Working Remotely Policy

In an effort to preserve the health of the Academy community, remote work plans are being encouraged for the remainder of 2020.  Aptitude for working remotely, and suitability of duties to transfer to remote applications, will be considered on a case-by-case basis as an appropriate option for full and part-time staff. This Working Remotely Guide is to be used only during this public health situation, as defined and communicated by the Academy.

Employees that have demonstrated their willingness and ability to work remotely are encouraged to apply.  In instances where performing work remotely is not appropriate, the Academy will continue to be flexible with authorizing the use of sick leave, i.e. staff with minors at home due to school cancelation and/or health issues that place them in increased risk for COVID.  Documentation to support sick leave or Families Frist Coronavirus Response leave shall be forwarded directly to Human Resources.

Working Remotely
Working remotely is a work arrangement in which some or all of an employee’s work is performed from home or another off-site location. In general, regular office hours are worked and deviations from that schedule require supervisor approval. Working remotely is easiest to implement for jobs or tasks that require reading, writing, research, working with data and talking on the phone but during this unusual time, we will need to think creatively, in a very short time, how other types of job duties may be performed remotely. In general, and at management’s discretion, a job is suited to working remotely if the job, or some components of it, can be performed off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication. For jobs that working remotely is an appropriate and viable option, supervisors will work with their staff to establish a work plan; see Appendix A. When clearly outlined and executed, remote work arrangements can prove beneficial to employees and managers alike. Managers should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. Problems may be minimized with proper planning and communications. Well-planned flexible work arrangements sometimes enable departments to extend their service hours, and to make more effective use of space and equipment. When establishing a work plan, supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their departments perform critical work to maintain operations. Supervisors should regularly communicate with their staff to keep them apprised of changing business needs.

Expectations for Staff working remotely
Employees working remotely are responsible to:

Fulfill the expectations agreed upon with their supervisor regarding the scope of their work plan, such as:

  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Hours of work (rest/meal breaks, overtime, and other wage and hour requirements still apply).
  • Hours of availability to communicate regarding Academy business.
  • Communication of work assignments and personal needs, including reporting absences due to injury, illness, or caring for a family member.
  • Send daily email updates to supervisor with summary of work performed.
  • The appropriate use of Academy equipment and materials.
  • Complete their timesheets per Academy policy.
  • Protect Academy information by following the Academy’s policies governing information security, software licensing, and data protection; ensuring that unauthorized individuals do not access Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s data, either in print or electronically; and not accessing restricted-level information in print or electronically unless approved by the supervisor and protected by policy-compliant encryption and/or physical controls.
  • Maintain a safe environment in which to work.

Under no circumstances shall an employee accept additional employment that conflicts with their scheduled telework schedule.

Expectations for Supervisors
Supervisors should communicate specific expectations and communicate daily. To ensure that the remote work assignment is mutually beneficial to both the Academy and staff members; planning and communicating expectations of the approval is crucial. Supervisors should remain in regular communication with their staff to address tasks, projects and ongoing needs of the department. If an employee requires an accommodation the supervisor will direct them to Human Resources.  For Additional Information for Supervisors, see Appendix B. 

General Agreement
Staff members must comply with Academy rules, policies, practices, and instructions. Short-term approvals for working remotely in extraordinary circumstances does not change the basic terms and conditions of employment with the Academy. Remote work assignments do not change a staff member's classification, compensation, or benefits. The policies applicable to leave and accrual use shall be applicable to all benefited staff, regardless of approved remote work assignments. Staff working remotely will be solely responsible for the configuration of, and all expenses associated with, the workspace and all services.

Working Remotely Privileges
Working remotely privileges for staff during this limited time period shall be reviewed regularly by the supervisor. These privileges can be canceled at any time and for any reason by the Academy.  Further, the Academy has the sole discretion to amend, modify or replace the Working Remotely Guide/Plan at any time and for any reason.

Apendix A - Temporary Work Plan

The intent of this document is to ensure that both the supervisor and the employee have a clear, shared understanding of the employee’s remote work arrangement. Each work plan is unique depending on the needs of the position, supervisor, and employee.

Printable Agreement 

 

Appendix B – Additional Information for Supervisors

Dear Supervisors and Managers:

Please carefully consider remote working assignments to ensure they will be mutually beneficial to, both, the employee and the Academy.  We understand requests may take a few days to surface and some operations may be temporarily interrupted, but you are responsible for ensuring that your department maintains adequate business operations. You should analyze the workflow of your department to ensure coverage. In the event a staff member is personally affected by the COVID-19 disease, and unable to perform their duties partially or totally, an alternate methods for completing critical tasks should be identified.  Once a work from home plan is approved, please remain engaged with each staff member to ensure seamless transitions during this time of change. The expectations you have for each assignment may vary among your staff, based on their role, needs, and unique circumstances.

Please find the following guidelines related to approving a work plan:

APA/NON UNIT

  • Employees should work their regular schedule, take their regular meal period and may be granted flexibility in hours by their manager.
  • Employees must be available during their regular schedule hours for phone calls, email and remote meetings.
  • Employees should respond to inquiries in a timely manner. If the inquiry requires gathering of information and cannot be answered immediately, they should indicate that they have received the message and will respond fully in a timely manner.
  • Unless otherwise directed, employees should email their supervisor each day to provide a progress report on their work, including:
    • Projects completed during the day.
    • Pending projects and their estimated date of completion.
    • Items requiring supervisory approval and insight.

AFSCME

  • Employees working remotely should work their regular scheduled hours and take their regular meal period.
  • While working remotely employees should not work overtime unless requested by their supervisor.
  • Employees should take their required fifteen (15) minute breaks.
  • Employees must be available during their regularly scheduled hours (exclusive of meal periods and breaks) for phone calls, email and remote meetings.
  • Employees should respond to inquiries in a timely manner. If the inquiry requires gathering of information and cannot be answered immediately, they should indicate that have received the message and will respond fully in a timely manner.
  • Employees should email their supervisor each day providing a progress report on their work, including:
    • Projects completed during the day,
    • Pending projects and their estimated date of completion,
    • Items requiring supervisory approval and insight.