Financial Guidance for Telework

June 16, 2021

Topics


Equipment Workstation Standards

Enterprise Guidance:

  • Managers strongly encouraged to use the My Telework Plan to facilitate a conversation with employees to support a safe, healthy, and productive working environment.  
  • Departments should provide recommended minimum equipment for workstations
    • Note: ergonomics guidance updates are under development
  • Departments are encouraged to:
    • Transition all teleworkers to laptops to allow flexibility for onsite and offsite work. 
    • For onsite shared/hoteling workstations: provide monitor, keyboard, mouse and adjustable chair. Employees will be expected to bring laptop. 
    • Set a minimum number of days per week that an employee must be onsite to have an assigned workstation onsite. 
    • Eliminate paper printing and print devices wherever possible. If printing is necessary, departments should eliminate individual printers and utilize shared multi-function devices under the university print program wherever possible. 
    • Work with the Sustainability office to repurpose office equipment for home use whenever possible, instead of purchasing new equipment.
  • Departments should provide necessary office supplies for teleworkers (preferably order through the university rather than reimburse)

Teleworkers should return University-purchased equipment to the department upon separation from employment or termination of telework arrangement.

Resources:

At Department Discretion:

Departments may decide to equip an offsite workstation in addition to an onsite workstation for employees who work in both locations.

Funding Telework Equipment

Enterprise Guidance:

  • Vice Presidents / Control Point leaders are encouraged to establish a central/common funding source for telework equipment when possible, so that all teleworkers are provided appropriate equipment regardless of individual departmental budget constraints.
  • Follow UCSF Sustainability guidance for cost savings and recycling options.
  • The following telework-related expenses are generally not reimbursable: meals; mortgage or rent; construction/home repairs; Installation charges; appliances, fixtures, or decorations beyond ergonomically required equipment. 

Resources:

UCSF Sustainability Used Office Equipment

At Department Discretion:

Departments may establish a maximum amount or standard package of equipment for teleworkers.

Voice and Video Communication Guidance and Reimbursement

Enterprise Guidance:

  • Teleworkers should communicate using internet-based solutions whenever possible, such as Zoom, email, MS Teams and Jabber. Desk phones or cell phones should only be used if the above are not feasible for the business need. 
  • As noted above, department should use internet-based communications whenever possible, and should only reimburse for cell phone purchase and/or service if the business need cannot be met with internet-based solutions.
  • According to policy, reimbursement for equipment such as cell phones or services such as internet is only allowable when equipment/services are used primarily for business purposes and there are incremental costs. For example, the incremental cost reimbursement must be for a plan upgrade required for business purposes, not an allocation of minutes or data of the total cost.   
  • Costs must be pre-approved and employee must provide signed UC Device Use Agreement and supporting documentation for each incremental cost reimbursement. 

Resources:

  • Voice and video communications (BFB-G-46: Guidelines for the Purchase and Use of Cellular Phones and Other Portable Electronic Resources) 
  • IT Remote Work Resources 
  • UC Device Usage Agreement 
  • Internet (BFB-G-46: Guidelines for the Purchase and Use of Cellular Phones and Other Portable Electronic Resources) 
  • UC Device Usage Agreement 
  • University Policy G-46 only allows reimbursement for purchase of equipment or services that are used for a business purpose and any personal use is incidental, which is difficult to justify with an “always on” utility-like service. No reimbursement is permitted for the partial business use on an Internet, messaging, or similar service purchased with an employee’s own funds, unless the service is primarily used for University business. 

At Department Discretion:

Departments should consider stopping unutilized phone services in onsite workspaces as appropriate

If business need cannot be met through internet-based communications, departments can approve reimbursement for incremental costs incurred by teleworkers for phone or internet if the additional cost is required primarily for business purposes.   

Travel Reimbursement

Enterprise Guidance:

  • Teleworking employees may be required to periodically work onsite for specific business purposes, such as to attend a training, team or collaboration-focused meeting, which should generally be scheduled in advance. 
  • Expectations for teleworkers to be onsite should be agreed on in advance as much as possible and included in their Telework Agreements. 
  • Travel to accomplish onsite work for teleworkers will generally be considered commuting and not eligible for reimbursement.
    • Note: HR is developing more detailed guidance that may be needed for specific circumstances.

Consistent with Campus Parking Policy (200-17), travel between UCSF locations should generally not be reimbursed when locations are served by the UCSF shuttle service. Some exceptions are allowed, see FAS multi-site practice.

Resources:

At Department Discretion:

Departments may decide how often teleworkers are required to be onsite, according to business needs. Departments should clearly define the business need in these cases.