The traveler should first seek a refund for any expenses already paid (e.g. conference registration, airfare, etc.). The university will reimburse amounts not refunded by vendors. A travel RV with all receipts must be submitted along with a statement of why the travel was canceled and that the traveler sought, but did not receive a refund for the expenses for which they are requesting reimbursement. If the travel is being paid for with Contracts and Grants funds, please reach out to C&G to ensure that the expenses can still be paid with C&G funds.
What is remote work?
Remote work is a work arrangement in which some, or all, of the work is performed from home or another off-site location. In general, regular office hours are worked and deviations from that schedule require supervisor approval.
As a supervisor, can I cancel my employee’s travel?
Yes, if you decide it is in the university’s and traveler’s best interest you can revoke permission for your employees to travel. Please include firstname.lastname@example.org on any revocation of travel and we will monitor for any attempt at reimbursement for the traveler.
Which jobs are suited for remote work?
Remote work is easiest to implement for jobs or tasks that require reading, writing, research, working with data and talking on the phone. In general, and at leadership’s discretion, a job is suited to remote working if the job or some components of it can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication.
Will my state-sponsored healthcare plan cover medical expenses associated with treatment?
Yes, you will have the same coverage that is currently available for any emergency or non-emergency illness. Pleased be advised that state-sponsored PPO and HMO healthcare plans do not cover telemedicine at this time.
For additional coverage details visit: hr.ucf.edu/current-employees/insurance
To contact your insurance carrier, please visit the Benefits Vendor Contact Sheet at mybenefits.myflorida.com/health/health_insurance_plans
If I have a conference that is canceled because of the coronavirus, what should I do?
If your conference is canceled, follow the refund procedures that the conference communicates to you. For airfare, each airline is unique in their offerings. If travel was booked through Concur, we recommend you contact UCF’s dedicated Concur staff at 855-967-2818. If you booked airfare directly through an airline, or other travel booking agent, please contact them to assess your options.
Which jobs are not as well suited for remote work?
It is not uncommon to require employees in positions needing in-person contact/customer service or that rely upon specific equipment or supplies to work on site. Management and/or supervisory roles may be excluded from consideration for remote working arrangements unless a department finds such an arrangement practical in meeting job responsibilities. Some jobs that may not seem appropriate at first may be modified, with your college or division HR lead’s approval so that employees can work remotely.
Can my supervisor cancel my annual leave request that has already been approved?
Yes, your supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved leave request, especially in circumstances where there are serious staffing shortages as a result of illness.
I meet with students, staff and customers as part of my job responsibilities. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?
As with other forms of the flu or contagious illnesses such as colds, maintaining a reasonable distance from the person is a starting point. Do not shake hands or make other physical contact. Use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe those areas of your work station that the person has touched. There may be situations in which the meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone or email. Do not hesitate to offer this suggestion if it is appropriate.
As a supervisor, how can I make sure I'm managing remote employees effectively?
Remote work works best when employees and supervisors communicate clearly about expectations. The following checklist will help you establish a foundation for effective remote working, continued productivity, and service to the University community.
1. Review technology needs and resources.
Identify technology tools employees use in their daily work and determine whether the resources will be accessible when working from home. Also, ensure employees know how to access the appropriate technical support, should they need assistance.
- Confirm that employees know how to set up call forwarding and how to access their voicemail from home, if available. The UCF Cell Phone Policy may apply.
- Determine which platform(s) you will use to communicate as a team, clarify expectations for online availability and confirm everyone has access to the technology tool(s). UCF employees have free access to Skype for Business, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and your department may have additional tools or resources.
- Ensure alternative worksite safety.
2. Review work schedules.
Remote working can be confused with flex work. Be clear about your expectations with employees for maintaining their current work schedule or if you are open to flexible scheduling based on employee needs.
- For employees who are eligible for overtime, certain activities — such as travel to and from required meetings that occur during scheduled work time — are included as hours worked.
- OPS employees should continue to work, as long as there is work available, as agreed to by department/college head and HR lead. Timesheets or LAPERS will be managed through email as attachments to ensure employees will be paid for their remote work leave and hours worked. Submit LAPERs and timesheets to your supervisor and payroll processor.
3. Draft a work plan.
Review the questions below with employees and work through answers together.
- What routine responsibilities/tasks cannot be fulfilled while working remotely and how will it impact operations or other people? What are ways to reduce any identified impacts?
- Are there cross-training opportunities to identify backup employees who can do critical work within or between departments? Plan for employee absences.
