Covid-19 Work Arrangements

Key Considerations Checklist

The checklist below and resources will assist as you plan for and support successful working from home arrangements. Remote work can be helpful in urgent situations, allowing for continuity of operations. This guide outlines key considerations, best practices, and the University guidance specific to COVID-19 workforce planning only.

  • Priorities and Essential Work

Evaluate the responsibilities and priorities of employee position based on the above three categories, considering customer/collaborator impact and feasibility of completing some of the work remotely.

  • Technology

At a minimum, employees need a computer, internet, and phone access. AUC does not cover the cost of home internet and phone and does not insure personal technology. 

  • Home Environment

Consider whether your home environment is helpful to remote work. Factors include the demands of other household members, household construction, appropriate lighting, seating, and other basic conditions. Set expectations with others in your home regarding your interactions and availability.

  • Pay

All employees that work remotely when the University is open should be paid as per the basic salary rate.

  • Overtime

As a general rule and due to the existing circumstances, there will be no overtime expected except for departments managing the critical work conditions or essential business community roles. Overtime must be approved in advance by area head.

  • Contact Information

Provide multiple forms of contact information to your manager. Update your emergency contact information with the HR department. 

  • Remote Agreements and Expectations

Due to the fast pace of evolving health regulations and the anticipated wide use of remote work, employees and managers are required to put the agreement in writing (e.g. email) outlining duration, expectations and requesting confirmation from their direct managers/department heads.  

  • Meetings

Your direct manager will likely define what tools you will use to hold meetings virtually. Within your scope, identify which upcoming meetings can/should be rescheduled if necessary. Practice holding meetings remotely before increasing remote work use. 

  • Time and Performance

Discuss with your direct manager how your time and performance will be managed. Communicate regularly with your direct manager regarding your work priorities, deliverables, timelines, etc.   

Under the remote work arrangement, employees should consider the following:

  • Doing your best work
  • Completing work assignments on time
  • Pitching in to help when needed (it is important to continue to be a team player even when working remotely
  • Volunteering for projects
  • Working independently without the need for close supervision
  • Keeping your supervisor and co-workers informed about what you are working on and what you have accomplished

Frequently Asked Questions

1- Which factors should departments/units consider when determining if remote work is possible? 

  • Operational requirements
  • Security of work data
  • Technological capabilities and equipment necessary to perform job duties
  • Productivity
  • Accuracy of records reflecting time worked by hourly employees

2- Which jobs are suited for remote work? 

Working remotely is easier to implement for jobs or tasks that require reading, writing, research, working with data and talking on the phone. In general, a job is suited to working remotely if the job or some components of it can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication, this is dependent on the manager’s discretion.

3- Which jobs are not suited for remote work?
It is common to require employees in positions needing in-person contact/customer service or that rely upon specific equipment or supplies to work on site. Management and/or supervisory roles also generally may be excluded from consideration of remote-work arrangements unless a department finds such an arrangement practical in meeting job responsibilities. 

4- How to create a productive remote work arrangement?
Clearly outlined and executed working remotely arrangements can prove beneficial to employees and managers alike. Managers should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. With proper planning, communications problems can be minimized.

Click here to read the supervisors’ checklist for supporting remote work

Click here to read remote work tips for employees

5- How will I know if I can work remotely?

Talk to your supervisor immediately about your job functions and what work you can do remotely. 

6- Will I still be paid?

At this time, all University paid employees will continue to be paid, whether they are working on campus or remotely. For those whose managers state they cannot work remotely, they will also remain in paid status. This guidance is true for full-time, part-time, and temporary staff and faculty.

7- If I must work on-site, what will that look like? How can we take precautions?

The following restrictions are in place until April 15:

  1. All meetings are expected to take place online
  2. No University events
  3. No in-person recruiting or interviews
  4. No campus visitors

8- Do I have to work remotely?

The remote work arrangements will be decided based on the business needs and operational demands of the unit. The unit head will plan this in confirmation by the area head. 

9- My children’s school is currently closed, and I have to stay home with them, can I work remotely?

You need to discuss this directly with your line manager, if your current responsibilities can be postponed you can sign an annual leave until this situation is over, in case you have deliverables that are important and urgent, then you need to agree with your direct manager on the days that you will be working remotely as per the HR guidelines. Worth mentioning that you can mix between annual leaves and remote working days as per the amount of urgent work that you need to deliver.

10- I have been advised by the AUC clinic to self-quarantine, can I work remotely during this period?

Yes, you can. However, make sure you are properly looking after yourself. Priority number one, in this case, is your well-being.

11 - What should I do if I lost my MetLife card ?

In case you lost your card, please send an email to approval.requests@metlife.com, cc'ing rania.reda@mercermarshbenefits.com asking for a cover letter addressed to the service provider. You need to write in the email subject GRP# 6324700000, your name/dependent name and your AUC ID. No attachment required in this email.

12- How can I get my monthly chronic medication through MetLife System?

 If your medicine is registered on the system, any pharmacy inside the network can dispense the medications without any approvals, only through the medical card and national ID.

13- How can I get approvals on acute medication through MetLife System?

You can send prescription or request for any lab test  to MetLife email address approval.requests@metlife.com, write the patient name and your AUC ID number in the subject of the email

14- How can I submit a MetLife claim?

