Guidance for Department Heads and Supervisors

In an effort to keep our students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible, and to reduce the potential for exposure to COVID-19, we are encouraging employees to work remotely when operationally possible. If this is operationally feasible, please work with your employees to complete the Remote Work Agreement (RWA) and submit it to Human Resources.
1. Consider and plan for how your department will maintain business continuity with a remote workforce.
  • How will jobs be conducted remotely? 
  • How will processes need to be modified? 
  • Who will be responsible for what? 
2. Determine who from your group can work remotely, complete Remote Work Agreements for those employees, and submit to HR.
  • Is the job function essential to on-campus operations? 
  • Is it possible to complete the duties partially or fully remotely? 
  • Can the job duties be modified to allow for remote work? 
  • If the employee has capacity, could this be an opportunity to consider special projects or tasks that you wish your department had done but never had the bandwidth to do (e.g. documenting policies and procedures)?
  • Could the employee provide a helping hand to another department? 
  • Consider remote trainings or upskilling options.
  • While taking job functions and essential duties into consideration, try to maintain equity in terms of who on your team is working remotely vs. on-campus.
3. Ensure your team has the required equipment and technology to work from home.
  • Do they have a computer, either CalArts issued or personally owned?
  • Do they have a reliable home internet connection?
  • Do their job duties require access to more than just a computer (e.g. access to a fax machine)?
4. Think about the files and applications your team needs to access from home.
  • CalArts email, calendar, Google Drive, and The Hub can all be accessed online.
  • Do your employees need to access department network shares, Colleague UI, Synoptix, or other on-campus resources?  
  • Zoom videoconferencing can be accessed from any web browser or mobile device. CAIT has developed a brief guide for Zoom here.
5. Set a communications plan that supports business continuity.
  • Identify the communication tools that your group will use with each other during this period of significant increase in telework (e.g. Google Drive, Zoom). 
    • Does everyone know how to use them? 
    • Please see for IT-approved tools.
  • Establish expectations around response times.
  • Determine how information will flow and consider options like:
    • Daily morning 30-minute team check-in call
    • Emailed task lists for the day at the beginning of the day
    • Productivity reports at the end of the day
6. Maintain social connections.
  • You might consider regular department-wide or sector-wide meetings through Zoom to communicate your department business continuity plans, and how you may be reordering priorities and re-conceptualizing successful outcomes while things are not “business as usual.”
  • Connect with your supervisors and campus leadership to stay apprised of changes that might be happening, and how priorities may have shifted during these unprecedented and changing times. 
7. Additional Resources:
Please review the Employee Tips for Working Remotely


Business Insider article with several links on How to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak