March 17, 2020
Dear Price staff,
I wanted to follow up the recent announcements from the President and Provost, particularly to address issues related to work from home options for staff from March 13 through April 13. The Price School is adapting to this new reality and working within the guidelines, policies and tools that the University has provided.
Most Price staff will be supporting the University’s efforts to encourage social distancing by working from home. However, some staff will continue working in the office and will implement social distancing practices, including maintaining a distance of 6-feet from others, moving to conference calls or video conferencing, and increased hygiene.
WORKING REMOTELY GUIDELINES
Staff members working from home should complete a Work Remotely Plan with their manager. This can be an informal outline or description of work prepared by an employee and their supervisor to help everyone manage expectations. For instance, a weekly one-on-one discussion of a list of “to dos” and their status would be appropriate. A plan will help give structure to tasks and track progress on projects and assignments.
Having regular check-ins with supervisors and co-workers is a valuable way to stay connected and engaged. Maybe your team can have a daily or weekly “coffee break” where colleagues meet over Zoom with their morning coffee or tea. Working apart from team members can feel isolating, so everyone is encouraged to find ways to keep in regular contact.
Please check the following resources for more guidance:
· This page also has instructions for voicemail set up. All Price employees should update their outgoing messages to alert callers to any alternate work arrangements you may have due to COVID-19. Since the University is limited on the number of lines that can be forwarded, the best option is to direct callers to your USC email address or another number/email that you prefer.
· Employee FAQs is where questions about working from home will be answered. A few things to highlight related to pay and administrative leave:
o The University is providing non-essential employees who are unable to work from home two weeks (10 days) paid administrative leave, which may be taken before using accrued vacation time. As the situation continues to evolve, the University will re-evaluate these guidelines.
o To access paid administrative leave, please enter your time through your customary payroll system (e.g., Workday). A new reason code labeled “COVID-19” is being developed so that these hours can be tracked. More information about this functionality will be communicated soon. Funds cannot be distributed unless hours are entered. This administrative leave option also applies to student workers. They should enter the number of hours they would normally be scheduled to work.
· The HR Service Center can be reached via email: [email protected]. The Center staff will be available to answer email inquiries during business hours, Monday-Friday, 7 am- 6 pm.
· For hourly employees working from home, log your time as you would normally if you were working on campus, including taking breaks as required by law.
· If you are sick, please take sick time.
· The central payroll office will be mailing checks unless employees have set up direct deposit.
FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY
As always, staff should consult the University’s website on Coronavirus for the most up-to-date information. In particular, there are links that address matters related to employees, including health and well-being, travel, working at home or in the office, pay and paid administrative leave, etc.
PRICE SCHOOL WEB PAGE
The University’s website now has links to School-specific web pages, so check the Price School’s page for additional updates related to our school.
Many Price School employees will be working from home in the coming weeks and we are especially grateful to the IT team who have been working so hard to get everyone ready. Moving forward, the best way to reach them is via email: [email protected].
If you wish to cancel your parking permit for a prorated monthly charge, mail the permit to: USC Transportation, ATTN: Permit Cancellation, 620 USC McCarthy Way, PSX-100, Los Angeles, CA 90089. The effective cancellation date will be the postmark date on the envelope. Staffing levels in the Transportation Office are at a minimum, so please allow additional time for processing.
As the University indicated, campus buildings will be closed to the public, which means doors are locked and only those who regularly work in those buildings may enter using their USC ID card. If you need access to your building and have trouble with your card, please contact Matt Loggins ([email protected]). Additionally, at least through March 30, there will be someone physically present in Lewis Hall in the Dean’s Office, so in the interest of safety and security, please let Linda Peacore ([email protected]) know if you will be working in your office on campus at any point.
Although many will find the transition to working remotely relatively smooth, there are others who will experience it as particularly challenging, including some who live alone or have small children or family members who need care at home. We are adjusting to an unprecedented period in which our usual way of doing things will be impacted in unexpected ways. Let’s be gracious with each other as we do our work – taking care of one another and ourselves in the midst of uncertainty. We’ll get through this together. Fight On!