Temporary Telecommuting Guidelines

Because we know that many of you are experiencing challenges daily regarding childcare, eldercare and work, Detroit Mercy is introducing Employee Guidelines for Temporary Telecommuting and FAQs for staff and administrators. Just as we have been using social distancing in recent days for the health and safety of our Detroit Mercy Community, these guidelines are being implemented to protect us even more and with the specific intent of limiting the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses.

While we recognize that every job is not suited for telecommuting, employees should discuss this option with their supervisors to determine if a suitable arrangement can be developed. In the Schools of Dentistry and Law, employees should follow the recommendations provided by their Deans, but telecommuting employees will still be required to submit a Temporary Telecommuting Request and Checklist. 

If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact the Human Resources and Payroll Department by email at hr@udmercy.edu.


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  • Telecommuting FAQs

    (Revised 3/18/2020)

    Detroit Mercy’s commitment to safely meet the public health challenge presented by COVID-19 encourages University employees to work from home or another remote location as necessary. Telecommuting arrangements are not new, but because they may be unfamiliar to employees and managers, these resources will help you and your team navigate potential telecommuting scenarios. These arrangements must be approved by your supervisor and HR and may be modified at any time.

    This guidance is for supervisors, employees and departments and is designed to help setup temporary remote work arrangements quickly and successfully.

    1. What is telecommuting and how does it differ from other forms of remote work?

    Telecommuting 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.

    2. Which factors should departments/units consider when determining if telecommuting is possible?

    • 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.

    3. Which jobs are suited for telecommuting?

    Telecommuting 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 management’s discretion, a job is suited to telecommuting if the job or some components of it can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication.

    4. Which jobs are not as well-suited for telecommuting?

    It is not uncommon to require employees in positions needing in-person contact/customer service or relying upon specific equipment or supplies to work on-site. Management and/or supervisory roles also generally may be excluded from consideration for telecommuting 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 so that employees can telecommute.

    5. What’s most important to starting a productive telecommuting arrangement?

    When clearly outlined and executed telecommuting arrangements can be provide beneficial to employees and managers alike. Managers should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. With proper planning and

    communication problems can be minimized. Indeed, well-planned flexible work arrangements sometimes enable departments to extend their service hours, and to make more effective use of space and equipment.