Telecommuting

telecommuter

Beginning on September 23, 2021, the College of Charleston is implementing a pilot telecommuting program for eligible staff and administrator employees within the requirements as outlined in the College’s new Telecommuting Policy approved by the Division of State Human Resources (DSHR).  Additionally, this telecommuting program is offered in full support of the College’s strategic plan, pillar 3, related to employee experience and success. Employees should review the updated policy to ensure expectations are clear.

 

Pilot Program

Initially, the College will conduct a PILOT telecommuting program that will only be open to applications from eligible employees in the PILOT group.  This initial pilot group will be limited to three (3) divisions/departments:  

  • Information Technology (IT),
  • University Marketing and Enrollment Planning (UMEP), and
  • The Procurement Office (within the Division of Business Affairs).

Only employees in these three divisions/departments will be able to apply to participate in the pilot telecommuting program.  The pilot program will begin on September 23, 2021, and will last for up to six weeks.  During the pilot period, managers and employees will be surveyed on how the experience is going, what is working well, and what about the process may need to be improved or changed.  The College will assess the success of the program and make any necessary adjustments in the policy or process before opening the program to participation by others outside of the pilot group.  The College will notify the campus once the pilot program is complete and when the program is open to broader participation.

 

Process

Employees are highly encouraged to discuss their desired telcommuting plan with their supervisors prior to submitting a formal request.  Eligible employees can submit the College’s updated Telecommuting Application and Agreement form if they wish to be considered for a telecommuting arrangement.  Employees who have previously been approved to telecommute and are doing so must complete a new application for review.  The application includes an assessment that the employee and supervisor must complete to assist with analyzing the appropriateness for telecommuting for the employee and their position.  The form also includes acknowledgment of policy requirements along with a safety checklist that must be completed by the requesting employee and certified by the supervisor.  The form will be completed via DocuSign and routed for management approval.  Each division head is delegated authority to approve these requests by the President.  The Office of Human Resources will also review and approve all requests in the process.  Employees and managers should also complete the training, as described below, prior to submitting and approving an agreement.

 

Training

Managers and employees are expected to complete the College’s online training course, "CofC Telecommuting Fundamentals & Flexible Work Guidelines" prior to submitting or approving a telecommuting arrangement.  The training module is located in the "My Courses" section of the College’s LMS (CougarED). A brief overview of the module:

  • Telecommuting Fundamentals & Flexible Work Guidelines

Telecommuting can be a positive and beneficial option for both employees and the college, but it is important to understand more about telecommuting in order to make it a successful experience.  This course will explore the fundamentals of telecommuting and how the process works at the College of Charleston.  The training offers valuable tools and resources for both employees and their managers in examining skills needed, potential challenges, and sample scenarios and best practices on how to handle them.

 

Performance and Productivity

To help managers communicate and manage employee remote work performance and productivity, the College will ask managers with telecommuting employees to use the weekly activity tracking chart provided by the Office of Human Resources.  This will help managers and employees with documenting work activities performed remotely and provide a basis for performance discussions.  Managers are asked to retain this documentation.

In addition, the College will monitor the work performance evaluation ratings assigned to employees who are telecommuting.  Ratings issued while telecommuting will be compared to prior ratings to see if there has been any negative or positive impact that could be associated with telecommuting.

 

Eligibility

The program will be available to eligible staff and administrators.  Refer to the College’s Telecommuting Policy for more details on eligibility.  Employees in the following classifications will generally not be authorized to telecommute due to the nature of their work requiring physical presence on campus full-time:

Class Code

State Title

AB (10-40)

Postal Services

AC (01-09)

Supply Services

BA (10-50)

Communications Services (Dispatch)

BD (10-50)

Printing Services

JA (05-85)

Investigative & Support Services

JC (10-90)

JD (05-90)

Law Enforcement, Fire Safety, and Security Services

KA (05-60)

Building and Grounds Services

KC (10-60)

Trades Services

In addition, in accordance with the College’s Telecommuting Policy, participation in telecommuting for employees in other classifications may be limited or denied if their physical presence is required on campus to perform their duties, or for other reasons as outlined in the Policy.  These will be assessed as appropriate on a case-by-case basis. 

Eligible employees will have the ability to request a part-time or full-time telecommuting arrangement and these decisions will be made by management on a case-by-case basis using the telecommuting application and assessment process.  Services to our students and the public must not be negatively impacted by telecommuting in any way.

 

Flexible Work Schedules

Employees who telecommute may also be on an acceptable flexible work schedule while telecommuting.  This would need to be documented and approved during the telecommuting application process. If telecommuting is not a good option for an employee or their position, managers may be able to consider a flexible work schedule where feasible as a potential option to help employees with work-life balance concerns.  Please refer to the College’s guidelines for acceptable flexible work schedules for more details.

 

Links

Telecommuting Application (DocuSign) CougarEd Learning Management System
Telecommuting Policy Flexible Work Schedule Guidelines/Application
Telecommuting Tracking Sheet for Managers Human Resources Forms Site