COVID-19: Remote/Alternative Work Site

A remote work arrangement is an option that allows an employee to work at home or another alternative off-site location, for a specified number of hours per week, month, etc. This guide is specific to the COVID-19 response and recommendations and may include information that differs from the Alternative Work Sites policy.

Here are some ideas for consideration of what kind of work a staff member can perform remotely that might be outside of their normal job duties:

  • Customer service/response and scheduling. Use tools such as phone forwarding and group calendars.
  • Training. Improve skills using various online training options, i.e. LinkedIn Learning.
  • “Back Burner" Projects. Remote work time can be ideal to have your team member tackle delayed projects such as writing manuals or other types of documentation.
  • Research. Ask the employee to do benchmarking research on a topic the department is interested in pursuing.
  • Planning. Is there planning that needs to occur in your department?  For example, do you run an annual meeting or conference in several months where the planning can start earlier?
  • Data-Crunching. Compile department data to generate reports/metrics.
  • Updating Websites. Review department websites (and other promotional/written materials) for information that needs to be updated.

Readiness Check for Working Remotely

  • Hardware. Ensure you have sufficient computer hardware to complete your normal and necessary work tasks. Your department may have equipment available for checkout. This can include laptop, headset, or webcam. Check out these Remote Work FAQs.
  • Taking a few additional security precautions can help protect your online accounts and the university’s valuable information. Here are some steps you can take to enhance security.
  • Internet Access and VPN. If you require a remote desktop connect to connect to your work computer from home, talk with your department I.T. Tech or email the Huskertech Help Center at support@nebraska.edu
  • Online Services & Software (i.e. Firefly for time entry). You have access to Microsoft 365 Online (this includes your email, calendar, Word, Excel and PowerPoint) by going to https://office.com and log in with your UNL credentials. 
  • Work Files. If they are stored on Box, you can access them via https://unl.box.com or Box Drive if installed on your remote computer. Learn more about Box@UNL.
  • Zoom for Online Meetings. If you don’t have a webcam, consider purchasing one or commit to audio-only communications and recording. Learn what precautions to take to keep your Zoom video conferences secure.
  • Think of any other program(s) that you use regularly and request assistance from your I.T. Tech if needed.
  • Voicemail. If your voicemail is not set up to forward to your email, consider changing your outgoing message to indicate that you may not be able to check your voicemail regularly and that email is a better way to reach you. You can also check with your supervisor if you could enable Unified Messaging and have your voicemail forwarded to your email. 
  • Contact Information. Have additional contact information other than a work phone for your supervisor, coworkers and teammates, and anyone that you supervise.

Related Information: