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Off-site Planning Considerations

UC Davis aims to be a good steward of financial, information, and human resources.

This stewardship translates into being a good employer for the good of employee welfare (physical and mental), the ability to attract and retain talent, and an emphasis on mitigating risk.

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Space allocation

If an employee chooses to work on-site at a UC location, a workspace (e.g., office, cubicle, shared workspaces) will be made available to them. Locations are not obligated to provide the employee a workspace of their choosing.

Units should establish consistent standards regarding on-site and off-site workspace allocation.

  • Primary Workspace Recommendation
    Designate which location is the employee's primary workspace. Workplace Reimagined recommends the primary as where the employee spends 60% or more time; check with your unit leadership on parameters for your department.  

Supplying Equipment

The costs of off-site working will be borne by both the University and employee. The University provides the basic computing setup and a chair, if needed, while the employees must agree to provide other equipment and some of the infrastructure for an off-campus working space - unless agreed otherwise or to accommodate an employee's special need.

Recommendation

Actual parameters will vary by school, college and division - check with your supervisor or Flexible Work Liaison for your unit's guidelines.

  • On-site 60% or More: Recommend assigning employee a workspace on campus with no campus support required for home/off-site office.
  • Off-site 60% or More: Recommend providing employee a shared or hoteling workspace on campus with campus support for home/off-site office.

 

Supplying Basic Technology & Equipment for Off-site Workspace
When an employee meets criteria for support of an off-site/home office, UC Davis departments should provide the employee with standard IT equipment needed to perform their job duties, including:

  • A computer (laptop & docking station or desktop with wireless adapter)
  • A separate monitor
  • External keyboard and mouse
  • One office chair, if needed
  • Additional equipment needed for accommodation purposes
  • Employee Provides Additional Equipment, Utilities and Connectivity
  • The employee is responsible for supplying any additional equipment needed for their workspace, not provided by the University (e.g., desks, work surfaces, other furniture).

    The employee also supplies utilities:
    • Telephone and internet connection with plan appropriate for business needs
    • Adequate climate control and ventilation to maintain a comfortable and productive work environment
    • Adequate power and electrical capabilities

Environmental health and safety

Any off-site workspace must meet basic safety and liability needs and employees agree to maintain a workspace that is:

  • Free of hazardous materials
  • In compliance with all building codes
  • Appropriately lit and ventilated
  • Free of obstructions

Download the complete environmental health and safety checklist covering: General Safety, Fire Prevention Safety, Electrical Safety


Computing and information security

Employees working off-site will be responsible for the safety and security of all University-owned equipment, records, and materials; in the same manner as when working on-site.

When completing the Flexible Work Agreement, employees will confirm their awareness of, and agreement with, information security policies and procedures that apply to all administrative professional faculty, staff and students.  

Review IT Security Awareness Guides from Information and Educational Technology, including information to prevent being scammed. 


Ergonomics

Additional Ergonomics Resources

  • More about specialty ergonomic equipment
  • While the department is not required to provide specialty ergonomic equipment (e.g., chairs, pointing devices, peripherals, second monitor), but the department is expected to proactively consider and provide equipment that is beneficial to employees on an individual basis. Accommodations for individuals are handled through evaluations involving the Department Safety Coordinator (DSC) and UC Davis Ergonomics Program.

     

  • Laptops and special safety considerations
  • Laptops should not be used as a standalone computer for more than 1-2 hours per day, less if the person is injured or experiencing discomfort. When a laptop computer is intended to be used over an extended time period (> 1 hour), support equipment should be incorporated to make the laptop safe to use. This includes external keyboards, mice/input devices, associated docking stations or ports, and external monitors and/or elevated laptop screens.

All employees must have access to equipment necessary for performing their jobs safely and efficiently. The department is not required to provide specialty ergonomic equipment (e.g., chairs, pointing devices, peripherals, second monitor) unless a specific accommodation is required.

