Commonly asked questions about the Digital Workplace Program (DWP)
- What is the Digital Workplace Program (DWP)?
The Digital Workplace Program (DWP) a remote and hybrid work program designed to promote flexibility, leverage new ways of working, foster innovation in how we work, and ultimately be better stewards of our resources.
Departments participating in the DWP will have employees in one of three categories: On-site Worker, Hybrid Worker, and Remote Worker.
> On-Site Worker: Employees who spend most of their work week (4-5 days per week) working in the office. On-Site Workers are assigned a dedicated workstation.
> Remote Worker: Employees who work from home or an alternate location full time (4 or more days per week). Remote workers do not have an assigned seat but may use a drop-in workstation in their team's neighborhood whenever they do visit the office.
> Hybrid Worker: Employees who spend part of their week (appx. 2-3 days per week) working from locations other than the office. Hybrid Workers do not have an assigned desk at the office, but rather share desks within their team’s neighborhood.
- Why is UC Davis Health doing this?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to adopt new ways of working almost overnight. We not only adapted and met the challenge that these circumstances posed, but we have continued to remain productive. We have realized that much of our work can happen remotely and that many of us have benefitted from the added flexibilty that remote work has allowed.
The DWP will allow us to continue the remote work practices that have come out of the pandemic, and to test and improve the program over time. The primary driver of the program is to benefit employees and to maintain UC Davis Health's standing as an employer of choice, providing individuals with the choice of where and how they work, reducing commute time, and improving work/life balance. In addition, the DWP will help UC Davis Health to continue to be good stewards of resources into the future, by more effectively utilizing workplace space, reducing environmental impacts, and prioritizing real estate for our primary mission--patient care.
- I am a UC Davis campus and not a UC Davis Health employee. Does this program apply to me?
- No. Please refer to the UC Davis Workplace Reimagined page, which can be found here.
- How are we conducting this project?
- The DWP is a partnership between HR, IT, and Facilities Planning. The DWP aims to define a mobile work program, set guidelines, provide ongoing monitoring and change management for participating departments, and make improvements so that it may be scaled and rolled out across other parts of the UC Davis Health organization over time as appropriate.
- How does this affect our overall site planning and where different groups are located?
- In general, we will be keeping with the office plan that was developed in 2019-2020, however minor impacts to space will occur and consolidation will be considered during this process.
- How did the survey that we just took (Jan 2021) inform this program?
- We appreciate those who were able to take the Pilot Group Staff & Leadership Survey and provide feedback regarding their experience working from home during the pandemic and expectations for the future. Your responses are an essential part of developing this program and will be incorporated into the final plans.
- Who's being selected to represent my department in the workshops?
- Department heads and their appointed delegates have been selected to participate in interviews, focus groups, and other feedback sessions.
- Am I required to be in this program or can I opt out of it if I do not wish to participate?
- Participation in the program as an On-site, Hybrid, or Remote worker will be based initially on voluntary participation.
- Do I need to sign a new Remote Work Agreement (RWA) if I’ve already signed one in the past (either during or before the pandemic)?
- Yes, it is important to sign the DWP RWA if you plan to continue working remotely, even if you have already signed one with your department in the past.
- Is there a deadline for submitting RWA's?
- It is important for department management to determine a deadline that is appropriate for their teams. For departments currently in the Pilot (largely Administrative Units), we encourage employees to submit their RWA's by the end of October. For other groups - including Academic and Clinical departments - the roll-out of the DWP will happen later this fall and next spring, though all departments are eligible to participate in the DWP at any time.
- Do managers need to approve each employee’s remote work agreement?
- Yes, each employee must submit an individual RWA to be approved by their manager. It is within a manager’s discretion to deny an RWA, if individual roles/responsibilities do not lend themselves to remote work.
- Can an RWA be modified or terminated?
- All Remote Work Arrangements are subject to ongoing review and may be terminated at any time by either party, including for performance issues. Employees may also opt out of the program, or change their type of work arrangement, at any time. A new RWA must be submitted when an agreement is modified or terminated.
- Can any specific terms and conditions be added to an RWA?
- Yes, there is a section for Supervisor/Employee specific terms and conditions for anything not covered in the policy.
- Will employees be permitted to live out of region and/or out of state and/or out of country?
- TBD. In limited special circumstances a perm. A full-time position may be appropriate depending on the type of work being done. This would require director approval. The employee is responsible to understand any tax and/or benefits impacts from living out of state.
- Are people who are not on site as often at a disadvantage for promotions?
- No. All employees are treated equally with regard to promotions. Departmental leadership and managers will participate in a rigorous training program to recognize the importance of equity for all workers, whether On-site, Hybrid or Remote.
- How is performance being measured for remote employees?
- Employees with approved Remote Work Arrangements are expected to meet the same performance standards as otherwise required, and supervisors and managers will be expected to use the same performance review criteria that are applicable to all other similarly situated employees.
- If I don't have an assigned seat, am I still allowed to come into the office? Do I get to keep my office / workspace?
Hybrid and Remote employees are not only allowed to come into the office but are welcomed to do so in order to perform work that needs to be done on-site and to collaborate and connect with co-workers.
Hybrid employees will be assigned to a neighborhood where their team resides. Remote employees may be assigned to a neighborhood, depending on their role and their group. When Hybrid or Remote employees are in the office, they will be provided with a section of unassigned "drop-in" workstations in their neighborhood to use for the day. These workstations will provide the same features as the assigned workstations their On-site co-worker's use. In addition, employees will also have access to alternative work points, such as collaboration tables and soft seating, as well as 1-2 person focus rooms and 3-4 person huddle rooms.
- As a participant of the program, will I have to fully vacate my office/desk space? If so, will I have another place to work and to store my things?