For urgent reimbursement claims, submit your claims through MetLife mobile application, to activate the mobile application please contact MetLife hotline number 19097.

15 - How can I dispense the monthly chronic medications? 

All the monthly chronic medication that is registered in your medical file at the AUC clinic can be dispensed for two months from Seif Pharmacy Concord Plaza.

16- I'm a Cigna subscriber, how can I dispense the monthly chronic medications?

You can send an email to medicalserv@aucegypt.edu including your name, ID, and which clinic you used to dispense your medication from (Tahrir or New Cairo) and a copy of your monthly prescription will be sent to Seif Pharmacy. Once you have received a reply you can collect your medicine only from the Concord Plaza branch for the New Cairo clinic or strand building /El Falaki branch for Tahrir clinic between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

17- I'm a Cigna subscriber, what can I do to dispense prescription for an acute condition?

In case you faced any difficulty in prescribing your medication contact medicalserv@aucegypt.edu copying Dr. Ghada Maher at ghada313@gmail.com or call 01210561111.

18- How can I register to Cigna online? 

  1. Select " I have not registered yet"
  2. Add the first name as stated on the card
  3. Add the last name
  4. Add your date of birth 
  5. Add policy holder: AUC

You will receive a temporary pin, continue to log in using the same Cigna ID number and the temporary pin. Then continue to log in by answering the selected three security questions.
Then create a new password which must be a minimum of eight digits (only capital, small letters, and numbers) 

19- How can I send claims to Cigna? 

You can register through www.cignaenvoy.com
Scan all your bills and receipts and forward them to Cigna online

 

Remote work proves successful when employees and supervisors communicate clearly about expectations. The following checklist will help you establish a foundation for effective teamwork, continued productivity, and service to the AUC community.

  1. Review technology needs and resources: Identify the technology tools needed for daily work and determine whether the resources will be accessible when working from home. Also, ensure employees know how to access the appropriate technical support should they need assistance.
  2. Confirm that employees know how to set up call forwarding and how to access their voicemail from home.
  3. Determine which platform(s) you will use to communicate as a team, clarify expectations for online availability and confirm everyone has access to the technology tool(s) and support resources.
  4. Review work schedules: remote work can be confused with flex work. Be clear about your expectations with employees for maintaining their current work schedule or if you are open to flexible scheduling based on employee’s needs. 
  5. Draft a work plan: review the questions below with staff and work through answers together.
  • What routine responsibilities/tasks cannot be fulfilled while working remotely and how will it impact operations or other people? What are ways to reduce the impacts?
  • What routine responsibilities/tasks require regular communication and collaboration with others? Proactively contact each other to confirm how you will communicate while everyone is working remotely.
  • Oftentimes employees experience fewer interruptions while working remotely. Are there any special projects or tasks that you can advance while working remotely?
  1. Make a communication and accountability plan: Supervisors should tell employees how often they should send updates on work plan progress and what those updates should include. Supervisors should also communicate how quickly they expect the employee to respond while working remotely and the best ways for the employee to contact the supervisor while working remotely. Current performance standards are expected to be maintained by employees.
  2. Maintain team meetings and one-to-one check-ins, altering the schedule if needed to accommodate any alternative schedules that have been approved.
  3. Conduct regular check-ins. Start each workday with a phone, video or instant message chat. Every other day or weekly may be fine, so long as you are in contact frequently enough that your employees are in sync with you and/or with one another.
  4. Be positive: A positive attitude toward working remotely and a willingness to trust employees to working remotely effectively is key to making such arrangements successful and productive. Working remotely presents an opportunity for managers to become better supervisors. Instead of focusing on how many hours your employees are working, re-emphasize a focus on measuring results and reaching objectives—regardless of work arrangement. The employee’s completed work product is the indicator of success, rather than direct observation. 
  5. Debrief after normal operations resume: employees and supervisors should review work plans when work returns to normal, assess progress on the employee’s work plan and prioritize any unresolved or new work that resulted from temporary operational disruption.

Remote Work Tips for Employees

Employees who work remotely often learn that remote work is different than they expected and that it requires specific skills and habits. The following tips will help you get to work while at home.

  1. Define your work-space - Establish a consistent work-space so that you can be in a proper mind-set to work from that space. You should remain capable of reporting to work if your presence is requested by your supervisor.
  2. Master the basics – Understand what you need in order to work remotely such as:
  • Set up call forwarding and how to access your voicemail from home
  • Know how to remote into the university’s network and other online tools you use regularly
  • Use Zoom or another instant messaging method to stay connected to colleagues.
  • Plan for video calls/meetings by making sure you know how to turn on your computer’s camera and microphone and being aware that your colleagues may be able to see the background behind you
  1. Set daily goals, track them and share your progress - Start each day by writing down your goals for each day and track your progress. Communicate with your supervisor and/or colleagues if you think your working remotely plan needs to be adjusted.
  2. Eliminate distractions - Depending on your living arrangement, you may need to hang a “do not disturb” sign so your family members don’t interrupt you. 
  3. Prioritize privacy and security – You should assess the privacy of your workspace to ensure that your computer screen is not visible to others or no one can hear your telephone or video calls with your supervisor and/or colleagues.
  4. Stay connected – Employees who are working remotely from home should be contacted regularly to make sure they remain connected to others.

Make sure to check for changes to the University operating status and frequently asking questions at this link, as the definitive source for timely information about AUC operating status.