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Spo telework policy

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  • 1. GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE STATE PERSONNEL OFFICE PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PROCEDURESSUBJECT: TeleworkingEFFECTIVE: January 1, 2009SUPERSEDES: August 23, 1999 versionAPPROVED BY: Sandra K. Bruce, State Personnel Director, GA DODPURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to define the teleworking program (also known astelecommuting) and the guidelines and rules under which it will operate. There are significanteconomic, personal, and production benefits of telework, but there are a number of potentialdownfalls. This policy is designed to help managers and employees understand the teleworkingenvironment and their associated rights and responsibilities. This telework policy and itsaccompanying guidelines provide a general framework for teleworkers in the Georgia Department ofDefense. It does not attempt to address the special conditions and needs of all state employeeswithin the agency.POLICY: The Georgia Department of Defense shall allow employees to work off site as eitherRegular or Occasional Teleworkers, provided that both the position and the employee have beendetermined “eligible” by the Location Manager and the State Personnel Office. A Telework Self-Assessment, Work-Space Certification Checklist, and Agreement are required before any existing orfuture teleworking arrangement can continue or commence.APPLICATION: This policy applies to all salaried and hourly state employees of the GeorgiaDepartment of Defense.PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS:I. DEFINITIONSAlternate Workplace – A workplace other than the employees usual and customary workplace (primaryworkplace) and may include the employee’s home.Eligible Position – A position having measurable quantitative or qualitative results-oriented standards ofperformance that is structured to be performed independently of others and with minimal need for support andcan be scheduled at least one day a pay period to participate in teleworking without impacting service qualityor organizational operations. The eligibility of a position may change depending on circumstances.Eligible Employee – An employee, in an eligible position, who has been identified by the employee’ssupervisor as satisfactorily meeting performance standards, terms, and conditions of employment of theirposition. The employee shall have no active formal disciplinary actions on file for the current or immediatelypreceding review period.Primary Workplace – The teleworkers usual and customary workplace.Teleworker – An employee, who for at least one or more days in a particular pay period works at home, or analternate workplace, to produce an agreed upon work product. An employee who travels continuously andwhose current work location is his or her home is included in this definition.  Regular Teleworker – An employee, who with the approval of his or her supervisor, is scheduled to telework on the same day or days every week on a consistent basis.
  • 2. GA DOD SPO Teleworking, January, 2009Page 2 of 7  Occasional Teleworker – An employee who, with the approval of his or her supervisor, teleworks on an infrequent basis.Teleworking Agreement – The signed document that outlines the understanding between the agency and theemployee regarding the teleworking arrangement. A copy of the Teleworking Agreement must be provided toSPO.Teleworking Application – A completed Telework Self-Assessment and Work Space Self-Certificationsubmitted by an eligible employee in an eligible position to the direct supervisor. The direct supervisor shouldreview the application with the location manager within 10 business days of receipt and provide a writtendecision back to the employee. Approved applications will result in a Teleworking Agreement. Copies ofthese documents must be maintained by the location and are subject to audit by the SPO.  Telework Self-Assessment – A successful teleworker has particular traits, a job suitable for telework, and a telework site that is conducive to work. A self-assessment helps an employee interested in teleworking decide whether telework is right for him or her. The supervisor and/or location manager must sign the form, indicating agreement or disagreement with the self-assessment.  Work Space Self-Certification – As a condition of permission to telework, the employee must verify that home facilities used for telework purposes are safe and suitable for purposes of the employee’s work. The agency may deny an employee the opportunity to telework if the alternate worksite is not conducive to productive work. The self-certification is necessary to reduce the state’s exposure to risk and liability and helps the employee know if his or her alternate workplace is conducive to productive work.II. SPO RESPONSIBILITIESThe State Personnel Office (SPO) will support agency locations and employees in the implementation and/orcontinuation of teleworking agreements.The SPO shall:A. Establish an agency policy;B. Work with locations to determine eligible positions and eligible employees;C. Ensure that practices are consistent with state policy and law in the use of state technology and administration of telework agreement;D. Coordinate SPA telework training for agency employees;E. Assist locations with ensuring that individual work schedules and reporting for non-exempt employees are in compliance with FLSA regulations and state policy;F. Provide draft teleworking agreements;G. Approve final versions of teleworking agreements before implementation;H. Periodically audit all teleworking agreements, self-assessments and work space self-certifications;I. Conduct periodic and/or regular audits of all teleworking arrangements to ensure compliance with agreements and policy.
  • 3. GA DOD SPO Teleworking, January, 2009Page 3 of 7III. LOCATION PARTICIPATION AND RESPONSIBILITIESTelework may not be suitable for all employees and/or positions. Agency locations (i.e. divisions) mayimplement teleworking as a work option for certain eligible employees based on specific criteria andprocedures consistently applied throughout the location.Each participating location shall:A. Establish expectations for and monitoring employee performance;B. Determine if office-like space is required at the teleworking location;C. Determine if state equipment will be provided to the employee to use at home;D. Establish how the teleworker will maintain regular contact with customers, office, co-workers, and supervisors;E. Determine how the location will handle restricted access materials, security issues, and taking electronic or paper records from the primary work place;F. Ensure that individual work schedules and reporting for non-exempt employees are in compliance with FLSA regulations and state policy;G. Ensure that each employee’s request to telework is considered in relation to the agencys operating and customer needs; andH. Maintain original copies of all teleworking agreements and work space self-certifications, as well as make them available to SPO upon request.IV. EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION AND RESPONSIBILITIESOffering the opportunity to work at home or another alternate workplace is a management option and is not anemployee right. An employee’s participation in the state’s teleworking program is entirely voluntary. Theemployee, supervisor, or manager may terminate teleworking without cause. Teleworking is a workarrangement between an individual employee, his or her supervisor, and the location manager. A supervisorhas no authority to require an employee to telework unless it was a condition of employment or a requirementof the job description.The teleworkers’ conditions of employment with the state remain the same as for non-teleworking stateemployees. Employee salary, benefits, and employer-sponsored insurance coverage will not change as aresult of teleworking. The employee shall adhere to all policies, rules, and regulations of the agency and statewhile teleworking.The employee agrees not to conduct personal business while in official duty status at the alternate workplace.The employee may telework for a partial work day in combination with sick or annual leave necessary toconduct personal business.A participating or interested employee must complete a Telework Application (Telework Self-Assessment andWork Space Self-Certification) and sign an SPO-approved Teleworking Agreement before any teleworkingarrangement can commence or continue.Each participating employee shall:A. Adhere to established expectations for employee performance;
  • 4. GA DOD SPO Teleworking, January, 2009Page 4 of 7B. Properly use and protect any state equipment provided for use at home;C. Maintain regular contact with customers, office, co-workers, and supervisors;D. Properly guard restricted access materials and electronic or paper records taken from the primary work place;E. Ensure compliance with the established work schedule and agency reporting requirements for time and leave.V. TELEWORKING AGREEMENTAn SPO-approved Teleworking Agreement is required of each employee participating in the telework program.The teleworker agreement documents the mandatory policies in effect and the results of any otheragreements between the supervisor and the teleworker. The agreement must be signed by both parties priorto the start of teleworking and affirm that both parties will abide by the terms and conditions of teleworking.The agreement must be reviewed and renewed at least annually to ensure that the guidelines for participatingin the program indicate continued eligibility and are well understood. A supervisor may elect to revise theagreement when a need arises. In addition, the teleworking agreement should be reviewed and revised ifnecessary when there is a change in supervisor, job responsibilities, or change in work circumstances orperformance. The agreement is essential to the management and legal protection needed in teleworking.The agreement shall cover topics including but not limited to the following:A. Employee performance expectations and monitoring;B. Liability and workers compensation – employee and employer understand who is liable and for what;C. Safety – the employee must self-certify that the alternate workplace is safe and conducive to work;D. Equipment – responsibility and use of personal and state equipment at home and inventory of state equipment used outside the primary workplace;E. Security – taking records away from the office, accessing the agency’s computer system, and accessing information over the Internet;F. Work schedule – when and where the employee will telework and procedures for overtime and leave approvals;G. Accessibility – how the employee will keep in communication with clients, co-workers, supervisors, and those the employee may supervise while teleworking; andH. Expectations of the supervisor and employee – terminating the agreement, reimbursement of expenses, and standards of conduct.The agreement must have a place where the employee acknowledges that he or she has read and agreed tothe terms of the policy and items listed in the agreement. Any employee who teleworks must sign a TeleworkAgreement and may be required to complete training.
