Over the past several months, UVA Health has seen the many benefits of flexible work options for its team members, including remote work—or telework. As a result, UVA Health leadership supports the prudent expansion of this increasingly viable and desirable employment and recruitment option for primarily non-patient facing team members across the health system.
This guideline is intended to serve as a ‘companion’ document to policy HSG-14 - Telework to support managers at all levels overseeing team members who currently are teleworking, or who will be considered for future telework as a flexible work option. It includes an overview of the telework assessment and enrollment processes, descriptions of the primary responsibilities of both managers and team members participating in telework and attempts to answer common questions that may arise when considering a position for telework.
- Retention and recruitment: Telework is a desirable option for many individuals in today’s workforce. It can enhance the retention of existing team members and better enable UVA Health to recruit and hire talented professionals from outside our local area.
- Team member satisfaction: Working from home has had a positive impact on many team members, including the elimination of commuting and parking expenses and greater time management flexibility.
- Financial: Shifting part of our workforce to telework arrangements is expected to reduce the need for leased and owned office space and reduce related operating costs.
Team Member/Telework Evaluation Process
NOTE: all managers must review the UVA Health Telework Policy to gain the appropriate understanding of scope and overall procedures. Managers then must work with the team member to evaluate their request to telework, considering business needs of the unit, communication methods, and impact of remote work on other team members.
- Determine employee readiness for telework
Some team members may be better prepared than others to manage the unique requirements of teleworking. When evaluating a telework request, managers should consider whether the team member has a record of satisfactory performance in the workplace and has demonstrated the ability to:
- Prioritize work to meet deadlines
- Accomplish job duties with minimal supervision
- Communicate effectively with customers, stakeholders, and other team members
- Manage time effectively
- Determine Manager and Team Member Readiness for Telework
Before approving a telework request, consider any changes needed to ensure your team continues to meet its objectives. Ensure that the team member and the assigned work tasks can be as effectively managed as that of their on-site colleagues.
For additional guidance on assessing readiness for telework, refer to the UVA Telework Assessment Tool.
- Complete the Telework Agreement
Once it is determined that the request can be approved, it is time to complete the UVA Health Telework Agreement. NOTE: there may be circumstances in which a request for telework cannot be approved. To demonstrate consistency and equity within the work area, it is important that any denial is explained to the employee and based upon policy, impact on unit operations, and/or the employee’s work record.
The goal of a telework agreement is to ensure that both the team member and manager have a shared understanding of the Telework Agreement. Key content for the agreement includes:
- A work schedule that specifies telework days, Alternate Work location and hours
- Required methods of communication specific to telework (e.g., Skype for Business, WebEx, cell phone)
- The duration of the telework arrangement
- Responsibility for telework equipment
- Circumstances requiring on-site attendance
- Relevant policy attestations
Teleworking TEAM MEMBERS are responsible for:
- Ensuring that their work environment within the Alternate Work Location meets UVA Health criteria as noted in both the UVA Health Telework Policy and the Telework Agreement. NOTE: as stated in the Telework policy, UVA Health is not responsible for costs related to initial setup of the team member’s home office such as remodeling, furniture, or lighting--nor for repairs to or physical modifications of the Alternate Work Location.
- Complying with the UVA Health Telework Policy and all agreed upon terms in the team member’s Telework Agreement.
- Meeting productivity and service quality goals and objectives as required by management.
- Completing all UVA Health-required training.
- Notifying management of relocation changes for the Alternate Work Location.
- Submitting time worked in a timely fashion, per area timekeeping rules.
- Communicating at a level, manner, and frequency that is appropriate for the position and as indicated by the manager.
MANAGERS of Teleworking Team Members are Responsible for:
- Striving to ensure that productivity and service quality goals and objectives are met.
- Establishing ongoing, regular, periodic reviews with the team member of their Telework Agreement.
- Complying with the UVA Health Telework Policy as described within the team member’s Telework Agreement.
- Meeting with the team member at the formal start of the teleworking assignment to set and document appropriate performance goals, such as a work productivity measure or a set response time for manager inquiries.
- Understanding the computing/technology requirements for telework as outlined in the UVA Health Telework Technology Guide.
- Contacting your UVA HR Business Partner regarding individual Telework Agreements and the related arrangements as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Who is Eligible for Telework?
A: Team members who provide ‘non patient-facing support’ and who are in non-management roles at UVA Health are primary candidates for telework. These team members most commonly fall into corporate or administrative support services and roles, e.g., finance, human resources, marketing, etc. Those providing hands-on patient care or whose roles require that they be physically present in our facilities for the most part are not eligible to telework; however, alternative flexible work options may be considered for these team members by their manager as situations dictate.
Q: When will this new policy go into effect?
A: Policy HSG014 went into effect as of 1 January 2021.
Q: Who will identify the roles that can be performed remotely?
A: All UVA Health managers can determine if a position within their purview is eligible for Telework, based on the basic eligibility process stated above. If you have additional questions, please contact your HR Business Partner for clarification.
Q: What do UVA Health managers need to do to prepare for policy implementation?
A: All UVA Health team members and managers are expected to review the UVA Health Telework Policy, this Manager Guide, as well as the UVA Health Telework Agreement prior to entering into a telework arrangement.
Q: What about team members who may not have sufficient access to Wi-Fi or Internet at Home?
A: Team members are responsible for obtaining sufficient Internet access in their Alternate Work Location. Managers should confirm Internet connectivity while preparing the Telework Agreement with their team members. If internet access issues do exist, the manager may approve use of an authorized off-grounds hoteling space until the team member obtains suitable Internet connectivity at their Alternate Work Location.
Q: Will Full-time Teleworkers ever be required to come into UVA Health facilities?
A: The manager may require occasional on-site visits to UVA Health facilities; however, this requirement must be documented in the individual’s Telework Agreement.
Q: Do full-time, teleworking team members still require a UVA Health badge?
A: All UVA Health employees are required to obtain an identification badge upon their hire. If the team member resides outside the immediate area or in another state, the process for obtaining new or replacement badges can be completed on-line. Contact the ID Services badge office at (434)982-4009 between normal business hours (M-F, 8:15a-4:30p) for additional information.
Q: Are team members who telework still required to obtain an Annual Flu Shot?
A: The UVA Health Occupational Health Screening and Maintenance policy (OCH-002) places team members into two categories:
- Tier 1. “Tier 1” means that job-related activities require the team member to be present in Health System Facilities at any time in a given calendar year. If a team member who teleworks is expected to attend on-site meetings, for example, they would be required to get an annual flu shot and submit documentation to Employee Health.
- Tier 2. “Tier 2” means that job-related activities do not require you to be present in Health System Facilities at any time in a given calendar year. Team members in Tier 2 do not need to obtain an annual flu shot, although this is advised.