Best Practices

Remote Team Work

When working remotely, there are best practices that can help teams maintain work continuity and important connection.

Best Practices for Staff

Making Alternate Contact Information Known
  • Staff should ensure their contact information is updated in PeopleSoft.  (Go to “HR Self Service.”  Click on “Personal Information” Tile.)
  • Departments may choose to share alternate contact information using a team sharing tool such as SharePoint or Google Drive. Staff may choose not share their alternate contact information with the entire team. 
Staff Check-In
  • Jabber should be the primary method for contacting staff. Jabber allows people to contact each other at their office phone number and the Jabber presence feature allows others to know if staff are available.

  • You will be asked to join a morning check-in call to confirm your availability.

  • If you are expected to be available but cannot be reached via Jabber, your manager will either contact you directly via the alternate contact information you provided or the senior manager for the department may contact you via the information provided in PeopleSoft. If you are ill, you are only required to share that you will be out due to illness. You will not be asked to share your medical condition.  If you should have any questions, please contact your Senior HR Manager.  

  • If you or management does become aware that someone is out due to COVID-19, treat the information as confidential and contact Occupational Health Services at communityhealth@princeton.edu.

Sharing Availability on Calendars
  • Please open your calendars so members of the team can see work activities scheduled. You may use the calendar designation of “private” for activities that are confidential. 

Essentials for Working Remotely
  • Keep the lines of communications open with your manager. Have regular check-ins.  Should you notice a disconnection, experience a loss of engagement or productivity, or feel isolated from your team, discuss these concerns with your manager or senior HR manager immediately.

  • If the University is closed or on a delayed opening, you should follow the University’s direction, including reporting to work if you are an essential services employee, regardless of your location or work hours arrangement.

  • Employees and/or their managers should report all work related injuries, even when they occur offsite, according to policy 3.1.10 Workers’ Compensation Leave and Benefits. An independent assessment evaluates all claims.

 

Best Practices for Managers

Making Alternate Contact Information Known
  • Managers should ensure their contact information is updated in PeopleSoft.  (Go to “HR Self Service.”  Click on “Personal Information” Tile.)

  • Departments may choose to share alternate contact information using a team sharing tool such as SharePoint or Google Drive. Respect your team’s privacy as some members may not wish to share their personal contact information with the entire team.

Staff Check-In
  • Jabber should be the primary method for contacting staff. Jabber allows people to contact each other at their office phone number and the Jabber presence feature allows others to know if staff are available.

  • If someone is expected to be available but cannot be reached via Jabber, please use the alternate number provided by the staff.  If the staff have not shared their alternate contact information, the manager should alert the next level of management or Senior HR Manager so the staff can be contacted.   

  • Departments working remotely should have two morning check-in calls: 1) management team check-in led by the department manager to confirm attendance and safety of management team, 2) group check-in to confirm staff attendance and safety of team.

  • If a staff member is ill and unable to work, respect their privacy by not seeking information about their medical condition.  For managers having any questions, please contact your Senior HR Manager.  

  • Teams should agree on a time when all availability should be logged or recorded. A template for recording attendance can be used by clicking on (Staff Attendance Template)

  • If you do become aware that someone is out due to COVID-19, treat the information as confidential and contact Occupational Health Services at communityhealth@princeton.edu.

Sharing Availability on Calendars
  • Ask staff to open their calendars so members of the team can see work activities scheduled. Staff may use the calendar designation of “private” for activities that are confidential. 

  • Ensure that you have staff coverage for your services.  If coverage is low, please inform your university partners so they may know who to reach out to should support be needed.

Conducting Remote Meetings
  • The recommended tool is Zoom to conduct all audio and video conference calls.  (For more information about Princeton's Zoom service, see the Meetings and Work Sessions (Zoom) page of the Work Continuity website.) If teams have existing collaboration tools, feel free to use those tools.

  • Include audio conference or video conference connection details when scheduling meetings.

  • Please follow the tips found on managing virtual meetings for making virtual meeting most effective. 

Essentials for Working Remotely
  • For managers who have staff working remotely:

    • Setting and communicating clear and reasonable performance and productivity expectations at the onset of the arrangement is key to success.  Have regular check-ins. Should you have any concerns with the arrangement, discuss them with the employee and/or consult with your senior HR manager immediately.

    • If the University is closed or on a delayed opening, staff should follow the University’s direction, including reporting to work if they are an essential services employee, regardless of their location or work hours arrangement.

    • Employees and/or their managers should report all work related injuries, even when they occur offsite, according to policy 3.1.10 Workers’ Compensation Leave and Benefits. An independent assessment evaluates all claims.

 

Staff and Managers

While prepping for a remote workday or an extended work remotely period, it's best to take any items of value (monetary, technical, or personal) with you.  If that's not physically possible, those items should be secured with appropriate locking cables, stored in lockable cabinets, or transferred to a secure location within your team's office space.

Essentials for Working Remotely
  • Employees are responsible for providing their own confidential workspace, including their office furniture, equipment, internet and phone connections, and supplies. Joining calls via video is optional, as some employees may prefer to join calls using the audio feature only.  

  • For the duration of the COVID-19 challenge, the Information Security Office has temporarily modified its position paper on the use of home computers to access University systems. Please familiarize yourself with the revised Remotely Connecting to University Systems position paper.

  • Please see the Remote Access to Protected Resources (VPN) page of the Work Continuity website for instructions on how to securely connect to protected University resources from off-campus. Please note that VPN access is only required to access restricted systems.  Email, Office 365 and Google-Suite are just a few examples of the many systems that do not require VPN for remote access. 

  • Staff should request a Princeton Google Drive if needed.  Please click on: Princeton Google Drive for Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students if a Google Drive is needed. Employees may also choose One Drive which is included in Office 365 so no request will need to be made. 

For all other questions, please be sure to contact your Senior HR Manager.

 

InfoSec Best Practices

Information Security Tips

  • Keep a clean machine!  If you’re using a personal device for business, follow the instructions outlined by the Information Security Office.
    • Keep software up-to-date, including antivirus software
    • Enable a firewall
    • Install operating system patches
    • Visit the ISO’s position paper for helpful links                                                           
  • Always be on alert for scams, specifically phishing (through email) and vishing (by phone).  Visit the University’s Phish Bowl for the latest phishing alerts.
  • Secure your home network.  See the ISO’s webinar and handout on securing your home network.
  • Use a secure, encrypted password manager to improve your password hygiene. Princeton offers free LastPass password manager accounts to students, faculty, and staff.   
  • Beware of "Zoom-bombing" or uninvited guests joining your Zoom meetings.  Visit our Zoom Best Practices KB article to learn how to lock down your meeting.
  • For more information security best practices, see our Safe Computing webpage.

 

Preventing Compromises

Accessibility Best Practices

During remote working, Princeton remains committed to ensuring the accessibility of its information technologies to all staff. Remote working can also present greater challenges for accessibility and can bring to the fore new needs for accommodation. 

Staff who need an accommodation should follow the process described in Human Resources’ accommodations policy.

If you are publishing information to your website, posting to social media, live-streaming events or publishing videos, follow the recommendations of the Digital Accessibility Guidelines.

If you encounter an issue with the accessibility of a University website or technology service, please request assistance