- What key processes have been identified for each area/or department? Will there be specific platform access necessary to fulfill these processes?
- What routine responsibilities/tasks require regular communication and collaboration with others? Proactively contact each other to confirm how you will communicate while everyone is working remotely.
- Are there critical work activities that are vulnerable to the absence of a small number of key employees?
- Identify which teams or individuals have limited or no experience with remote work.
- What training will be necessary for remote work tools and technology?
- Identify and agree on strategic priorities during this time.
- Implement a test exercise to test your plan.
- Oftentimes employees experience fewer interruptions while working remotely. Are there any special projects, tasks, or online training that you can advance while working remotely?
- What events or meetings are scheduled during the time in which the temporary remote working arrangement is in place? Will they be postponed or canceled, or will they take place using technology?
- What follow-up should occur due to postponements or cancellations? What circumstances require on-site attendance?
- Identify employees who may need special requirements or currently have work accommodations, and plan accordingly.
- Identify employees who will have access to the building, labs, or facilities.
- Provide resources or the process for technical support.
4. Make a communication and accountability plan.
Supervisors should tell employees how often they should send updates on work plan progress and what those updates should include. Supervisors should also communicate how quickly they expect the employee to respond and the best ways for the employee to contact the supervisor while working remotely. Current performance standards are expected to be maintained by employees.
- If you normally make daily rounds to visit employees at their desks, you can give them a call during this period. Maintain team meetings and one-to-one check-ins, altering the schedule if needed to accommodate any alternative schedules that have been approved.
- Conduct regular check-ins. Consider starting each workday with a phone, video, or instant message chat. Your employees will be eager for connection and information during the disruption, and the structure will help everyone create a positive routine. Every other day or weekly check-ins may be fine, so long as you are in contact frequently enough that your employees are in sync with you and/or with one another.
- Prepare an emergency communication plan. Identify key contacts (with backups), chains of communications for tracking business and employee statuses.
5. Be positive.
A positive attitude and a willingness to trust employees to effectively work remotely is key to making such arrangements successful and productive. Working remotely presents an opportunity for supervisors to become better managers. Instead of focusing on how many hours your employees are working, re-emphasize a focus on measuring results and reaching objectives—regardless of work arrangement. The employee’s completed work product is the indicator of success, rather than direct observation. By focusing on the employee’s work product, supervisors will improve their organizational abilities and their own skill in managing by objectives.
6. Debrief after normal operations resume.
Employees and supervisors should review work plans when work returns to normal, assess progress on the employee’s work plan and prioritize any unresolved or new work that resulted from temporary operational disruption.
I have an employee who is ill and has come into work. I’m concerned about the potential for exposure to other people. Can I send this employee home?
Yes. Of greatest concern is an employee with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough; this employee should definitely be sent home. Other symptoms (difficulty breathing) may also be of concern; the decision to send an employee home who is exhibiting these symptoms, or any others, is to be made on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, advise employees of the basic preventative measures (practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands) and post prevention and treatment information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) throughout your work areas. Information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
If travel was paid for on a PCard, should I close the purchase order before I receive the refund?
No, the purchase order should remain open until the refund is received. You will need to link the PO number to the refund on the PCard.
Does FMLA apply if I contract the coronavirus? Does FMLA apply if my spouse or child contracts the virus and I must stay home to care for him/her?
In most cases yes, provided the employee and family member meets the eligibility requirements. A qualifying condition is one that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. The continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a healthcare provider or one visit and a regime of continuing treatment. If you are out for 10 days or more, you must submit a Medical or Parental Leave Request Form and a UCF Certification of Health Care provider forms.
FMLA requires the university to provide up to 12 weeks or 480 hours of unpaid job-protected leave to an eligible employee to care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; or for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job. An employee is entitled to FMLA if they have worked for the university for at least one year and have worked 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months.
FMLA information and resources are available at https://hr.ucf.edu/liaisons-and-managers/manager-resources/personnel-issues/medical-leave/
OPS employees are entitled to FMLA if they meet the eligibility requirements.
Which factors should departments/units consider when determining if remote work is possible?
- Operational requirements
- Security of work data
- Technological capabilities and equipment necessary to perform job duties
- Accuracy of records reflecting time worked by non-exempt employees
Will I be reimbursed for airfare if the airline provides a voucher/credit for future travel?
Yes. The voucher/credit for future travel must be used for UCF business purposes and supervisor approval must be documented prior to the purchase of any airfare. If the department decides to utilize the voucher for a different traveler, UCF will pay for the change in traveler’s name fee.
