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Fall classes begin AUGUST 24; all in-person class meetings will end NOVEMBER 24, with the semester ending remotely on DECEMBER 8, 2020.
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Working at Hofstra

As we plan for re-opening our campus for Fall 2020, the Human Resources Department and individual supervisors will continue to update employees on new protocols and guidelines for their return.

We are planning for all public health scenarios and will make every decision with the health and safety of the Hofstra community as our highest priority.

All members of the Hofstra community must observe three basic protocols to return to campus:

  • MASKS: Wear a mask indoors at all times, and outdoors when six feet of physical distance is not possible.
  • DISTANCE: Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from other people whenever possible.
  • DAILY HEALTH SCREENING: All students and employees must complete a three-question online health screening every day to attend class or work.

Please continue to check your Hofstra email for further direction from your supervisor. If you have any questions, contact the Human Resources Department at humanresources@hofstra.edu. If you require assistance with any IT resources related to working from home, please contact the helpdesk at (516) 463-7777 or helpdesk@hofstra.edu.


FAQ

  • Will my Hofstra-sponsored healthcare plan cover medical expenses associated with testing for and treatment of COVID-19?
    You will have the same coverage that is currently available for any emergency and non-emergency illness. Copays will be waived for COVID-19 testing at an office, facility or via LiveHealth online. For additional coverage details visit the University Benefits website or contact benefits@hofstra.edu with questions.
  • What assistance is available to me to help me cope with the emotional impact of a COVID-19?   
    Hofstra employees may contact the University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for short-term confidential counseling at 800-999-7222.
  • Can I take FMLA leave to stay home from work because of potential risk of the Coronavirus? 
    If you or a member of your immediate family is sick, where applicable, you may take sick leave, short term disability and FMLA leave (and if eligible, NY PFL if your family member is sick). In addition, if you are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, New York Department of Health, local Board of Health or other authorized government entity you may be eligible for up to 14 calendar days of job-protected, NY State paid sick leave. Generally, however, employees are not entitled to take FMLA to stay at home to avoid getting sick. Please contact the Office of Human Resources at benefits[at]hofstra.edu to determine FMLA/PFL/Paid Sick Leave/Short Term Disability eligibility. Additional information about the new NY State paid sick leave is available at https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/new-york-paid-family-leave-covid-19-faqs.

HOFSTRA’S EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP) – ON DEMAND WEBINARS:

In order to help support you during this time, the Office of Human Resources in partnership with our Empire Employee Assistance Program, is offering the following On Demand webinars, some of which include:

  • Keep Calm and Carry On: Maintaining Your Composure Amidst the Pandemic Panic
  • Mindful Meditation
  • How to Keep Your Family Healthy
  • How to Stay Healthy
  • Talking with your Child about the Coronavirus

To access these On Demand webinars, refer to this link to the COVID-19 section of their website.  It can also be accessed via a link which can be found after you log in, on the top left side of the page, directly under Hofstra’s name and the toll-free number for the EAP.

Please note there is a small glitch with these On Demand webinars.  When a webinar is selected an error message will appear, although once you click the arrow, the webinar will begin. This was an error with the recording process, but please be assured that the webinars are working.

MANAGING REMOTE TEAMS: A GUIDE TO BEST PRACTICES

As a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, many employees are working remotely. This guide helps managers recognize the challenges to both managing and working in virtual teams, so that they may provide guidance, support and encouragement to their teams. It includes tips and strategies to help managers and employees continue to collaborate effectively to meet deadlines, stay connected, and establish the best conditions for success.

Success Factors

Communication:

Set up communication protocols and tools. Without a specific communication plan in place, it is very difficult to coordinate work and maintain productivity in a remote environment. Virtual teams need clarity and standards about when and how information will be shared. Ultimately, the tools you select will depend on the technology that your team members have available in their homes.

Trust:

Build and maintain trust. When managers cannot directly observe work, they tend to monitor and follow-up on remote workers more than in-office workers. It is important that managers set expectations up front and adhere to them consistently.

Accountability:

Assign work and hold people accountable. Because remote team members have less supervision, it is important to set them up for success by clearly defining actions, specifying who is to complete them and establishing an agreed upon due date. Periodic progress checkpoints should be mutually decided.

