Remote Work/Telecommute Guidelines and Resources

Remote working/telecommuting is a work arrangement in which an eligible employee with approval “works one or more days each work week from home instead of commuting to a work place.” Remote working/telecommuting can also be utilized on an occasional basis to address project needs or environmental impact issues. Any remote work/telecommute outside the State of California may carry tax implications (refer to resources below for more information).


Remote working/telecommuting will be assessed and approved by management on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to the operational needs of the department. 

  • If remote working/telecommuting is implemented for some employees, managers are encouraged to give serious consideration to all reasonable requests for participation, i.e., apply remote working/telecommuting consistently across the department, pending duties and individual performance considerations.
  • Approval for an employee to work remotely/telecommute rests solely with the management of the University. Within each department, managers and supervisors should follow departmental protocol for approval. Human Resources does not need to approve remote work/telecommute agreements, but departments should use the remote work/telecommute agreement template
  • As needed, departments may review proposed remote work/telecommute agreements with Labor and Employee Relations before implementation for general consultation or questions related to policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement, and/or the law.

Considerations for Remote Work/Telecommute Arrangements

Overall, remote working/telecommuting should be considered in the context of whether or not the work can be performed off-site and serve as a mechanism to limit those who are needed on-site. When establishing a remote work/telecommute agreement, managers should establish expectations for success. The following factors are suggestions for managers to evaluate appropriateness of a remote work/telecommute arrangement. Additionally, managers should consider if a remote work/telecommute arrangement may help accomplish reasonable accommodation for employees who are permanently or temporarily disabled. Prior to implementing remote working/telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation, contact Disability Management Services for assistance in engaging in the interactive process.

Job/Work Factors:

  • Some or all components of job can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication (e.g., phones can be forwarded and email, websites, shared servers can be accessed remotely). 
  • Participation in meetings can be done via phone and web tools without hindering in-office staff ability to conduct meetings and communicate efficiently.
  • For those who supervise others or projects, the staff and operation must be able to be effectively guided while the supervisor/manager works at an off-site location.

Employee Factors: 

  • Demonstrates ability to prioritize and manage time/workload effectively with minimal direction/oversight.

Implementation and Annual Review/Renewal of Telecommuting Agreements

All managers, supervisors, and telecommuters should be familiar with these guidelines and the Remote Work/Telecommute Agreement template. Once the employee and supervisor have agreed on specific terms, within UCSF guidelines, both parties should sign and retain copies for their records. Employees should also review and complete the Home Safety Checklist and Receipt of University Equipment and refer to Ergonomic Resources for Campus and for Health.

Review Remote Work Resources provided by IT and confirm with each employee that the employee’s remote work set-up complies with UCSF requirements. This is particularly important for employees who do not have a UCSF-supplied laptop/devices. For employees who work with sensitive information, discuss the importance of protection of electronic and hard copy materials, including the off-site management of hard copy documents. Remind employees of and refer to UCSF Minimum Security Standards for Electronic Information Resources. Employees should not use public WiFi networks while telecommuting without taking the appropriate security precautions. Establish what steps an employee should take if they are having issues with network access or cybersecurity. Ensure employees are forwarding their desk telephone lines to a personal phone line where appropriate. Ensure managers and employees are familiar with Zoom.

The telecommuter and supervisor should review their telecommuting agreement annually during the performance evaluation process, or whenever there is a major job change (such as a promotion), a change to the operational needs, or a change in supervisor. 

If a supervisor/manager wishes to discontinue a remote work/telecommuting agreement prior to the end of the annual cycle, please consult with your HR Generalist/Labor and Employee Relations (LER) to ensure reasonable notice is provided and any performance-related concerns are addressed.  

For any other questions or consultation, contact Labor and Employee Relations or your HR Generalist to discuss specific concerns or questions.

Resources for Remote Workers Outside California