The following will help you establish a foundation for effective teamwork, continued productivity, and service to the UNEX community.
Understand Relevant Policies
Review the telework-related policies and practices on the UCLA Staff Employee Telecommuting Guidelines webpage. Supervisors should verify that their employees have read and understood this information.
Create a Work Plan. To ensure your employee is productively contributing to the department goals, review the following questions with your remote staff:
- Are there any routine responsibilities/tasks that cannot be fulfilled while working remotely? How will this impact the operation or others within the department? How can you reduce the impact this will have?
- Are there any routine responsibilities/tasks that require communication and collaboration with others? Make sure to proactively contact each person to create communication guidelines.
- What meetings or conferences are scheduled during the telework arrangement? Do they need to be postponed or canceled? Can they take place using technology, such as Zoom?
Establish Guidelines for Work Schedules. Be clear about your expectations for the employees' work schedule. Set guidelines for the expected work hours.
Focus on Communication and Engagement. Inform employees how often they should send updates on work assignment progress and what those updates should include. Supervisors should inform employees of the expected response time, as well as the best forms of communication.
- Weekly one-on-one meetings. Schedule 30-minutes with each direct report to give advice, review priorities, and ask questions
- Weekly team meetings. Have weekly team meetings with all your direct reports to ensure everyone syncs up about their priorities, challenges, and ideas.
- End of week check-in. Have every team member send you a list of work they completed during the week.
The most effective tools for having successful meetings with remote employees are as follows:
- Agree on a recurring weekly meeting schedule. Set an agenda that includes key talking points, meeting structure, team members that will be in attendance, what each team member is responsible for bringing to the meeting, and any relevant documents or research.
- Schedule meetings via Outlook to ensure you and your employees meet.
- Consider having video chat meetings through Zoom. Having face-to-face interaction contributes to increased trust and employee engagement.
Personal relationships helps in building trust and reducing conflict.
- Ask employees about their weekend or an interest
- Use online channels, such as Slack, to discuss things outside of work (i.e. sports, favorite books)
Maintain a Positive Mindset. The key to a successful telecommuting policy is having a positive attitude and trust in your employees. Employees who feel trusted are more likely to have a more positive mindset, leading to increased engagement and higher productivity.
Tools and Resources. Identify technology tools your staff use in their daily work, and determine whether the resources will be accessible when working from home. Ensure employees know how to access online tools remotely.
- Ensure employees have access to high-speed Wi-Fi, a monitor or tablet, and video-conferencing software
- Ensure employees have access to the UCLA Library and other campus resources via Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Ensure employees know how to access your UCLA Extension email
- Voicemail can be accessed through Voicemail Quick Reference Card (QRC)
- Campus Voice over Internet Protocol users may remotely forward an office number by logging into UCLA VoIP
- Access a secure cloud-based file sharing and storage service via UCLA Box
- Access Google Apps through Google Apps for UCLA
- Determine which platform(s) you will use to communicate as a team, clarify expectations for online availability, and confirm everyone on the team has access. UCLA Extension employees have access to UCLA Zoom and Slack