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A COVID-19 case has been confirmed at UCF. All classes have moved online through the summer A, C and D semesters, and students are asked not to return to campus. Essential campus operations are continuing, and most employees are asked to begin working remotely. Learn more about COVID-19’s impact at UCF.

UCF’s commitment to safely and effectively meet the public health challenge presented by COVID-19 extends to ensuring university employees may work from home, where determined appropriate, or another remote location whenever necessary in the coming weeks. Remote working (also known as telecommuting) arrangements are not new, but because they may be unfamiliar to employees and supervisors who have never done so, this resource will help you and your team navigate potential remote working scenarios. These arrangements must be approved by the department/college head or designee in collaboration with the respective HR lead of the department/unit or Central HR and may be modified at any time.

Included in this remote working resource page, you will find guidance for supervisors, employees and departments designed to help set up temporary remote work arrangements quickly and successfully.

 Learn more about COVID-19 Emergency Remote Work Procedure.  Fill out the UCF COVID-19 Emergency Remote Work Agreement.

Remote Work FAQs

Yes. Even though UCF announced that most employees are asked to work remotely, some jobs must be performed on site. Not every position is suitable for working remotely due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home or operating requirements of the unit.

You should talk to your supervisor about whether some or all of your job responsibilities can be performed remotely, and if so, submit a COVID-19 Emergency Remote Work Agreement. You may begin remote work as soon as your department has approved your remote work plan and submitted this form to HR. If you are faculty member and have already been teaching online, you do not need to file the Emergency Remote Work Agreement.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Define your workspace

Establishing a workspace, even if it is your kitchen table, gives your brain a cue that it is time for work. Wearing the same attire you do to the office even if it is your “casual Friday,” may be a helpful cue. You should remain capable of reporting to work if your presence is requested by your supervisor.

Master the basics
  • Set up call forwarding, and be sure you know how to access your voicemail from home, if available. The university’s cell phone policy may be applicable.
  • Know how to remote into the UCF network and other online tools you use regularly.
  • Use Skype for Business, Zoom or another instant messaging client to stay connected to colleagues. Additional support for campus employees can be found at it.ucf.edu/faculty-and-staff-support
  • Plan for video calls/meetings by making sure you know how to turn on your computer’s camera (if available) and microphone and being aware your colleagues may be able to see the background behind you.
Set daily goals, track them and share your progress

Consider starting each day of remote work by writing down what you need to accomplish and then tracking your progress. Pay attention to how long tasks take you and start adjusting your daily goals to match your current rhythm. Communicate with your supervisor and/or colleagues if you think your telecommuting plan needs to be adjusted.

Eliminate distractions

Home can mean pets, children or a favorite hobby are only a few feet away. Depending on your living arrangement, you may need to hang a “do not disturb” sign so your family members don’t interrupt you. Pets often need a closed door to keep them away, and you might need headphones to block the noise.

Prioritize privacy

Whether you are in your home or a common area, take five minutes to assess the privacy of your workspace. Can someone standing behind you read your computer screen? Are your windows open so your neighbor can hear your phone call? What information do you need to secure before grabbing a cup of coffee or heading to the restroom?

Your personal privacy matters too, so see if there is anything around you that you would not want visible during a video conference with your boss or colleague. Keep in mind the work employees do while working remotely, even on their personal devices for University work conducted, remains subject to University and other applicable regulations including Public Records law, FS 119.

Continue to employ best security practices

Situations like these are prime phishing opportunities. Remain vigilant for security concerns and be sure to report suspicious emails as recommended by the UCF Security Incident Response Team (SIRT).

  • Caution needs to be taken when dealing with personal health information (“PHI”) and HIPAA matters while working from home or another off-site location. If you have questions, contact your department/division HIPAA officer or HR Lead.
  • VPNs can also allow you to safely connect to a remote network of computers as if you are there. If you are dealing with sensitive information and want to explore VPN, you can learn more on the UCF IT UCF Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access page.
  • Additional information can be found within the UCF Faculty and Staff Guide for Working Remotely.
  • You are expected to follow the telecommuting equipment safeguards outlined in the university’s Telecommuting Manual.
Stay connected

Many people say they do not call or instant message colleagues who are working remotely because they don’t want to bother them. Remember, they are working, not vacationing at home. You should feel confident about calling or messaging an employee who is working remotely anytime you would walk to their office or call them if you were working on-site.

  • Operational requirements
  • Security of work data
  • Technological capabilities and equipment necessary to perform job duties
  • Productivity
  • Accuracy of records reflecting time worked by non-exempt employees

Supervisors and employees should discuss whether some or all of a position’s duties may be performed remotely. If so, they should review the COVID-19 Emergency Remote Work Procedure and submit the Remote Work Agreement to UCF Human Resources. Remote work can then begin immediately.

UCF IT provides multiple resources for working remotely and has put together a helpful guide as you start thinking about your personal and departmental plans.

