regulation and the widespread use of telework/remote work, employees and supervisors are not required to complete the standard telework agreement.  Supervisors are encouraged to discuss the agreement with employees.  It is good practice for a supervisor to confirm this in writing by sending an email to the employee.   
  • Your supervisor should provide or define what tools you will use if meetings are necessary.  You may want to practice holding meetings remotely beforehand.
  • Discuss with your supervisor how your time and performance will be managed.  Be sure to communicate regularly with your supervisor. 
  • If you have a role that is generally unable to work remotely, there may be creative ways to integrate remote work on a short-term basis.  For instance, this can be an opportune time to catch up on work that often goes by the wayside. Consider what work this may be and propose it to your supervisor. Examples include: 
    • Online training programs (related to safety, compliance, job skills, diversity and inclusion), training information.
    • Creating or updating documentation regarding job responsibilities, processes, etc.

Tips for working at home    

  • Choose a location that has limited distractions and ample natural lighting 
  • Maintain good posture where you sit
  • Take regular breaks
  • Stay consistent with your eating, sleeping and exercise routine
  • Structure your day, building in social time with colleagues and others 
  • Maintain boundaries to prevent overworking - unplug at the end of your work time.

Time Worked

Exempt employees are defined as employees who, based on duties performed and the manner of compensation, are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime provisions. Exempt employees are paid an established semi-monthly salary and are expected to fulfill the duties of their position(s) regardless of hours worked. Exempt employees are not eligible to receive overtime compensation for pay purposes.

Non-exempt employees are defined as employees who, based on duties performed and the manner of compensation, are subject to all FLSA provisions. Non-exempt employees are required to account for time worked on an hourly basis and are to be compensated for qualified overtime hours at the premium (time-and-one-half) rate. Non-exempt employees are required to accurately record all hours worked. Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per workweek require the approval of the manager.

Public Health Emergency Leave

Public Health Emergency Leave is a one-time grant of leave for employees directly impacted by COVID-19. This leave applies to employees directed to self-quarantine by a qualified health care provider, exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or caring for an immediate family member diagnosed with the disease.

  • Employees must work with their supervisor and HR to confirm eligibility for using Public Health Emergency Leave.
  • This leave will expire when the current emergency ends or upon an employee's separation from Radford University or other state entity. 
  • Public Health Emergency Leave will not be paid upon separation or in any other situation and cannot be used to extend a separation termination date.  
  • Recovering employees whose illness and/or isolation extends beyond 80 hours must use other existing leave balances and/or disability policies to cover the remainder of their absences. 

Staying Connected

While working from home, most types of work email, cloud apps and collaboration platforms should be able to connect through your regular home internet service, and can use your home computer (if it can connect to the internet) or a Radford University issued laptop. Just navigate to the sites you need to use and log in using your Radford University credentials (username and password). Be sure to have your Duo two-factor authentication device ready.  

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for some work is essential.  The Radford University VPN creates a secure and encrypted network connection to the campus from the Internet. The VPN is required to connect to any sensitive systems, such as Banner Admin or the H: drive from off campus.  For more information about the VPN and how it is configured, please see the Knowledge Base article.

Video Conferencing and Collaboration

Video Conferencing

For Zoom (web and video conferencing) applications, Radford University-issued computers have the Zoom App installed. Please check your computer to verify the app is installed. If it is NOT installed, you can install it through the Software Center (PC) or the Self-Service App (Macs) (NOTE: If not on campus, you MUST connect to VPN to access the Software Center on your computer).

When using video, be thoughtful about the setup.  For instance, what can individuals see behind you, what noises might they hear from household members and pets, is ample lighting available, etc.  If your background isn’t something you want people to see, you can use Zoom’s feature to choose a standard photo as your background instead.

Personal computers can download the Zoom Apps here: Downloading Zoom Apps.
These videos show options for using the features of the app. 
Video: Zoom Desktop App
Video: Zoom Mobile App

Zoom resources and instructions

Video tutorial for Zoom conferencing

Visit the Technology Assistance Center for more information.  

 

Remote Meetings / Collaboration

At Radford University, we provide different tools and resources for remote meetings and collaboration, including:

  • Microsoft OneDrive, a cloud-based collaboration service for securely managing and sharing files and folders; and
  • Office 365, the University’s cloud-based email and calendaring service.

Telephone

Access Office Voice Mail 

  1. Call 540-831-7750
  2. Press * (asterisk) 
  3. Enter the last four digits of your office phone number, then press #
  4. Enter your voice mail  PIN number

 

Access Office Voice Mail (RUC Phones)

  1. Dial 540-224-4199 from any phone keypad
  2. Press # and after prompted enter your 5-digit extension (May be referred to as Mailbox Number)
  3. You’ll then be prompted to enter your Password followed by # and then be able to access your voice mail messages.

See the Knowledge Base article for additional information.

 

Do not forward your office phone to alternate numbers as there are limited connections.

Make sure your voice mail message indicates you are away from the office, let callers know you will be checking voice mail and returning calls, and/or provide alternative methods of contacting you (i.e. your Radford email).

Duo 2-Factor Authentication

Make sure you have your registered two-factor authentication device(s) with you (smartphone, token). 

  • If your work-issued office phone is registered as your two-factor device, consider using the following as backup options:
    • Click on "Print Codes" in the Duo Device Management Portal to print 10 one-time use codes; and
    • Install the Duo Mobile app on your mobile device and use the “Push” method to receive an approval notification on your mobile device.

To manage your Duo devices/information:

  1. Log into MyRU.
  2. Click on Personal Information icon.
  3. Under Account Settings on the right-hand side of the screen and under the heading Duo Two-Factor Authentication, click Manage.

Resources

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides up to four sessions at no charge for such services as mental health, alcohol or drug abuse assessment, child or elder care, grief counseling and legal or financial services.  EAP counselors are available to assist employees with various problems. You or your eligible dependent will speak to an EAP specialist, who will assess your problem and coordinate assistance.

To utilize this benefit, please call the number associated with your health plan.

Please note that there are virtual and phone-based counseling options available, presenting a safer alternative, while practicing social distancing. Please ask your EAP specialist about this option when you call the number associated with your health plan.