In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and in active support of the health and safety of our team members, families, and communities, Head Start of Lane County has directed that through at least September 30, 2020, all HSOLC personnel able to work remotely must do so unless they are performing essential work that can only be performed physically (the “Virtual Office Operations”). HSOLC management will continue to evaluate this situation and will update everyone about whether mandatory remote work will continue beyond September 30, 2020.
During the Virtual Office Operations, HSOLC remains open and operational during normal business hours by relying as much as possible on the use of remote technology and support from skeleton crews of employees who will remain on site in HSOLC physical offices for critical operations that can only be performed physically within our offices. To ensure that we continue to provide high-quality service to HSOLC families during the Virtual Office Operations, please follow the protocols and guidelines outlined below. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions.
Head Start of Lane County Policies and Quality of Work: The same high standards apply to Virtual Office Operations as would normally be expected while working in one of HSOLC’s physical site locations. Additionally, all Employee policies, HSOLC policies and procedures, and practices continue to apply while performing HSOLC work remotely.
Hours of Work: Employees are expected to work their regularly scheduled full workload, as previously scheduled prior to HSOLC’s virtual office operations, as though the employee were working on site. Full time employees will work 32, 35, or 40 hours, as normally asssigned. Part-time employees will work hours as normally assigned. If you need to change your scheduled hours during this time, please notify your supervisor and follow all applicable HSOLC notification procedures in advance of any schedule changes. If your schedule changes from your usual working hours, then employees are expected to include that day’s work schedule on their calendar.
During the Virtual Office Operations, employees are expected to continue to comply with all applicable HSOLC policies regarding meal and break periods, recording all hours worked, and preapproval for Overtime. Employees are expected to include meal and break periods on their calendars.
Employees are expected to develop daily blocks of time during hours worked to communicate with families and to document and implement lesson plans.
Availability During Scheduled Work Hours: During our Virtual Office Operations, all HSOLC personnel are expected to continue working and maintain the same level of responsiveness as they would if they were physically working in our office locations. Being available during scheduled work hours means remaining logged on to your computer, answering your phone calls, promptly responding to work-related communications, attending scheduled virtual meetings and telephone conferences, and promptly addressing assigned projects just as you would if you were physically working in one of HSOLC’s sites.
Communication During Virtual Office Operations: Consistent communication with HSOLC families and each other will be essential to our success and mutual wellbeing during Virtual Office Operations. We intend to maintain relatively frequent communications via email, video conferencing, and other avenues to stay connected and up to date with our changing environment as best we can. In addition, we ask that you follow these communication best practices during this time:
- Contact your supervisor if you will not be logging on for your regularly scheduled shift during the Virtual Office
- Notify your supervisor when you are logging off for meal and rest periods. This can be done by utilizing email, messaging progam or phone calls.
- Route your extension to your home phone or cell phone during working hours.
- Schedule daily check-ins with your supervisor and send a daily update to your supervisor including the day’s task
- Schedule regular check-ins with your team members to ensure that everyone stays on the same
- Regularly check your email and promptly respond to work-related communications during working hours just as you would if you were physically at one of our sites.
- Promptly file emails and other documents into T. S. Gold and Child Plus Family Services so that all team members have access to key information.
- Utilize TEAMS to conduct conference calls and video meetings, to share your screen with a colleague, or to chat with your key team members through instant messaging.
- Contact our Information Technology Department if you require support using agency technology. You can reach the Technology Department via email.
- Reach out to your supervisor if something is hindering your ability to access web based app’s to effectively perform your duties.
- Please follow HSOLC’s Out-of-Office messaging protocols during this time (see below).
Out-of-Office Messaging Protocols: While some of us will be physically working away from our sites during this period, HSOLC remains open and operational. To ensure that we are consistently communicating our availability to our families and each other, please follow the OOF messaging protocols outlined below. Sample language is included below addressing three different OOF scenarios and messaging to use internally and externally, as applicable:
For when you are working remotely, but available during business hours:
No OOF message is necessary. As we work virtually, our ability to stay online and use HSOLC to forward office extensions to our cell phones throughout business hours makes remote work seamless, and there is no need for an OOF message indicating that we are working remotely.
For when you are working remotely, but have intermittent availability:
If you know that you will have significant periods of time (two hours or more) when you will not be available during business hours (e.g., you have child tutoring responsibilities), please use the following message:
Thank you for your email. I am working today, but will be unavailable from . I will reply to your message as soon as I am back online. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [NAME] at [EMAIL] or [PHONE].
For when you are out of the office/not working for one or more days:
If you are on vacation or otherwise out of the office and will not be checking email regularly, please use the following message:
Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office from [mm/dd] to [mm/dd] and will have limited access to email while I am away. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [NAME] at [EMAIL] or [PHONE]. Otherwise, I will respond promptly to your email when I return on mm/dd.
