This list of questions was last reviewed on Sept. 10, 2020. Zero questions were added or updated.
When will the University require remote working? (updated June 10)
For the health and safety of the University, Northeastern has implemented temporary guidelines for most employees to work remotely.
How do I know if I have to report to work during that period? (added March 17)
A limited number of employees will be notified by their supervisor that they must work on site.
If I have not been told to report to work on site, and my supervisor and I have not developed my Work From Home (WFH) assignment, what should I do? (added March 17)
Contact your supervisor. While you wait for your WFH assignment, you should spend your designated work time on professional development activities that relate to your work at the University.
How can I continue to perform administrative business functions from home while working remotely? (updated July 8)
The Division of Finance and Administration has provided a guide in NEIUport. The COVID-19 VPFA Division FAQ is available under “Financial Manager Resources” in the NEIUworks channel of the Employee tab.
Will I get paid during this period? (added March 17)
What about student workers, including graduate assistants? Will they get paid? (updated March 24)
Yes, student employees may work from home. Supervisors may provide student employees with a WFH agreement. All student employees will be paid and should complete and submit their time sheets with the hours they would normally be scheduled to work.
How do I record my time worked? (updated April 1)
Employees should continue to follow their normal procedures for time sheets. Record your hours as normal hours worked, not with a special code. If you are taking benefit (sick or vacation) time, denote it as such. For hourly employees, web time entry and supervisor approval can be done remotely. More details are provided on the Human Resources FAQ document located in NEIUport under “Financial Manager Resources” in the NEIUworks channel of the Employee tab.
What if I don’t have reliable access to technology or to the internet? (added March 17)
Work with your supervisor to develop a WFH assignment that doesn’t include technology.
Am I still an employee while I’m working remotely? (added March 17)
Yes. Employees are still subject to all the policies and rules of the University.
Do I have to work at all during this period? (added March 17)
Employees who do not wish to work from home must take benefit time (such as sick and vacation time) during this period.
What if I have a previously scheduled vacation during this period? (added March 17)
Previously scheduled vacation must be reflected on time sheets. Vacation will be charged against the employee’s accrual.
What if I have already filed for sick leave or FMLA? (added March 17)
Employees with approved FMLA due to their own condition should consult the Office of Human Resources. Employees who have applied for FMLA to provide care for a dependent may be eligible for a remote work assignment.
If I get injured while working remotely, can I file for workers’ compensation? (added March 18)
Yes, through Northeastern’s Office of Human Resources.
Do I still have to protect University information assets? (added March 17)
Employees with access to confidential information must protect confidentiality at all times.
As a supervisor, how do I determine an appropriate remote work assignment for my employee? (added March 18)
Supervisors should review the employee’s job description and determine appropriate tasks and/or professional development opportunities. Northeastern’s Office of Human Resources can assist supervisors in the development of remote work assignments.
How will this impact my annual performance evaluation? (added March 17)
Employees will be held accountable for fulfilling the requirements of their remote work assignments.
Will civil service employees’ probationary period be extended? (added March 17)
Yes, only for the period that the employee is working remotely.
Can supervisors contact remote employees outside of normal work hours? (added March 18)
University employees are encouraged to be patient and flexible during this period. Supervisors are encouraged to be mindful of their employees’ work-life balance and regular work schedules.
Can supervisors contact employees about work when they are taking vacation or other benefit time? (added March 18)
Ordinarily, any employee who is sick, taking a vacation or other benefit time should not be contacted at home or by phone.
Will supervisors be flexible with attendance policies considering alterations in the public transit schedules? (added March 20)
For those employees who are required to be on campus, supervisors should be flexible with employees’ attendance.
What if I need technical support? (added March 18)
Please contact the Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or (773) 442-4357.
Do you have any tips for working from home? (added March 23)
- Maintain Regular Work Hours: Set a schedule and try to stick to it. It will be great if you can stick to your normal work hours, but understand that this may need to change due to other family commitments or interrupted schedules in your home (i.e. Your spouse also works at home, kids at home with school work commitments, daycare not available, etc.). Keep your manager informed of what is going on and when you anticipate working.
- Keep a Routine: Still get up, shower, and get dressed in the morning. Stay in your work routine without the commute. This is some extra time for you and your family.
- Have a Dedicated Workspace: While ideally, this may be a room with a door where you can shut out the rest of the household, that might not be an option. If not, set up a constant space you will work from, if possible. Sitting in front of the TV or working from your lap is for personal time. Use a portion of your dining table, a home office or other desk space, but try to keep a designated workspace separate from home space, if possible.
- Ground Rules for the Household: While some may be the only ones in their house, others may have a full house with younger or older children returning home, or grandkids staying over during your work hours. Let them know just because you are home doesn’t mean you are readily available to take care of them and entertain them.
- Take Breaks: You should still take breaks from your work. Sitting continuously isn’t good for you. Take a walk around the block. We all need to get some exercise in, to help reduce stress and keep us healthier. Just be mindful of following CDC guidelines while out and about. Schedule your breaks.
- Phone/Communication Management: Participate in daily workgroup phone calls. Schedule these daily and other meetings just like you would in the office. Use video if tools (camera availability) allow. Google Hangouts are available to most. Also, be considerate of your peers. If you have headphones, use them. Headphones often cut down on the interference or background your computer mic pics up. This will help you stay in touch with your co-workers and keep the team together. Don’t let personal calls interrupt your work time; only if they are an emergency. For work calls, try to be as responsive as you are in the office.
- VPN Access & Secure Networks: For some applications, you will only be able to work when connected to the VPN. The VPN is in place to protect NEIU data and is more secure than working on open networks. Whenever you are working with personal or confidential data, do your best to ensure your home network is secure. Your internet provider can help you with this.
- Shared Work Space: If others in your family must physically be in your workspace, make sure when you walk away from your computer you lock the screen. Other household members could be tempted to use your work computer and could go to inappropriate sites or download a virus. We don’t want to infect our network. Your machine is for work use only—just like at work. You shouldn’t be using it for personal use or to stream TV because someone in the household doesn’t want to watch what everyone else is watching.
- Coordinate With Your Team: More coordination may need to occur within your own work team and other departments you work with. You can still have video meetings or conference calls for groups that need to meet. On-site visits to campus may still be necessary, but coordinate them through your supervisor and follow any guidance put out by the Task Force.
- Respectful, Pleasant and a Positive Attitude: Be patient, have a good sense of humor and have a supportive attitude. While we are being forced into this situation, be thankful that we are in a position where we can do it. Let’s keep our moral and ethical compass straight and do our best to provide services for the University.
What are other resources during this WFH period? (added March 23)
LinkedIn now is offering 16 courses at no charge. Other work assignments that employees can perform remotely:
- Update, create or review departmental policies and procedures
- Read the University policy and procedures
- Develop departmental training documentation that currently does not exist
- Do continuing education or development webinars.