Planning for working remotely - guide for supervisors
This article provides guidance for supervisors on planning for your staff to work remotely. The experience working remotely is significantly different than working in the office. Not all services can be provided remotely and the University has limited resources to enable remote work. We ask that supervisors read through the following points to familiarize themselves and host appropriate conversations with their staff to appropriate plan for remote work and set necessary expectations.
We encourage you to contact the help desk with any questions or to discuss your plans, especially if you are considering purchasing, acquiring or moving equipment to support working remotely for your staff.
COVID-19 Update: The IT Services loaner pool isn’t able to provide devices for all faculty and staff who may be seeking a device to work from home. Devices will be provided on a priority basis to units whom play a critical service function to the campus. Other options will be made available as best effort where available. A separate guide is available to staff who may wish to use their personal device at home to access basic services remotely (Working Remotely - Using a Personal Device).
This guide will cover the following topics in preparation for remote work. You may use this as a checklist:
- Enhanced CWL - is an authentication method setup that can be accessed from home?
- Personal information - does the staff member’s position access personal information as part of their regular duties?
- Software - is there specialized software or network access the staff member requires to perform their duties?
- Contact methods - does the staff member required to make calls or receive calls as part of their regular duties?
- Team communication - how will team members keep in touch with one another?
- Printing and scanning - does the staff member require access to printing and scanning functions to complete their duties?
Ensure staff have a method available to complete their enhanced CWL login on their computer from their remote location. Multiple methods can be enrolled and used as required. For more information, please visit https://privacymatters.ubc.ca/learn-about-enhancedcwl, or for instructions on enrolling a device please visit https://knowit.ok.ubc.ca/article/how-to-add-a-second-device-to-enhanced-cwl-976.html. Second method could include:
- Cell phone using the Duo app
- Cell phone number registered
- hardware token (available from IT Services - limited quantities available)
Information Security Standards
Working remotely increases the risk of data loss or theft of UBC information. Diligence on part of the staff member working remotely is required at all times. As a supervisor, you have a duty to ensure your staff are trained, aware and have direction when working remotely. The following information must be reviewed before working remotely, understanding and being aware of the risks:
- Complete Privacy and Information Security Fundamentals - https://privacymatters.ubc.ca/fundamentals-training.
- Personal devices must meet basic standards: encryption, antivirus, username and complex password to access the computer, use of UBC systems to store information: Homedrive/F drive; Teamshare/K drive; Workspace; HRMS, FMS, SISC and FSC, etc. If you have questions, please contact the help desk for advice.
- Any information that is printed and used remotely should be secured and securely disposed of (confidential shredding bin; shredder, etc).
More information can be found here: https://cio.ubc.ca/sites/cio.ubc.ca/files/documents/standards/Std 06 Working Remotely.pdf
IT Services have a limited number of devices in the loaner pool. These devices will be provided on a priority basis to those who:
- Handle personal information as part of their regular duties - such as student information, HR information or financial information or research information containing information about members of the public or health information.
- Require access to restricted access applications, applications with specific licensing restrictions, or specialized applications not commonly available.
- Access to research datasets
The following guides are available for working remotely with UBC owned devices and personal devices:
- Working remotely - Using a UBC Okanagan provided device - https://knowit.ok.ubc.ca/article/222/working-remotely-using-a-ubc-okanagan-provided-device-1020.html.
- Working remotely - Using a personal device - https://knowit.ok.ubc.ca/article/222/working-remotely-using-a-personal-device-1021.html.
Supervisors should consider contact methods required for working remotely. The Okanagan campus has limited ability to provide off-campus telephone services and this will be provided to critical business areas. For staff working remotely, please consider:
- If your unit provides a critical business service (such as a call centre, or urgent response function), please contact IT Services for further discussion.
- How staff will receive calls or voicemails, if their position requires regular contact with the public or UBC community and an alternative contact mechanism is not suitable (such as email or conferencing).
- Have staff update voicemail greetings with updated instructions on preferred contact methods (such as email). This can be done by logging into voicemail from on or off campus.
- If staff use personal cell phones to make calls, additional charges and potential overages can be incurred. Discuss expectations and compensation mechanisms with your staff before working remotely. We strongly recommend reimbursement for incidental business usage of personal devices. For those requiring regular contact, a UBC provided phone or regular reimbursement agreement (preferred) may be preferable.
- IT services have a limited capacity for voicemail to email and forwarding phones to personal numbers (Kelowna area numbers only) - this will be provided to critical services only. Consider the ability to access voicemail remotely and alternate contact mechanisms where possible.
Please visit the following page for off-campus voicemail access instructions: https://knowit.ok.ubc.ca/article/common-dialing-instructions-720.html
Collaboration and Conferencing
Keeping connected with your team, colleagues and other units whilst working remotely can be challenging. UBC has invested in several options for conferencing services - please ensure you have directed your team on which tool will be used, and ensure everyone is setup to use the conferencing platform of choice and has tested to ensure their device works remotely:
- Ensure staff have access to a headset/headphones and a web camera (optional but preferred) for using conferencing systems.
- UBC provide the following options for conferencing and collaboration:
- Zoom - https://it.ubc.ca/services/teaching-learning-tools/zoom-video-conferencing (contact the help desk for an account)
- UBC Collaboration Suite (Skype for Business) - https://it.ubc.ca/services/email-voice-internet/ubc-collaboration-suite (all Okanagan staff have access to Skype for Business)
- Collaborate Ultra (for teaching and learning, available through Canvas) - https://lthub.ubc.ca/guides/web-conferencing/
Printing and Scanning
IT services does not have a printing and scanning solution for remote use, nor has any loaner printer and scanner equipment. Further, when connected to VPN, a staff member's home wireless printer/scanner will not be accessible. We ask staff’s patience working with any printed materials. Our advice to managers:
- Discuss printing needs with your staff. Staff may have printing available at home and the question of compensation for supplies (toner, ink, paper) may arise.
- Staff can use the “print to PDF” or “save as PDF” function to gather up any materials required to be printed, then periodically disconnect from VPN to print saved PDFs to a home printer, if available.
- Staff in a finance processing role may require both scanning and printing needs. If this is a significant part of your staff’s role, please contact IT for a consultation.