Keep Working

Resources for Working Remotely during COVID-19

With offices modifying operations and utilizing telework schedules in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Department of Human Resources has established this page to provide Radford University Employees resources with teleworking and working remotely resources to help Radford University Keep Working. 

This site will be updated regularly as responses evolve. 

Supporting our Highlanders During COVID-19

Be Prepared

  •  Make sure you know your passwords.
  •  Have your Duo 2-Factor Authentication device(s) with you.
  •  Ensure your devices are secure.
  • Gather the supplies you need to effectively do your job and communicate with others. These may include:
    •  Keyboard & mouse
    •  Speakers and microphones for conference calls (if your computer does not have them built-in)
    • Power adapters
    •  Physical files and records
  • Test your home internet connection
  •  Consider the files and applications you'll need to use, and test them before beginning remote work. 

Remote Work Guidelines & Tips

  • Remote work 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).
  • 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.
  • Employees and supervisors are not required to complete the standard telework agreement
  • Managers shifting from seeing everyone at their desks working to not seeing anyone at all is a mindset change. A manager 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:
    • During remote work, in general, focus on the output and the completion of deliverables when evaluating performance.
    • Frequency of connection with the manager (daily, every few days, weekly)
    • Frequency of checking email (employees participating in mandatory online training may not immediately see emails)
    • Availability via an instant messenger, calls, and texts
    • During remote work, in general, focus on the output and the completion of deliverables when evaluating performance.
  • Staying Productive and Connected While Working at Home | NBC News

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 Radford University issued laptop.
  • The VPN is required to connect to any sensitive systems, such as Banner Admin or the H: drive from off campus. More information on connecting to the VPN can be found on IT’s Knowledge Base webpage.

Zoom Video Conferencing

All 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 PC).

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

Visit the Zoom website for more videos using Zoom.

Etiquette & Tips for Video Conferenceing 

Before you Start:

  • Check your camera and microphone.
  •  Seek as quiet a space as possible with no or minimal background noise.
  • Arrive early to allow time to troubleshoot and resolve any potential issues with equipment.
  • If you are connecting from a laptop, try to plug into wall power, because battery use can adversely affect video quality.
  • Ensure when setting the camera that overhead lights are not seen and the reflection of any lighting on the table are not on camera. Make sure any blinds and doors are closed.
  • Avoid backlighting (bright sunlight from windows), the average room will have sufficient lighting for a video conference.
  • Check your surroundings before you begin your meeting and set up your space making sure to check what is behind you.
  • Open all documents/files to make for smooth screen sharing.
  • Eliminate background noises near microphones (for example, laptop computer fans, mobile phones).
  • When choosing clothes for the video conference, keep it simple—dark, solid colors are always a good choice.

During a Meeting: 

  • Always inform participants if you will be recording your meeting.
  • When possible mute your microphone.  Make it standard practice for all sites to mute their microphones when not speaking. This allows the current speaker to be seen by all sites without interruption.
  • If there are table microphones ensure they are properly positioned 1-2 feet away from participants.  (they are very sensitive)
  • Unless in Gallery view most video programs will have whoever is speaking become the dominant screen, this is called voice switching and can take 2-3 seconds for the video to switch.
  • Use names to direct questions to specific people.
  • Be aware of the transmission delay, pause for others to comment. Start talking and keep talking and don't hesitate because you see or hear something unexpected. Small delays are always present. Don't ask, "Can you hear me?” After speaking, pause to allow others to comment.
  • Avoid touching your face, fidgeting, or moving too much.
  • Small noises can be big distractions. Avoid shuffling paper, covering the microphone, tapping fingers, or clicking pens. These noises are easily picked up by the microphone and transmitted to other viewers.
  • Be helpful, with integrated chat, screen sharing, audio and video it’s very easy to lose track of non-verbal feedback or chat message, don’t be afraid to point out that someone has raised their hand or placed a message in chat.
  • If participating over video from a mobile device, try not to move your camera or device.  If you must move your camera, mute your video if possible.
  • When using video, be thoughtful about where you are participating from and 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.  

Collaboration Tools

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.
  • Email through Office 365 is the University’s cloud-based email and calendaring service.
  • View all software available to Radford University Employees at https://www.radford.edu/content/it/home/it-support/software.html

Duo 2-Factor Authentication

  • Make sure you have your registered 2-Factor authentication device(s) with you (smartphone, token).
  •  If your work-issued office phone is registered as your 2-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.
  • 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, under the heading Duo Two-Factor Authentication click Manage

Telephone

  • Do NOT forward your office phone to alternate numbers as there are limited connections.
  • Make sure your voicemail 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).
  • Main Campus

  1. Call 540-831-7750​
  2. Press *​
  3. Enter the last 4 digits of your office phone number, then press #​
  4. Enter your Voice Mail pin​ number
  • RUC Campus
  1. Dial 540-224-4199 from any phone keypad.
  2. Press # and after prompted to 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 voicemail messages.

Resources

Employee Assistance Program – In light of COVID-19 and the crises our country and communities are facing with racial disparities and tensions, remember that numerous EAP resources are available to help employees.   

Employees have access to online EAP resources on individual counseling, legal/financial consultations, and other services through their individual state health plan benefit.  To utilize this benefit, please call the number associated with your health plan below:

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 above.