Consistent with the university’s telecommuting manual, we will reimburse for high-speed internet when employees incur additional costs to their personal home internet access. For example, if an employee does not have high-speed internet access, the university will reimburse for the installation and monthly service for a dedicated business-related access line for the pro-rata time period in which the employee works from home. If the employee has personal internet access and incurs additional costs associated with working remotely such as increased data needs or bandwidth, the university will reimburse for the pro-rata time period in which the employee is working from home. If employees already have access to high-speed internet and will use the same access for university business and incurs no additional costs, no reimbursements will be paid. Departments may temporarily assign Wi-Fi hotspots to employees while they are working remotely, if available.

Cell phone reimbursements will be paid according to the UCF Policy 4-009. We encourage departments to limit reimbursements to only additional costs employees may incur while working remotely.

Yes.  If you are an employee who will be working remotely either all or part of the time while the university is encouraging remote work options, then you can come to campus to collect the items from your office that you need to work effectively.

People are not banned from campus at this time; however, conditions may change as this situation develops.  Right now, the university’s goal is to reduce campus traffic and reduce campus population, which is why many employees are temporarily authorized to work from home.

Many campus buildings will be locked to avoid entry by members of the public, but after-hours ‘swipe-in’ access (for those buildings that have it) will be functioning.  If your building is not generally accessible to you after hours, then you will need to make arrangements for someone to let you into the building.

You may be allowed to work during the period of Learning and Working Remotely if your supervises permits you to work and you do not meet one of the CDC criteria for self-quarantine due to travel restrictions.

In addition, according to updated guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on Federal Work-Study (FWS), FWS students may be paid even if they are unable to work this term due to COVID-19. Some FWS students may have worked or would like to continue working. Supervisors have the flexibility to allow this, and students will be paid regardless. This is great news for our students who rely on this federal aid.

As always, the hours that students work should be documented on a timesheet and submitted to payroll for normal processing. UCF Human Resources will be communicating directly with departmental payroll processors and authorizers about how to pay FWS students who are unable to work.

All students who work remotely need approval from their supervisor and must submit a COVID-19 Emergency Remote Work Agreement.

Communication with your supervisor is more important than ever when you are working remotely. You should keep your supervisor informed about your health status and decide together whether you are well enough to work remotely or need to use accrued leave to cover any hours not worked.

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.

Per federal regulations, the employer must physically examine original documents presented by the employee in order to complete the I-9 form. However, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), has issued a press release providing some flexibility to the requirements

Effective March 27, 2020, as Orange County has issued an emergency stay at home order, UCF hiring departments may follow the procedure outlined in the above press release.

Please note the following options:

1. Schedule an appointment with the new hire and come into UCF for a brief time to complete the I-9 form.

2. Coordinate with another colleague who is not working remotely who has access to the electronic I-9 system to meet with the new hire for completion of the I-9 form. Confer with your department to ensure that you have appropriate back-up support in your department.

3. Office of Human Resources has contracted with our I-9 Vendor, Equifax Workforce Solutions, for a remote I-9 option. There is a cost of $45/per I-9 form charged to the department. If your department selects this option, complete the form and submit to Garnette.Garricks@ucf.edu.

Bringing a child to work is not recommended or advisable whether you are working remotely or on site. However, we recognize the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 emergency and understand that working remotely with your child may be possible, and in some cases, necessary. Decisions can be made on a case-by-case basis by your department head or designee.

If you are not able to work remotely with your child, 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 will become effective on April 2, 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.

The COVID-19 emergency is an unprecedented situation that is developing rapidly. Employees and supervisors alike have a lot of questions, so it is critical to keep lines of communication open and be patient with each other as we move forward together into uncharted territory.

Employees are encouraged to reach out to UCF Human Resources with questions about working remotely, benefits, and leave. HR is continuously updating its COVID-19 Information page with answers to new questions and available resources as we respond to the COVID-19 situation.

Critical updates and information are available on the UCF Coronavirus website.

Working remotely during this pandemic brings significant challenges. Finding a correct ergonomic set-up at home to do computer work for 8 hours (or more) per day is a challenge, but critically important. Although taking the laptop to your bed or couch may be tempting, you should avoid it as it will likely result in awkward postures that will affect your body and productivity.

Here’s some tips from UCF Environmental Health and Safety about tips for setting up your space for remote work.

If you have access to internet and email, you should be able to do most things remotely except completing the I-9 form and notarizing the Loyalty Oath-Rights to Inventions form.

Yes, PageUp can be accessed via mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop utilizing single sign-on credentials.

Bringing a child to work is not recommended or advisable whether you are working remotely or on site. However, we recognize the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 emergency and understand that working remotely with your child may be possible, and in some cases, necessary. Decisions can be made on a case-by-case basis by your department head or designee. If you are not able to work remotely with your child, 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.