Healthy Brown

Telecommuting Principles

University Human Resources has established guidance for working off campus, leave policies and resources for telecommuting.

Guidance for Telecommuting

Only essential personnel should report to work in person starting on Monday, March 16. These work arrangements will remain in effect through August 14. In the meantime, all employees will continue to be paid.

Employees who can telecommute are expected to do so. These arrangements should be finalized with their supervisor. To confirm Alternative Work Arrangements (AWA) approval, an employee can rely on their supervisor’s communication that they can telecommute. Learn more about additional details of the University’s Alternative Work Arrangements policy.

Managers are encouraged to maintain a sense of connection and community by holding meetings via Zoom, which allows up to 300 participants to participate in a live web video or audio conference. Features include multiple screen-sharing, chat, video sharing, mobile collaboration including co-annotation, and recording to the cloud or to your computer. Robust mobile apps for iOS and Android devices are available. New to Zoom? Start here.

This page provides other telecommuting information and tips. You can also download this Tips and Best Practices for Working Remotely guide from University Human Resources and keep it in your work area for easy reference.

Equipment, Network Security, and Mobile Resources

For guidance related to telecommuting consult the Telecommuting Guide from the CIS IT Service Center, which outlines resources for working away from your primary work location.

Submitting Time for Pay and Leave

It is legally required that employees who are eligible for overtime who perform telecommuting work assignments must submit time for all hours worked in accordance to the University’s payroll deadline dates. Information about the University’s payroll deadline dates.

All employees approved for a telecommuting work assignment will be required to submit time off for vacation, sick, floating holiday, or Special Leave.

Access to Work Files

Review digital and non-digital files to ensure that they can be securely accessed. Create a list of non-digital files and submit that list to your supervisor before the start of a telecommuting work assignment.

Department Communications

Review upcoming in-person meetings that can be conducted virtually and inform meeting participants of the change to a virtual meeting as soon as possible. In accordance to previous University guidance, upcoming department events or programs should be either rescheduled or canceled.

Determine how incoming daily mail will be managed, including transitioning invoicing or bill payment to digital operations, where possible. If necessary, determine specific times throughout the work day that non-digital correspondences will be sent via email to respond to urgent mail correspondences.   

We do not advise staff to attempt forwarding your Brown phone offsite, as a large number of forwarded numbers may overload the phone network. Instead, follow the phone communications tips in the Telecommuting Guide.

Department Staffing Coverage

Create a list of back-up coverage of all staff members to manage scheduled absences in order to prevent minimal disruption to department operations. 

Telecommuting Tips

  • Set and maintain a work schedule. While flexibility may be needed throughout your day, recognize and respect regular working hours. Schedule time on your calendar for lunch and regular breaks, if appropriate.   
  • Ensure that tasks can be managed in a timely way and set aside time periodically to respond to emails while managing meetings and calls during work hours.
  • Create a workspace where work can be conducted without interruption or distractions and where non-digital files can be stored securely within the workspace.  
  • Ensure that workplace routines can be maintained to the best extent possible. If you are eligible for overtime, you will need to commit to taking your lunch and other work breaks at the same time. Overtime will continue to require advance approval from your supervisor.
  • If caring for others in your household, inform them of your need to respond to calls and meetings without distraction, so expectations are clear as far in advance as possible.

For additional questions regarding telecommuting at Brown, please contact University Human Resources (UHR) at [email protected] or (401) 863-2141.