Telecommuting at UBC

The UBC homepage, www.ubc.ca, is the authoritative source of information, updates, and communications from the University to the community regarding COVID-19. In addition, UBC IT has developed an online guide to working remotely for faculty and staff at https://it.ubc.ca/ubc-it-guide-working-campus 

As UBC continues to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak, and in support of physical distancing protocols, the University has implemented a Remote Work Arrangement for employees who are able to do so. This applies to employees of the university regardless of their membership in any union or association and it includes our employees who are postdoctoral fellows, graduate students or those in student appointments.

Please view the following resources:

FAQs for Employees

The specific circumstances that may arise in your unit or department are contextual and may not be captured within these FAQs. Please contact your HR Advisor or Faculty Relations Senior Manager with further questions. Last updated March 31, 2020.

What do I need to know about working remotely?

When working remotely, employees should reference the Information Security Standard #06 for guidance on keeping information safe off-site and should only connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working on resources that require a VPN connection.

Do I need to purchase additional equipment for my home office to be set up for a temporary work from home arrangement?

The use of UBC supplied and owned computers/laptops is preferred for a temporary work from home arrangement. This may take the form of laptops permanently assigned to an employee as their work computer, a laptop from a pool of departmental laptops that is returned when not in use, or a UBC computer taken home and left at home. It is also possible to use your home personal computer. If you use your home personal computer and you need to upgrade your security or other systems this will be at your own expense unless the department agrees otherwise.

Will I need to provide my own computer/laptop if I am temporarily working remotely?

Employees approved for a temporary remote work arrangement are responsible for providing a suitable off-site workspace at their own expense. Please refer to the Guidelines for Telecommuting – Temporary Work from Home Arrangements – COVID-19 above for important requirements around workspace, equipment, and protection of proprietary information while working off-campus. More information will be coming for UBCO employees.

Can I access my Professional Development Funds to help set up my home office?

No, employees are not able to access Professional Development Funds to set up their home office. As per the telecommuting guidelines on the Telecommuting page, employees with a temporary work from home arrangement are responsible for maintaining a suitable and secure off-site workspace at their own expense. Furniture is not an eligible expense under any of UBC PD funds.

However, many other professional development expenses are eligible and the details can be found online. Visit the PD Funds page or the Faculty fund eligibility page for more information.

What if I can’t work remotely? Can I still come to work?

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to assess the public health risk associated with the virus.Anyone who is unable to work remotely should come to work as normal. Please speak with your manager/supervisor, and refer to the Guidelines for Telecommuting – Temporary Work from Home Arrangements – COVID-19 above for guidance.

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