The supervisor, employee and departmental safety coordinators all have roles in ensuring ergonomic office arrangements for employees working remotely.

  • Employees
    Complete the Ergonomics Self-Evaluation for Remote Work in the UC Davis Learning Management System (LMS) to assess your ergonomics needs and obtain tips on how to set-up your workstation at home to work safely and comfortably.
    • In the self-evaluation, you will have the opportunity to include your supervisor and Department Safety Coordinator (DSC) to receive the results of the self-evaluation and your ergonomics needs as well.
  • Supervisors

Approving Expenditures

UC Policies on Reimburseable Expenditures

The University will provide necessary equipment for an off-campus worksite, but department heads may approve expenditures for appropriate goods and/or services, to be used by the employee while working from home or another off-site location.

Authorized Purchasing Methods include AggieBuy, Procurement Card and KFS Requisition, which have approval processes built in (and other benefits).

It is NOT appropriate for employees to purchase supplies or services on behalf of the University using their own money. If an employee does require reimbursement for an approved request, refer to processing information on the Supply Chain Management site.

Purchases may only be approved when:

  • The manager agrees to the purchase in advance.
  • The business-related equipment can be returned to the office at the end of the remote work arrangement.
  • The employee does not already have personal equipment at home to enable them to perform their work duties.
  • The employee uses equipment primarily for University business.

Generally, the university will NOT pay for the following expenses nor will it reimburse for expenses prohibited by university policy:

  • Maintenance, installation, repair or replacement of personal equipment
  • >  If any item needs to be installed, charges related to the installation are the responsibility of the employee. Locations should evaluate on a case-by-case basis when approving an expenditure is necessary for an employee with specific needs not already met with existing resources.

    >  The employee is responsible for maintenance, repairs or replacement of their own equipment. The University will not be responsible for operating costs, home maintenance, or any other incidental costs (e.g., utilities), associated with the use of the employee's residence. 
  • Utility costs, including phones and internet
  • >  Expenses related to work needs (e.g., internet connectivity or phone usage), are governed by Business and Finance Bulletin G-46: Guidelines for the Purchase of Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices. Only business-related equipment that can be returned to the office at the end of the remote work arrangements should be approved.

    >  No reimbursement will be made for business calls or a percentage of total business calls made within the package minutes covered under the employee’s plan.      
  • Supplies (these should be requisitioned through the department)
  • Employees should work with their departments for regular office support needs.  Such supplies may be shipped to remote employees if needed.
  • Travel and entertainment expenses 
  • Remote and Hybrid-Remote employees who are working outside of the job location at their own convenience are not on travel status as defined in Business and Finance Bulletin G-28, Travel Regulations, as “the period during which a traveler is traveling on official University business outside the vicinity of their headquarters or residence.”
    If an employee must travel to their job location that is considered a non-reimbursable commuting expense.

    Mileage, hours worked, etc. for work-related travel should be calculated from the employee’s UC location, not from where the employee’s services are performed (e.g., a home office).

    Similarly, meals taken at home or at other alternate locations (or delivered) during a Zoom business meeting are not considered work expenses. 


Workers' Compensation

Employees are covered by Workers' Compensation if injured in the course of performing official duties at any off-site work location. If an employee incurs a work-related injury, workers' compensation laws and rules apply; just as they would if such an injury occurs at the campus office.

Coverage under the worker’s compensation benefits is limited by the hours and locations described in the Flexible Work Schedule.

  • In the event of an injury
    • The employee must notify the supervisor immediately and complete all required documents regarding the injury.
    • Learn more about injury reporting at UC Davis

Documenting Remote Use of Equipment

If an employee is using University-owned equipment (e.g., chair, computer) off-site, the supervisor, flexible work liaison or other unit/dept leader must work with the employee to complete the Remote Use of University Resources Agreement.

All University-owned equipment must be properly returned, prior to separating from University employment.