Best Practices for Managing Employees

  • Make communication a top priority. You want to make sure pertinent information is easily — and frequently — communicated. Don’t rely solely on email to stay in touch with remote members on your team. Set up frequent meetings with each employee to touch base and keep the connection strong.
  • Determine how often you will meet virtually (e.g., daily, weekly) to ensure all tasks and deliverables are on schedule and any issues are addressed. Find the right balance to ensure both social connection and work coordination.
  • Be responsive and available: Communication lag can be counter-productive for remote employee’s efficiency.  Receiving a response to an inquiry in a timely fashion encourages employees to remain focused and on task. In addition, let your staff know how and when they can reach you throughout the day. Remember, team members who are off-site won’t be able to swing by your office to ask questions or get feedback.
  • Obtain contact information for all team members and distribute to the full team (i.e., cell phone numbers, email addresses, etc.). It is important that all team members are able to keep in communication with each other.
  • Determine the avenues of communication that are available and decide which ones are applicable. The ability to see each other while talking fosters a sense of teamwork and more closely imitates an office setting.  Utilize chat and collaboration tools, such as Google Hangouts and Zoom. Visit https://hofstra.zoom.us to access Hofstra Zoom services.
  • Determine how documents will be shared. For example, you could set up VPN to access shared drives remotely, use Google Drive or Microsoft Teams to collaborate.
  • Be clear about your expectations: To avoid any misconceptions, make sure every remote worker knows what you expect of him or her. If employees need to be punctual and always available during work hours, make that crystal clear. If you are more flexible and focused on results rather than minutes spent on the clock, let your staff know.
  • Determine the appropriate response time for communications from each other and our clients/coworkers. If necessary, establish different response times for different audiences (within team, manager, clients, etc.).
  • Employees who are permitted and able to work from home must abide by the following procedures:
    • Individuals who work remotely are required to be fully active and engaged in their work. Individuals must be available by phone, email, or other appropriate communication methods at all times.
    • If employee becomes ill during the course of working remotely, they should follow the same time away from work procedure in place by the University for sick days while working on-site.
    • Employees are expected to maintain existing standards of performance and productivity should remain consistent with on-site expectations.
    • Employees who complete time sheets/eTIME are required to continue to keep record of their time.
  • Spell out goals and monitor team deliverables – All members of your team should know what deliverables they and the team are working toward, and how these deliverables will be met.
  • Provide feedback as needed – Remember to write a "good job" email to staff whose work you would otherwise acknowledge casually in the office. You can also call out their achievement in your group chat platform.
  • Discuss accountability issues (e.g., pattern of missed deliverables, low engagement, etc.) with team members as appropriate.
  • Periodically solicit feedback to see if changes in management and communication are needed.
  • Teams that suddenly change work patterns — particularly moving from co-located to virtual — need to rethink how to accomplish their tasks and ensure that essential duties and goals are met.
  • Include all your remote workers in meetings, whether strategic or planning, ensuring that they are aware of updates as well as the big picture. It will also help them prioritize work and manage their time.

Especially for telecommuters who are not used to working from home, it can be a good gesture to offer advice on how to work from home effectively. Ideas include information on how to:

  • Set up home office spaces
  • Establish working hours
  • Set boundaries with any family members who may be present in the home

In preparation, you should make sure you have tested your access to the following equipment at home:

  • Laptop or desktop computer.
  • Microphone – this may be built into your laptop or computer, or you may use an external device such as a USB microphone or headset.
  • Webcam – a camera may already be built into your laptop, but you can also use an external USB camera for video conferencing.
  • Internet – either commercially provided (ex., Time Warner, Optimum, FiOS), or a wireless hotspot through your mobile phone.
  • If you need access to Microsoft Office at home, more information on how to download and access Office 365 can be found below.

If you do not have equipment at home that meets these standards, please consult with your supervisor.

Where to Get Help

ITS Technical Support Services has numerous resources available for remote workers. Please visit Resources for Working Remotely for more information.

If you are having difficulties with accessing these resources or if you have any additional questions regarding technologies available for your personal workstation, please contact Hofstra ITS at 516-463-7777, option 2 or by email: help[at]hofstra.edu.

You may also open tickets via the Hofstra portal (https://my.hofstra.edu/):

  • Select IT Help Desk from the left portal menu
  • Select “Ask a Question” to reach out to an analyst regarding technology concern.