What assistance is available to me to help me cope with COVID-19 or other life events?
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is UCF’s mental health resource for students. You can visit CAPS’ website for information about and resources for coping during this time. Students can also schedule phone or virtual consultation with CAPS by calling 407-823-2811 or visiting their website.
Student Care Services continues to work remotely with anyone who needs additional academic or personal support during this time.
UCF offers our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all non-student employees. This program provides resources to help employees and their dependents cope with these types of life events. The EAP, administered by Health Advocate, provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.
Health Advocate Toll-Free Number: 877-240-6863
Health Advocate Website: HealthAdvocate.com/members
What’s most important to starting a productive remote work arrangement?
Clearly outlined and executed remote work arrangements can prove beneficial to employees and supervisors alike. Supervisors should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. With proper planning, communication problems can be minimized.
Am I allowed to travel at this time?
Personal domestic and international travel is strongly discouraged during this unique time in an effort to best protect you and those around you.
Campus-to-campus travel by personal or university vehicle is exempt from this cancellation for the following employees: first responders, healthcare professionals, supply chain personnel, critical infrastructure support personnel, and approved researchers and instructors.
I am a UCF employee. Should I continue to report to work?
Starting Friday, March 27, only those employees who have been identified as essential; whose job functions require them to report to campus; and whose supervisors have approved them continuing to work on campus should be at UCF. Only essential employees who meet all three of these criteria will have key card access to campus buildings. If you are unsure about how this applies to you, talk to your supervisor about what the “stay at home” order entails.
Starting Friday, March 27, through April 9, UCF will provide paid administrative leave to employees who are unable to work on campus and unable to work remotely. This leave applies to faculty, administrative and USPS employees. With the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act now in effect, faculty and staff — along with eligible OPS employees — may qualify for emergency leave. All other faculty, administrative, and USPS employees who do not qualify for the federal aid and who cannot work remotely will be provided administrative leave. Employees not available for work due to illness or personal time must take sick or annual leave per UCF policy.
More detailed guidance about the federal legislation will be shared soon with employees, supervisors and HR liaisons.
I have become ill and must stay home. I don’t have enough leave to cover my absence from work due to my illness. How can I afford to stay home until I am completely well before returning to work?
To minimize the potential exposure to others, it is very important that you stay home while you have any contagious illness. If your illness qualifies under the federal Families First Act, you may be eligible for emergency leave pay. Alternatively, the following options may be available to you, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness.
- Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek for non-exempt (hourly paid) employees with supervisory approval. UCF’s workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Thursday.
- Exempt employees may make-up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same pay period with supervisory approval.
- Request a Leave Without Pay for up to ten days with supervisory approval. If an employee is out more than 10 days, the employee will need to request a Medical Leave of Absence. The Medical Request Leave Form is located at https://hr.ucf.edu/files/MedicalLeaveRequestForm.pdf
- Use a combination of the options above.
If all of my classes are now online, am I free to travel?
COVID-19 has been declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, and global travel is restricted. Personal domestic and international travel by all students and employees is strongly discouraged during this unique time in an effort to best protect you and those around you.
Based on guidance from state and federal officials, domestic and international travel for university business remains banned until further notice. The exception is employee travel between UCF campuses, which remains permitted.
Is there remote access to the university’s applicant tracking system, PageUp?
Yes, PageUp can be accessed via mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop utilizing single sign-on credentials.
My child’s school or day care is closed due to COVID-19 and my child is not sick. I have no other childcare arrangements. Can I bring my child to work?
No. Bringing a child to work is not permitted under a stay-at-home order. The only persons allowed on campus are employees who have been approved by their dean or vice president as being critical to the university’s continued operation. These employees include: first responders, healthcare professionals, supply chain personnel, critical infrastructure support personnel, approved researchers and instructors, and certain contractors. If you are not able to work remotely, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities:
- Use accrued sick or annual leave, due to the threat of exposure to illness.
- Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek for non-exempt (hourly paid)
employees with supervisory approval. UCF’s workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on
the following Thursday.
- Exempt employees may make-up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same pay period with
supervisory approval, or if absent for a full workday, may use accrued leave.
- Request a Leave of Absence (annual leave usage for pay) or Leave of Absence (without pay) if you will be out
more than 10 days.
- Use a combination of the options above.
Please note that on March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law and became effective on April 1, 2020. University leadership is now working to understand how this new law may apply to UCF employees. More information will be provided when it becomes available, so please check back for details in the coming days.