Remote Work Guidelines for Supervisors

In response to the recent developments related to COVID-19, Gallaudet is taking proactive steps to ensure the health and well-being of its employees while maintaining business continuity by requiring its eligible employees to work remotely.  Working remotely is a new experience for many of us and we understand the importance of providing clear and consistent guidance so that you can effectively manage your team remotely. This document provide strategies on how to monitor your team’s performance and maintain momentum in a remote work environment:

  1. Define Each Team Member’s Role  

Make a list of all team members and the type of work that can be done remotely and that which may be challenging to do remotely. This will help you understand what work can continue and what may be disrupted.  It will give you an opportunity to see if the latter work can be redesigned differently to minimize or eliminate any disruptions. A template can be found here
 

  1. Clarify Team and Individual Goals

This is a basic step but it is a good opportunity to ensure everyone understands the team objectives, individual goals and how each team member can contribute to the desired outcomes identified.  Supervisors need to continually clarify goals at the team and individual level to stay focused on key priorities. When you re-prioritize goals, think carefully about who gets the assignment and make sure the changing goals are communicated to the entire team.
 

  1. Set and Manage Team Expectations

Your team members must communicate with you regularly during their work hours.  Depending on the nature of your team members’ duties, ask them to inform you or seek pre-approval for any time they wish to be offline for a certain amount of time.  If they will be offline and non-responsive for an extended amount of time for non-work related reasons, they should request to use leave. As the manager, you should communicate to your team expectations that they should be available during Gallaudet’s business hours in Eastern Time (regardless of the time zone they are physically in) through IM, Google Chat, Zoom, email, etc.  You can ask your team members to be shown as “active” online through Google Chat. Make it a point to do regular check-ins during the day or week.  

If you have non-exempt employees who are working remotely, they must continue to clock in and out through Time and Labor to ensure compliance with DC law.  You should make it clear to them that they must seek approval first before working overtime. 
 

  1. Create Clear Channels of Communication

Employees should know who to contact when they have questions requiring immediate attention and what is the best method for getting in touch with that person. Creating a contact list of people they should contact for help or information, along with their anticipated working available hours, will help your employees understand  if they will get immediate answers to their questions or if they will need to wait. This is an opportunity to leverage the technology and tools available to the University. You should let your team know the best tools to use to communicate with one another, whether it is by video calls, texts, emails, or communication through an established app pre-approved by the University? Creating these clear channels of communication can help remote workers feel informed and connected.  If you need additional tools or resources, please contact IT Service Desk.
 

  1. Emphasize Personal Interactions

For some employees who make a sudden transition to a remote working environment,  they may feel disconnected, which may lower productivity and engagement. To address these challenges, making time for personal interaction is more important than ever.  

Host regular team meetings by relying on video conferences, such as Zoom or Google Hangout.  These meetings are more personal and allow team members to read each other’s emotions and help boost morale.  This also helps improve decision making by allowing people to share their thoughts and debate ideas more effectively.

Whenever possible, celebrate accomplishments, special occasions, and milestones. It is possible to continue this even in a remote work environment. 
 

  1. Integrate Accountability into the Workflow

Although your team is working remote, it is still critical to provide them with real-time feedback.  This also goes back to the importance of regular check-ins. This is an opportunity to ensure that your team  is on track to meeting established progress goals.  

There are tools you can use to monitor work progress, highlight metrics and initiate action when necessary such as Teamwork, Dropbox, etc.  You can use the tool that will allow you to monitor progress most effectively. If you need additional tools or resources, please contact IT Service Desk.
 

  1. Be Available and Consistent

Employees look to their supervisors for guidance, which may be more critical than ever due to the challenges of working in a new work environment.  It is important to be available, approachable and consistent. These are important traits for any manager, but it’s especially important if you are managing from a distance.Consistency in your responses, instructions, and evaluations are important  factors in creating a stable and inclusive workplace environment.  

It is important to keep the following principles in mind:

  • Be proactive in providing guidance and support to your team.

  • Be available and flexible to meet the needs of your team.

  • Be connected by leveraging technology to support productivity, efficiencies, communication and importantly, connectedness.  

  • Model the behavior that you expect of your team.

Also, please remember that: 

  • If an employee needs to return to campus to perform certain duties, you can instruct them to do so but consider implementing rotating shifts for regular duties that must be performed on campus.

  • If employees are ill or unable to work, allow them to use leave.

  • If employees are expected to not be able to work due  to a serious medical condition for an extended period of time, ask them to complete a FMLA form.  

  • If employees are injured while carrying out their duties, they may qualify for Worker’s Compensation so please inform them of their rights.

  • If employees express personal issues and need more support, refer them to the Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). 

  • If you are experiencing a conflict with your employee or your employees are having conflicts with one another, you can contact Employee Relations or Office of the Ombuds for guidance on how to address this conflict.  


It is important to remember that you must review the Interim Remote Policy and Remote Work Agreement before your employees can work remotely.  

Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002

Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002