What to be aware of when establishing a program.
Remote-Centered vs. Office-Centered Telework
To promote telework while avoiding duplication of resources and ensuring effective use of office space, departments should distinguish employees as remote-centered or office-centered. These terms are defined in the Statewide Telework Policy.
Allowing use of a shared workstation for employees that are remote-centered allows for the department to optimize space. As a department is developing a telework program and its goals, it should consider how it wants to leverage the program to support its goals. A department could determine, based on the nature of the work to designate certain positions or programs as full-time remote-centered telework. Departments are encouraged to include language in duty statements and job advertisements when a position is conducive to telework and include the percentage of time eligible for telework.
Work with the Real Estate Services Division at DGS to begin strategic planning around adoption of telework and the impact to office space.
Remote-centered teleworkers may need to come into the office less than 50% of the time, and should expect to use a shared workstation such as those described below:
- Benching Station: An unassigned compact workspace within an open office, typically +/- 32 SF. Can be first-come, first served, or through use of reservations.
- Free Address Workspace: Unassigned workspace available to any employee on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Hoteling Workspace: Unassigned workspace available to any employee through a reservation-based system.
- Shared Workspace: Two or more employees sharing a single, assigned workspace either during the workday or on different shifts or schedules.
Follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for ensuring a sanitary and safe shared workspace and ensure any necessary supplies are available for employees.
Work with Real Estate Services Division at DGS to plan for shared spaced to support your telework program.
Headquarters for teleworkers
Existing regulations define headquarters and residence. These definitions are utilized for determining travel expense reimbursements, recruitment and retention differentials, geographical pay differentials and the like. The employee’s designated headquarters does not change as a result of an employee’s approved Telework Agreement. The headquarter location of record will continue to be used by the department to describe the location where the employee would normally work absent a Telework Agreement.
Each telework employee should have a single dedicated workstation. There is no expectation that teleworking employees have dedicated workstations in the office and at the approved alternate work location. The department should establish a dedicated workstation in the office for the office-centered teleworker. The department should establish a dedicated workstation at the alternate work location to support the remote-centered teleworker.
The department shall provide the following for a single dedicated work station:
- Computing equipment. For more information, refer to Hardware Specifications.
- Software or appropriate access to software. For more information, refer to Collaboration Tools.
- Monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
- Telephone service.
- If an employee needs a work phone number, they should be provided a single phone number that can be used at an alternate work location and office location.
- Departments may want to consider the use of softphone technology to support this effort. Softphone services leverage existing computing equipment to provide telephone services. Softphone applications may be embedded in your collaboration tools. Some of the benefits include being able to issue employees a dedicated work number that follows them to the office and their remote location. This may be preferable to employees from a privacy perspective. Additionally, these solutions may be more cost effective than issuing cell phones.
- Ergonomic equipment as appropriate per department’s ergonomic policy such as chair or headset.
- Office supplies such as paper, pens, etc.
- Delivery of items that are not easily moved to the work station at the alternate work location if a teleworker is remote-centered.
A teleworker can use their own equipment, including their own computing device, with departmental approval. Departments should ensure that employees using their own equipment are following information security best practices to ensure they keep their equipment and department assets safe. Refer to Stay Protected at Home and in the Office. Additionally, employees should be aware that if they voluntarily use personally owned equipment, they may need to release it in the event of an investigation or request under the Public Records Act (Gov. Code sections 6250 et seq.) for public records stored on personal equipment.
Remote Centered Employee Work Equipment
In accordance with SAM section 0181 if an approved remote centered employee is not providing their own equipment and requests equipment, management should assess if the request is reasonable and necessary to enable the remote centered employee to perform their job functions. Upon approval by program management, equipment shall be procured according to standard department procurement practices. Department issued equipment shall be documented in the employees approved STD. 200. and the departmental Asset Management process. Equipment and reimbursements should be in accordance with policy and the applicable employee MOU.
Shipping of Work Equipment
State facility locations should be the shipping location as procurement documents are publicly available and include the shipping address. Departments may elect to have equipment shipped to a state facility closer to the employee’s alternate work location instead of their in-office location to make pick up of the equipment more convenient for the employee. Departments may elect to ship equipment from state facilities to an employee’s alternate work location as requested by the employee and as deemed appropriate and necessary by program management, but this must be done outside of the procurement process.
Departmental Business Expenses
Departmental business expenses shall be evaluated in accordance with existing applicable policies, laws and standards. Other business expenses may include, but are not limited to, printers, scanners, and other office supplies.
Departments should continue to evaluate and assess their existing technology environment to ensure it is able to support ongoing telework as well as develop plans for needed infrastructure to support telework program goals. Recommendations were developed in collaboration with the California Department of Technology (CDT). For more information, refer to Secure the work environment and Optimize the work environment.
Departments should evaluate the needs of user groups or types with different job functions and what is required for each to perform eligible work remotely. For example, architects may require higher powered work stations and bandwidth to complete their functions versus a general office worker that primarily accesses e-mail and documents. Departments may create use cases for different roles with distinct technology needs and determine what is required to support those functions remotely. Departments should consult the hardware specifications recommended to support remote work and ensure that their teleworkers’ hardware needs are met.
Departments must work with their information technology organization and department leadership to ensure that collaboration needs are well understood. Department information technology organizations must evaluate the needs relative to available collaboration tools, make recommendations and arrange for needed training on tools.
Department information technology organizations should be evaluating service offerings relative to providing services remotely. This might involve evaluating cloud computing stance, department storage, security protocols and access. Information technology organizations are encouraged to develop technology roadmaps to better support remote working. This will have the added benefit of supporting department’s business continuity planning.