  • 5. GA DOD SPO Teleworking, January, 2009Page 5 of 7VI. WORK SPACE AND WORK HOURSA defined workspace and defined work hours are necessary (1) to reduce the state’s exposure to risk, (2) tofacilitate proper management of teleworkers, and (3) to ensure work is done in a productive environment.A. Work Space: The teleworker shall designate a specific workspace at the telework location and will conductwork for the agency from that location. The employee shall maintain a clean, safe workspace that is adequatefor work and free of obstructions and distractions. To ensure that productive working conditions exist, it maybe necessary for the state to make on-site visits at mutually agreed-upon times. However, this will be handledby the agency on a case-by-case basis.B. Work Hours: Each employee that teleworks shall develop a work schedule with the employee’s supervisor,and the employee’s supervisor must agree in advance to any changes to the employee’s work schedule.Employees subject to mandatory overtime must obtain approval from their supervisor before performingovertime. A non-exempt employee working overtime without such approval may cause the agency to terminatethe teleworking option and/or take other appropriate action. The employee must obtain approval in advancefrom his or her supervisor before taking leave during a designated telework day.The employee must maintain contact with the office as specified in the work schedule, agency policy, andtelework agreement. Failure to do so may result in termination of the Telework Agreement. An employee’spersonal activities must be outside the time of work or outside the place designated for work.VII. TRAININGSuccessful teleworking programs require management support in order to succeed. Specific managementpractices such as the ability to manage by results and skill in setting and communicating clear goals areessential. Managers must be convinced of the benefits the teleworking program will provide them and theyshould be trained to effectively manage employees that telework. Management buy-in and commitment arethe most important prerequisites for the success of any teleworking program. As a result, state agencies arerequired by the State Personnel Administration and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budgeting toprovide training to employees and supervisors who wish to participate in telework.All teleworking program training will be coordinated for the agency by the State Personnel Office in conjunctionwith the State Personnel Administration’s Statewide Telework Coordinator, who serves as a resource to stateagencies for training program curriculum and content.VIII. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIESA. General: Office supplies (e.g., pens and paper) shall be provided by the location and should be obtainedduring the teleworker’s in-office work period. The employee is expected to use his or her own furniture,telephone lines, and other equipment (with the exception of any equipment any agency may provide underitem B below). Any use of private facilities of the employee will be at the employee’s discretion and not at thebehest or expense of the state. This applies to all physical improvements and conveniences as well asservices.B. Assignment of Portable Equipment on a Temporary Basis: Locations may give written permission forcertain equipment, such as computers, laptops and pagers, to be checked out and used at the alternateworksite.IX. SECURITY AND ACCESS TO INFORMATIONThe teleworker is responsible for maintaining confidentiality and security at the alternate workplace, as theteleworker would at the primary work place. The employee must protect the security and integrity of data,information, paper files, and access to agency computer systems. State Information Technology policy,
  • 6. GA DOD SPO Teleworking, January, 2009Page 6 of 7National Guard Bureau policy and regulations, and Internet and technology use policies apply to teleworking,as they would in the primary workplace.X. EXPENSES AND COMPENSABLE TIMEAn employee may work from his or her home or another alternate work site that has been approved by theemployer. Mileage between the home and the employees assigned office or other telework location shall beconsidered commute mileage and not subject to reimbursement.Work related long distance phone calls should be planned for in-office days. At the discretion of the locationmanager and in conjunction with the Financial Management Division, expenses for business related longdistance calls and cell phone calls, which must be made from a teleworkers home, may be reimbursed if thereasons and costs for the calls are documented. The teleworker is responsible for the cost of maintenance,repair, and operation of personal equipment not provided by the state.XI. LIABILITYThe employee’s home workspace is an extension of the agency workspace only when used for work.Employees may therefore be covered for workers compensation if they are injured while performing work onbehalf of the employer in the employee’s home workspace during teleworking hours. If an injury occurs duringteleworking hours, the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor. The employee,supervisor, and location must follow the state’s policies regarding the reporting of injuries for employeesinjured while at work.The State of Georgia is not responsible for any injuries to family members, visitors, and others in theemployee’s home workspace. The teleworker may not have business guests at the alternate workplace or anyother location except the agency’s offices.The state will not be responsible for any loss or damage to: the teleworker’s real property, including anystructures attached thereto; any personal property owned by the teleworker, or any of the teleworker’s familymembers; or property of others in the care, custody, or control of the teleworker or any of the teleworker’sfamily members. The teleworker is responsible for contacting the teleworker’s insurance agent and a taxconsultant and consulting local ordinances for information regarding home workplaces. Individual taximplications, auto and homeowners insurance, and incidental residential utility costs are the responsibility ofthe teleworker.XII. CHILD AND DEPENDENT CARETeleworking is not a substitute for childcare or dependent care. The teleworker shall continue to makearrangements for child or dependent care to the same extent as if the teleworker was working at their primaryworkplace.XIII. RENEWAL OF TELEWORK AGREEMENTSThe telework agreement must be discussed and renewed at least annually, whenever there is a major jobchange (such as a promotion), or whenever the teleworker or supervisor changes positions. A change in anyone of these elements may require a review of the teleworking arrangement as teleworking was selected as afeasible work option based on a combination of job characteristics, employee characteristics, and supervisorcharacteristics.
  • 7. GA DOD SPO Teleworking, January, 2009Page 7 of 7ATTACHMENTS: Telework Self-Assessment Work Space Self-Certification SAMPLE Telework Agreement ////END OF POLICY////