Please be sure to coordinate with whomever you are listing as your alternative
Because HSOLC remains open and operational during this time, do not include language that suggests our offices are closed. In order to put our best foot forward, please be sure to proofread and update the timing of your messages as your status changes. If you have questions about appropriate OOF messaging, please contact your supervisor.
If You Should Become Sick While Working Remotely, or are Otherwise Unable to Work a Regular Schedule Because of Illness or Other Events: Please follow HSOLC’s normal call-in procedures if you are ill or otherwise unable to work. If you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms (check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) website for updated info), have tested positive for COVID-19, or have come into contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, please notify our Health and Safety Manager Val Haynes as soon as possible.
Available Sick Leave Benefits: please contact Benefits Specialist Sally Pope.
Additional leave may be available depending on your specific circumstances. Please contact Director of HR Tim Rochholz if you have questions.
Equipment: During the Virtual Office Operations, we will provide all team members who are able to work remotely with the equipment that we determine to be reasonably necessary to perform their work. All equipment supplied by HSOLC must be maintained according to HSOLC policies. Any HSOLC electronic equipment, including a laptop, must be connected to a surge protector whenever it is plugged in. Office furniture and auxiliary office equipment (printers, scanners, etc.) will not be provided during this time. HSOLC’s IT Department will provide general instructions regarding the setup of equipment, and you may call the IT Department with questions about troubleshooting. Members of HSOLC’s IT Department will not go to a remote worksite to setup equipment or provide other offsite support.
Technology Department Access: The Technology Department will remain available to assist you with agency technology and equipment issues during our Virtual Office Operations. Please email Technology for issues when you need immediate assistance and for problems of a less urgent nature. The team will help you as quickly as possible.
Office Supplies: If you find that you require additional office supplies normally provided by HSOLC during our Virtual Office Operations, please contact your supervisor for preapproval of that expense.
Confidentiality and Data Security: During the Virtual Office Operations, security and confidentiality must be maintained to the same extent and standard as required for work performed at our sites. In doing so, please abide by the following:
- Restricted All HSOLC documents and records, including restricted- access or confidential material, may not be taken out of our offices or accessed through downloaded from the cloud-based network onto a personal computer or device unless approved in advance by your supervisor.
- Everyone must take appropriate steps to ensure that non employees do not access HSOLC’s data or confidential information in print or electronic form.
- Be aware of your surroundings and do not discuss confidential information within earshot of others.
- Although printing work materials remotely should be restricted, it may be necessary in order to complete necessary work. Please remember that while at the sites HSOLC has put into place processes for you to utilize locked recycle bins, which are shredded according to required standards. Please keep any paper materials restricted from access by others while working remotely and bring to the office to be shredded upon your.
- Although printing work materials remotely should be restricted, it may be necessary in order to complete necessary work. Please remember that while at the sites HSOLC has put into place processes for you to utilize locked recycle bins, which are shredded according to required standards. Please keep any paper materials restricted from access by others while working remotely and bring to the office to be shredded upon your return.
Remote Worksite: During our Virtual Office Operations, it is important to establish and maintain a dedicated remote worksite that is habitable, quiet, clean, and safe, with adequate lighting and ventilation. Please do not hold any in-person meetings with co-workers, families, or vendors at your remote worksite.
Work-Related Injuries: Workers’ compensation may cover job-related injuries that occur at a remote worksite during scheduled work hours. If you are injured while working remotely, please immediately report the injury to your supervisor.
Work that Can Only Be Performed Physically Within HSOLC Office Locations:
Pre-Approval Required: Some employees continue to work on site as they perform essential HSOLC business. If you re assigned to work remotely and believe it is essential to visit one of our physical site locations to successfully complete your work, please contact Director of Operations Charleen Strauch before visiting a physical site location.
Must be Symptom Free: Please review HSOLC’s Return to Work policy concerning health status of employees working on site. HSOLC personnel who come into one of HSOLC’s physical office locations under these circumstances must first check their temperature and evaluate symptoms before heading into the office. If an employee is experiencing common symptoms associated with COVID 19 s defined by the CDC, including a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle of body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, the employee must not come into HSOLC’s physical office and should reach out to their supervisor for assistance in arranging coverage. For more information, refer to the Return to Work policy.
We appreciate all of our employees help in caring for our fellow team members and visitors who are playing such a vital role in keeping critical services operations.
Check-in/Check-Out Requirement: As we all work to do our part to stay safe and healthy, we are asking HSOLC personnel to check-in and check-out on HSOLC’s Personnel Check-in/Check-out Log that will be located at the RECEPTION AREA each time they are in one of HSOLC’s physical site locations during Virtual Office Operations. The log will be used if needed to provide notification of potential exposure to COVID-19 while working in one of HSOLC’s physical locations.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation.