Jun 20, 2024  

Human Resources

 06:55:00 Telecommuting for Non-faculty Staff


  1. Introduction / Scope
    1. This policy is intended to set the standards for a consistent process and treatment of employees regarding telecommuting at Chattanooga State Community College, including the main campus and instructional sites. Availability of telecommuting is at the discretion of the College and subject to change with or without notice. This policy applies only to non-faculty employees.


  1. Policy Statement
    1. It is the policy of Chattanooga State Community College to allow or require employees, in appropriate situations, to telecommute. Telecommuting can improve work performance, increase employee retention, reduce commuting costs, reduce departmental costs, and improve employee’s quality of work life.
    2. Telecommuting agreements must comply with all applicable federal, state and College regulations and laws. Telecommuting may not be suitable for all employees or positions. Telecommuting is not an employee benefit; no College employee is entitled to or guaranteed the opportunity to telecommute.


  1. Definitions
    1. Telecommuting - A work arrangement in which supervisors authorize employees to perform their usual job duties away from their central workplace in accordance with work agreements.
    2. Work Schedule - The employee’s hours of work in the central workplace and/or in the alternate work location.   The required number of work hours will not change due to telecommuting and telecommuters are responsible for reporting time worked, leave used, and for adhering to College attendance policies.  Compensatory time or overtime must be pre-approved by the division vice president.
    3. Central Workplace (main campus, TSBDC, Dayton site and Kimball site) - The employer’s place of work where employees normally are located/assigned.
    4. Remote Work Site: An acceptable site for performing job duties and responsibilities outside the central workplace.
    5. Telecommuting Agreement (Work Agreement) - The written agreement between the institution and the employee that details the terms and conditions of an employee’s work schedule whether away from or at the central workplace. Work agreements are required for any telecommuting work arrangement.


  1. Responsibilities
    1. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for the administration and implementation of the Telecommuting Policy.
    2. The Office of Human Resources will audit and maintain records on telecommuting agreements for eligible personnel to ensure compliance with all College and Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) policies, as well as state and federal laws. Human Resources will provide training and guidance on the application of the telecommuting policy and procedures.
    3. Vice Presidents and Executive Directors of divisions are responsible for ensuring that the requests they approve are within the scope of this policy and that they establish the following quality assurance controls, where applicable:
      1. Individual employees’ work responsibilities and duties, including shared departmental responsibilities designed to meet student expectations and organizational goals, cannot be limited or adjusted to accommodate the initiation or continuance of the telecommuting agreement.
      2. All work objectives and tasks must be clearly defined with measurable results for the telecommuting position. 
      3. The telecommuting position should require minimal supervision and in-person contact with customers. The employee should demonstrate work habits and performance suited to successful telecommuting.
      4. Supervisors will use the institutions’ normal performance management system to clearly define the performance expectations and to assess the employee’s performance. If a decline in performance is noted, the telecommuting arrangement may be cancelled.
      5. Telecommuting duties must be arranged so as not to alter the essential job responsibilities nor compromise the level of service provided to the customer, either by the employee or the department.
      6. Telecommuters are considered employees of Chattanooga State Community College and must, like all employees; adhere to all College and TBR Policies, as well as state and federal laws.


  1. Compliance
    1. All employees wishing to telecommute must complete a Telecommuting Agreement and secure the approval of departmental supervisors as indicated on the form. Once approved, the supervisor must submit the form to the Office of Human Resources before the employee begins working from a remote work site. Failure to do so may result in the inability to telecommute.
    2. Telecommuting agreements must be reviewed after three (3) months and can be reviewed subsequently at the request of the employee or supervisor in order to ensure that the needs of the employee, department and customer service requirements are being met.  Additional reviews must also coincide with the annual performance review process.
    3. All Chattanooga State policies, rules and practices apply at the remote work site:
      1. The employee will maintain a telecommuting site that is free from potential hazards. In the event of a job-related injury the employee must report the event to his/her supervisor and the Human Resources Department.
    4. Failure to follow policies, rules and practices may result in termination of the telecommuting arrangement and disciplinary action.


