Telecommuting Guidelines and Resources

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Telecommuting Resources

Telecommuting is a voluntary work arrangement in which an eligible employee with approval works one or more days each work week from home instead of commuting to a work place. Telecommuting can also be utilized on an occasional basis to address project needs or environmental impact issues. Telecommuting is generally not intended for situations involving employees who no longer reside in California where the workplace is located, nor is it intended as a means of working from home on a full-time basis. It may be a way to accomplish reasonable accommodation for an employee who is permanently or temporarily disabled. Any establishment of a telecommuting agreement outside the state of California is considered Remote Work and may carry tax implications. Refer to the Remote Worker Resources page for more information. 


Telecommuting will be assessed and approved by management on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to the operational needs of the department. If implemented by management in a given unit, employees who have completed probation (if applicable) may be approved to telecommute based on the work and the employee’s suitability for successful telecommuting. 

  • Departments may decide if telecommuting is allowable within the department based on operational needs. If telecommuting is implemented for some employees, managers are encouraged to give serious consideration to all reasonable requests for participation, i.e., apply telecommuting consistently across the department, pending duties and individual performance considerations.
  • Approval for an employee to telecommute rests solely with the management of the University. Within each department, managers and supervisors should follow departmental protocol for approval. Human Resources does not need to approve telecommuting agreements, but departments should use the telecommuting agreement template. 
  • As needed, departments may review proposed telecommuting agreements with Labor and Employee Relations before implementation for general consultation or questions related to policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement, and/or the law.

Considerations for Telecommuting Arrangements

When considering a telecommuting agreement, managers should evaluate the work and the employee’s suitability for successful telecommuting. The following factors are suggestions for managers to evaluate appropriateness of a telecommuting arrangement. Additionally, managers should consider if a telecommuting arrangement may help accomplish reasonable accommodation for employees who are permanently or temporarily disabled (see Reasonable Accommodation for more information). Prior to implementing telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation, contact Disability Management Services for assistance in engaging in the interactive process.

Job/Work Factors:

  • Some or all components of job can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication (e.g., phones can be forwarded and email, websites, shared servers can be accessed remotely). 
  • Participation in meetings can be done via phone and web tools without hindering in-office staff ability to conduct meetings and communicate efficiently.
  • For those who supervise others or projects, the staff and operation must be able to be effectively guided while the supervisor/manager works at an off-site location.

Employee Factors

  • Completed their probationary periods, if applicable.
  • Current performance and documented performance rating on their last evaluation was Meets Expectations or better.
  • Demonstrates ability to prioritize and manage time/workload effectively with minimal direction/oversight.

Implementation and Annual Review/Renewal of Telecommuting Agreements

All managers, supervisors, and telecommuters should be familiar with these guidelines and the Telecommuting Agreement template. If an employee or supervisor wishes to adopt a telecommuting arrangement, review the template agreement. Once the employee and supervisor have agreed on specific terms, within UCSF guidelines, both parties should sign and retain copies for their records. Employees should also review and complete the Home Safety Checklist and Receipt of University Equipment.

Nothing in these guidelines prevents an employee and a supervisor from having an established telecommuting agreement that allows for the use of ad hoc telecommute day(s), such as during inclement weather, traffic hazards, office moves/construction, public transit failures or specific project work. The employee and the supervisor would need to discuss these situations as they arise to determine if the work can be accomplished off-site.

The telecommuter and supervisor should review their telecommuting agreement annually during the performance evaluation process, or whenever there is a major job change (such as a promotion), a change to the operational needs, or a change in supervisor. 

If a supervisor/manager wishes to discontinue a telecommuting agreement prior to the end of the annual cycle, please consult with your HR Generalist/Labor and Employee Relations (LER) to ensure reasonable notice is provided and any performance-related concerns are addressed.  

For any other questions or consultation, contact Labor and Employee Relations or your HR Generalist to discuss specific concerns or questions.