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UA Foundation Pilots "Work from Remote" Program

In January 2015, the UA Foundation began a trial program assessing the effectiveness and viability of a “work from remote” program. The program was envisioned as a way of improving employee morale, enhancing productivity in an era of declining resources, preparing staff for campus closures or emergencies (weather, disaster, etc), and promoting employee hiring and retention.  

The Foundation pilot program for remote work (a.k.a telecommuting, telework, work from home), began as an idea in November of 2013. It involved over a year of developing management plans, guidelines, procedures, policies, and productivity metrics. The process also included gaining approval from Human Resources, General Counsel, Risk Services, and UA foundation and system leadership.

The program was designed using several professional studies, literature from organizations successfully using remote work, and staff input. Eight out of 22 employees are regularly participating in the program. An additional five employees participate on an intermittent basis. For this pilot program, employees work one to two days a week from home. Employees use secure internet connections to perform all regular tasks and communicate on a daily basis through email, Google instant messaging, audio and video chat, and secure “chat rooms” within the foundation’s social-based intranet.  

The pilot program will run through June 30, at which time foundation leaders will assess the effect of the program and make recommendations for continued use and /or modification. “We trust and respect our employees at the foundation and this is a way to demonstrate that when we may not be able to offer salary and benefit increases” says Megan Riebe, UA Foundation executive director. Megan added “we fully expect our level of productivity to increase – the pilot will allow us to test that and ensure our campus community and donors experience the same high level of service.”

If you would like to visit the foundation intranet page as a guest to learn about the remote work program and read the supporting documents and studies, please contact David Woodley, dswoodley@alaska.edu or call 786-1373.   

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