- Hybrid and Remote employees will vacate their office or desk space. As the program develops, dedicated storage will be provided for each Hybrid worker, and Remote workers will have access to day-use storage for those times they visit the office.
- Will I get to choose how I work in the future (on site/at home/a mix of both)?
- Yes. Once you initiate the process (instructions forthcoming), you will meet with your manager to complete a Remote Work Arrangement (RWA) form defining the details of your transition to Hybrid or Remote work.
- How will I know if someone is working from home or the office on a given day? How will I know where to find people if they have an unassigned seat?
- Each department will develop its own coordination practices using existing tools, such as Teams, Outlook, or other calendaring systems to ensure coordination. More tools will become available as the program progresses. You will be able to find your colleagues by visiting their assigned neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will have a dedicated set of unassigned "drop-in" workstations for Hybrid and Remote employees to use while working on-site.
- What happens if I am in the category of employees who work on site 4-5 days per week, but I actually work on site less frequently?
- Supervisors will monitor how many days per week employees are actually on site. If employees are on-site less than they planned, and that frequency is acceptable to their manager, their mobile work category should be updated to reflect their work pattern. For example, if they planned to be on-site (4-5 days per week on-site), and their mobile work category is updated to be Hybrid (2-3 days) or Remote (0-1 days), their manager will make sure that their technology provisions are appropriate and they will be moved into unassigned seating.
Tools, Tech, and Support
- How do I submit a ticket for new remote work equipment?
- Here is the link for an employee to submit (Request for Remote Work Equipment).
- How will I maintain an ergonomic work set-up?
- Employees are encouraged to refer to Ergonomic Tips for Remote Work which can be found here. UC Davis Health will allow Hybrid and Remote employees to borrow their task chairs and monitors from the office for their home setup.
- How will home office ergonomic assessments be done?
- UC Davis Health is developing a program that will provide virtual ergonomic evaluations for the home office and in-person ergonomic evaluations for the office.
- Will items that have already been purchased through the pandemic be reimbursed?
- UCD Health will not be reimbursing any items related to remote work purchased outside of the typical procurement process.
- Will people who don't have an assigned seat be able to store anything in the office?
- Dedicated storage will be available for Hybrid employees, and day-use storage will be available for Remote employees.
- Will there be more than one type of docking station in the office? How will we address this within our team space?
- The standard docking station that is deployed at the shared/hotel cubicles accommodates multiple models of laptops. In an extreme case where some laptops do not fit in standard docking stations, IT will make best effort to provide suitable equipment.
- I am concerned about sharing desks and furniture with others due to cleanliness considerations. How will furniture be sanitized?
- Standard cleaning will continue to occur. Departments are to budget and provide sanitary wipes for employees to use to clean the provided work settings if they choose to do so.
- What will be provided for the home work environment?
- Currently, the plan is to equip Remote and Hybrid workers with one laptop, one monitor, one docking station, and one headset (if needed). If requested, UC Davis Health will provide one task chair that the employee may borrow. No scanners, printers, desk phones, or cell phones are being deployed.
- How will we maintain confidentiality/ security requirements while working from home?
- It is each employee's responsibility to ensure that confidential and secure materials are maintained while working as a Hybrid or Remote worker. If this cannot be accomplished, then the employee may be required to work as an On-site employee. UC Davis Health is developing a program to assess the home set up with the employee to determine if confidentiality and security requirements of their job are able to be met.
- How will we handle paper-based materials and processes? How will paper based materials be transitioned into digital format?
- At this time, each department will determine its own strategy for paper-based materials.
- Will I need to 'swap out' desktops for laptops? Will some employees be allowed to have both?
- On-site employees will either have desktop or laptop computers, but not both. Hybrid and Remote employees will be issued a laptop.
- How will equipment be shipped?
- Typically, the employee will be expected to pick up items at their main office. We have the ability to ship equipment, though shipping costs will need to be authorized.
- Is there training available to help me develop skillsets to support effective remote or hybrid-remote work?
- Yes. Please visit the HR website to see available training courses - and please keep checking back as more content will be added in the months to come.
Topics include: developing expertise in online collaboration tools (Zoom, WebEx, Teams, etc.); ergonomics for your remote workspace; and how to effectively manage remote or hybrid teams.
You can also visit the Digital Workplace Program web page for additional guides on workspace planning, flexible work arrangements and more.
- Will we eliminate desk phones? If so, will we issue more cellphones or softphones?
- Desk phones will be eliminated and replaced with softphones.
- What are employees to do if they lose power, internet, other utilities that disrupt their ability to work remotely?
- Hybrid and Remote employees are required to provide a stable work environment and continuity of work. If their homes are not suitable to work, they are welcome to come into the office.
- Will UC Davis Health pay for home internet?
- No. It’s the employee's responsibility to provide reliable internet access sufficient for their job duties.
- Is there a UCD Health rate for internet or other services?
- Not at this time.
- Will UC Davis Health pay for office supplies?
- Will UC Davis Health provide office furniture for remote workers?
- Hybrid and Remote workers will be able to borrow one task chair. Work surfaces, task lighting, etc. are all the responsibility of the employee to provide.
- Will I get a cell phone?
- Your desk phone will become a computer softphone. If you have a business need for a university-issued cell phone, it will be provided by your department. Please discuss this with your manager.
DWP Feedback and Contacts
- Is there someone I can contact for more detailed questions?
- 1. Consider contacting your department's Change Champion (Excel)
2. Contact ELR at email@example.com or you can call 916-734-3362 for questions and new cases.
- How can an employee appeal a denial?
- Please send any appeals to ELR at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 916-734-3362.
- How can I share input/feedback?
- You can also submit questions via our Reach Out form, found here.