  1. Alternative Work Arrangement Procedures
    1. The supervisor and the employee, in consultation with the division vice president, must complete a telecommuting packet. The packet contains a Telecommuting Agreement and an Authorization and Custody Record of Equipment Temporarily Removed from the Campus. The agreement will provide details of the telecommuting work option and will be signed by the employee, the supervisor and division vice president, and will be filed with the Office of Human Resources.
    2. Unless otherwise noted by their supervisors, telecommuting employees shall engage in regular duties and are expected to continue their work when the central workplace is unavailable due to weather and/or physical plant related emergencies.


  1. Work Schedule and Accessibility
    1. The required number of work hours will not change due to telecommuting and telecommuters are responsible for reporting time worked, leave used, and for adhering to College attendance policies. Compensatory time or overtime must be pre-approved by the division vice president.
    2. If dependent care interferes with the employee’s ability to perform the duties of their position, alternate dependent care should be secured.
    3. The supervisor and employee must maintain a formal weekly schedule. The schedule must state the number of telecommuting hours per week.  Mobile Arrangements must state the number of core hours spent onsite. On site core hours will include: 1) time for direct interaction between the supervisor and the telecommuter, 2) time for direct interaction between the telecommuter, departmental coworkers and other essential team members, and 3) time spent in job related meeting, training sessions, etc.
    4. The supervisor and employee must agree on the manner and timing of communication between the telecommuting site and the central work site. The employee must be reachable via telephone or e-mail during agreed upon hours of accessibility. The employee and supervisor will agree on how to handle telephone messages, and will designate which persons will be given the employee’s alternate work site phone number.
    5. All telecommuting agreements are subject to temporary suspension, with 72 hour notice, as deemed necessary by a supervisor in order to fulfill departmental functions during high-demand events or special activities.


  1. Supplies, Equipment and Furniture
    1. Prior to purchase or installation of college owned equipment, furniture or supplies, the supervisor must authorize any expenditure.  All purchasing will follow Chattanooga State’s purchasing guidelines. The department may provide standard office supplies.
    2. The employee will be responsible for providing furniture and equipment at the remote work site, unless otherwise specified in the Telecommuting Agreement. College owned equipment must be noted on the completed Authorization and Custody Record of Equipment Temporarily Removed from the Campus Form. The department and telecommuter must follow the College guidelines regarding the assignment and care of College property.
    3. Employee’s telecommuting computers shall be in compliance with all Chattanooga State Community College guidelines for use of hardware and software including virus protection software, licensing provisions, system security and passwords.
    4. Chattanooga State Community College is not responsible for loss, damage, or wear of the telecommuter’s own equipment. Repair and replacement costs and liability for privately owned equipment and furniture used during telecommuting is the responsibility of the telecommuter.
    5. All College equipment must be returned to Chattanooga State for servicing. Repair and/or replacement costs and liability, for normal use and wear of College property are the responsibility of Chattanooga State Community College. Chattanooga State may pursue recovery from the telecommuter for College property that is damaged or destroyed while in the employee’s care due to improper use.


  1. Allowances and Reimbursable Expenses
    1. In addition to the provided supplies and equipment (i.e. a computer, laptop, monitor, peripherals), no additional expenses are covered under the telecommuting program.
    2. If the telecommuter has a legitimate business expense (e.g. office supplies), they must get approval from their supervisor and it will be subject to the College’s purchasing policy and procedures.
    3. Employees cannot submit mileage and/or meal charges in connection with travel to/from a remote work site to a central workplace.


  1. Recordkeeping
    1. (Note: REFERENCE RECORDS POLICY and/or TECHNOLOGY POLICY) All College records and files temporarily stored at the telecommuter’s remote work site remain the property of the College. Products, documents, and records that are used, developed, or revised while telecommuting must be returned to the College when requested, at the end of the telecommuting agreement or termination of employment. Procedures for storage and transfers of College records will be based on the department’s needs and equipment availability.
    2. The employee will protect all confidential College information from unauthorized access.
    3. The Telecommuting Agreement and Authorization and Custody Record of Equipment Temporarily Removed from the Campus forms can be obtained by your supervisor from Human Resources.


Attachment: Telecommuting Policy Agreement  


New Policy Submitted to Policy Review Committee on July 13, 2020

Submitted to Policy Review Board on August 10, 2020

Approved by Policy Review Board on August 24, 2020