Remote work resources
Since 2020, we have learned a great deal about our workforce and remote working. What was previously thought to be impossible or at least impractical is now accomplished with regularity. Remote working in some capacity has become a normal part of how we work as a state workforce. This transformation in how we work has also brought many questions: how do we ensure workers are working safely? How do we communicate effectively with one another? How can we maintain or even increase our productivity while teleworking? This webpage is intended to provide tools and resources to help agencies support sustained remote work.
The state has a clear interest in investing workforce funding inside the state of Washington. However, there may be some exceptional circumstances where a state agency decides to allow a state employee to move out of the state of Washington and maintain employment. The guidance found on this page addresses reasons why an agency may want to consider approving requests to work outside the state, and provides guidance on how to manage out-of-state tax and benefit compliance issues. This guidance attempts to balance the critical goals of finding and retaining the best, most qualified candidates to perform the important work of our state government, while prioritizing the reinvestment of taxpayer dollars back into our Washington state communities.
The guidance on this page is largely structured around the Prosci ADKAR model. This OCM model has five key milestones: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. Each of these milestones are sequential and cumulative. But for an organization to be successful, the guidance on this page must coincide with practicing and encouraging empathy, equity, and inclusion for all employees, at all stages of change. That means working with employees, recognizing their unique needs, and seeking to provide access to flexible workplace arrangements with fairness and consistency. This page also contains tools, templates and learning resources for telework and change management.
While many positions are not eligible for telework based upon the assigned duties and business needs, throughout the pandemic we have learned that with thoughtful performance management, appropriate tools and sufficient organizational support teleworkers can be successful. This page contains recommendations for managing performance in a remote environment and supporting employees by providing clarity on improving performance and notice before making changes to a telework agreement. It also speaks to the issue of employees providing dependent care while teleworking, and offers some additional resources and links for further reading.
Ergonomic assessments are a very important part of the health and safety of our employees, regardless of if the telework situation is temporary or long term. On this page, you'll find the step by step process of performing a remote ergonomic evaluation. We've also provided resources for both employees and supervisors to ensure employees are working safely and ergonomically in their remote environment. These resources include a remote ergonomic self-assessment, a remote ergonomic checklist, and a list of typical equipment and tools an agency may want to issue to teleworking employees. You'll also find a link to additional resources from L&I on ergonomics.
Power outages. VPN failures. Snow storms. ISP issues. Even in a remote environment, circumstances sometimes result in employees not being able to access their work in the usual way. On this page you'll find recommendations for all agencies regarding continuity of work during operational interruptions while providing access and options for employees. There are also two visual process maps that outline steps to take and options available during operational interruptions.
Some of your employees have been approved to work from home. What's the best and safest way to provide them with the equipment they need to be effective? This page provides guidance on the delivery process, the record-keeping needed and what your delivery request form should include, and the best way to plan before delivery and pick-up of equipment for remote employees. It offers some information on best practices whether your agency decides to use internal staff or a contracted company to handle deliveries, and outlines some reasonable accommodations-related considerations as well.
The expansion of remote work has changed some parts of how we recruit and work to retain our employees, but some things remain the same. This page contains a compilation of best practices, identified challenges (both old and new), and resources that may help recruiters, HR professionals and supervisors hire, engage and develop staff in a remote or hybrid environment. These resources may be equally useful for on-site workers and managers.
Figuring out how to manage current space - and plan for your agency's future space needs - is more complicated now than ever. On this page you'll find tips and recommendations for all agencies’ human resources staff and facilities staff for how best to work together on agency space use (“footprints”) planning. Although human resources (HR) generally does not have a direct role in facilities planning work, it makes sense for facilities planning staff and HR to partner in discussing the future space needs for their agencies.This teamwork will support our statewide efforts to modernize the workplace, while ensuring equity for all employees.
- Hacking HR: Interview Series - Online Workshops
- Leading through COVID-19: Panel Discussion - Remote Work Now and Beyond [recorded webinar]
- Building Resilience Through Recovery - Gartner [recorded webinars]
Trainings and articles:
- Adjusting to telework during the COVID-19 outbreak [external link] - online workshop
- Building a Modern Work Environment webpage
- COVID-19 Has My Teams Working Remotely: A Guide for Leaders [external link]
- Lessons from States that Embraced Telework Before the Coronavirus [external link]
- Managing mobile employees - online training
- Managing Remote Teams During the COVID-19 Outbreak [pdf]
- Teleworking tips [pdf]
- Working remotely [external video]