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.
- Who are the DWP Leadership Sponsors
The DWP is sponsored by Dr. Lubarsky, the CFO, and CHRO. Remote work as a whole is a UC Davis and broader UCOP initiative.
Ekta Vyas, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer, sponsored the task force in charge of developing the DWP. The DWP Task Force included leaders from HR, ELR, Public Affairs, Facilities, and IT.
- 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?
- The DWP does not change any restrictions or allowances on working out of state. In limited special circumstances a permanent full-time position may be appropriate for out-of-state work depending on the type of work being done. This determination will be made at the discretion of a department or division leader, and will have clear stipulations as to required on-campus time. The employee is responsible to understand any tax and/or benefits implications of living out of state. Further, there is the understanding that if the remote employee will need to come into the office from time to time, then that out of state employee will be expected to do so at their own expense.
- Are there salary or management track restrictions for Remote or Hybrid-remote workers?
- No. In so far as is practical, UCDH seeks to provide parity and equity between staff who are remote, hybrid and on site. There will be no differentiation for salary or promotion based on a person’s place of work.
- If I am a remote or hybrid employee, do the current vaccination and testing rules still apply to me?
- Current University of California vaccination and testing requirements apply to all UC Davis Health FTE and contract staff. All FTE and contract staff are expected to follow all UC Davis Health COVID safety requirements when physically present at a University-owned, leased site, and/or while in-person conducting University business with fellow UC staff members, faculty, students, etc.
- Does HR need to be involved for setting performance criteria?
- No, ELR is not required to review performance criteria, but are available to support in development or review as needed.
- Does becoming a remote worker mean I can work remotely permanently?
- No, Remote Work Agreements are renewed periodically (usually annually).
- How are Remote Work Agreements revoked / terminated?
- Remote Work Agreements can be revoked/terminated at the request of either the employee or the manager. The RWA termination form is available upon request from ELR.
- If I am an employee both on the UC Davis main campus as well as the UC Davis Health campus, am I eligible for the DWP?
- In general yes, but please confirm with your manager which program is applicable if you are engaged on both campuses.
- Should performance metrics be documented in the RWA?
- No, performance metrics are applicable to all employees regardless of remote work status. Performance metrics should be outlined in a separate document to be referenced in the RWA. All performance metrics should be developed in coordination with ELR, where applicable.
- Do departments need to develop remote work plans?
- Yes, departments should develop an overarching remote work strategy to make sure individual employee requests fit into a broader framework. For example, if there needs to be certain coverage on-site each day of the week that needs to be organized balancing each individual’s remote work request. The HR department has developed this guidance for departments on what this planning might look like.
- Can I work remotely on occasion/sporadically even if I'm not a Remote or Hybrid worker? If so, do I need to fill out an RWA?
- Yes - all employees are eligible to work remotely as appropriate based on job tasks, and with prior approval from their manager. If you do plan to work remotely on a regular basis, even if intermittently, you should still submit an RWA detailing the terms of your remote work.
- Is a Position Description required to be attached when submitting an RWA?
- Yes, both the RWA and the position description are a required attachments. ELR is requesting the position description so that they can compare against the terms in the RWA.
- How can I find a copy of my position description, if I don't have it already?
- If you nor your manager currently have a record of your employee job description your manager should reach out to your department HR business partner and they will work on getting a copy for you.
- Can employees submit their RWA's directly to ELR? Or should Managers submit the forms?
- Either an employee or a manager can initiate the change request, once the RWA form is signed by both parties. If the employee is initiating, they would enter their name in both the “Your Name” and “Employee Name” fields.
- 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?
- Some individuals who work Remotely will vacate their office or desk space, and will shift to an unassigned/shared seating model. Any shift to unassigned seating will not happen overnight, but at a time that is appropriate for a team’s context and respects the needs of the department. 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)?
- You will work in collaboration with your manager to determine a schedule for your on-site time that attempts to accommodate your preferences while meeting departmental needs. You will meet with your manager to determine the appropriate schedule and complete a Remote Work Arrangement (RWA) form documenting this.
- 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.
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 responsible for maintaining an ergonomic workspace while working remotely. A self-certification checklist is included in the RWA form to ensure employees have an appropriate workspace. UCDH will provide one adjustable chair for remote workers' home offices, with the potential to request a specific ergonomic chair by completing an ergonomic evaluation. There are additional ergonomic resources available on the Ergonomic Tips for Remote Work website.
- How will home office ergonomic assessments be done?
- Ergonomic evaluations will be conducted virtually for remote workers.
- 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?
- Yes - there will be both dedicated team storage as well as individual storage availabel for Hybrid and 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 equipment/technology will be provided for the home work environment?
- Remote and Hybrid workers will receive one laptop, one monitor, one docking station, and basic acessories (one headset, mouse, and keyboard), if requested. In addition, UC Davis Health will provide one task chair that the employee may use for their home office. 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 I get my remote work equipment/technology?
- Typically, the employee will be expected to pick up items at their main office or directly from the IT department. Alternate methods for deploying equipment will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
- Is there training available to help me develop skillsets to support effective remote or hybrid-remote work?
UCDH HR is offering in-person trainings for managers about Managing Remote & Hybrid-Remote Teams - we strongly recommend that all managers go through this training (but it is not mandated by the program). Managers can sign up for a training session.
There are a variety of online resources available to support remote workers, including the Employee Flexplace Success page developed by UCDH's WorkLife Manager.
Further resources related to working remotely can be found on the General Resources on Flex Work site.
- Will we eliminate desk phones? If so, will we issue more cellphones or softphones?
- For some teams, desk phones will be eliminated and replaced with a softphone - Cisco Jabber. In particular, teams with employees who work remotely will be encouraged to transition to Jabber, as this is typically the most seamless solution for individuals who work out of the office. Other teams may need to retain their desk phones.
- 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.
- How quickly will task chairs be deployed once requests are submitted?
- Chairs will typically be deployed within 2-4 weeks of request submittal, potentially longer pending inventory and availability. The furniture team will make every effort to expedite all requests using available inventory, however if new products need to be ordered it can take 8+ weeks.
- What is the process for requesting a task chair for remote workers?
Chairs are requested through Compass.
Participating department's should submit one request for all employees that need a chair, using the Remote Work Chair Request form.
Employees should work with departmentally-assigned staff who coordinate facilities issues (ex. Administrative support or CAO), to have them submit a ticket for a chair through Compass.
Please note “Task chair for Remote Work” in the request.
>> Access Compass
What is Jabber? Can I get Jabber for myself or my team?
Jabber is a software installed on the laptop that works as a virtual desk-phone. If opting for Jabber, your UCDH desk phone would be replaced by Jabber software, allowing you to take and make calls anywhere from your laptop. Your existing UCDH office phone number would continue to be the same.
Will people be able to get Jabber if they want it?
Jabber is our current softphone solution and any UCDH employee or UCDH contractor with an AD account can request Jabber installed on their machine.
What is the process for requesting Jabber, and are there any limitations, depending on wifi connections at their site, other infrastructure considerations, etc.?
Users can request Jabber via a telecom request through Service Now. Onsite effectiveness of Jabber may be limited to UCDH buildings with newer network infrastucture that can support voice over IP.
For home users, Jabber effectiveness will depend on having a good internet provider. Those who can use VPN to access the UCDH network are often also able to use Jabber.
Will Jabber work with Duo authentication, similar to a desk phone?
Yes. If you currently use your desk phone to authenticate through Duo (using a phone call), then that functionality would continue to work with Jabber.
How do I request remote IT equipment?
Each employee will submit their own IT hardware request via a Service Now self-service ticket. This request will then be vetted for accuracy, and following departmental approval, scheduled for pickup at the Alhambra Cannery building. Monitors, docks and accessory requests can be added in this request.
Can I receive a second monitor?
A single monitor is standard, but you can receive a second monitor with department leadership approval.
Are cameras for videoconferencing available?
No, external web cameras are not covered as part of the DWP. Customers are encouraged to use the built-in camera available on all UCDH-issued laptops. If an external web camera is necessary, speak with IT Client Services for recommended models and your department leadership to determine need and funding.
Are there any network requirements for remote workers? (ex. needing to connect to a router?)
For best results while working from home, it is recommended that high-speed internet products, such as those provided by Xfinity, AT&T, Starlink etc. be utilized. Please contact these vendors directly for details and availability in your area.
What if I've already been issued a laptop in the past? Am I permitted to bring my laptop home for occassional remote working, or do I need to sign up for a laptop dedicated to remote work?
If you already has a UCDH laptop in office, then you are already considered “mobile-ready” and should use your existing laptop when working from home. A second laptop doesn’t have to be requested and will not be issued.
Do I have to request the full tech package offered for remote work, or can I just request the specific equipment that I need?
No, you can request just the equipment you require - just state what equipment you need in your IT Request. IT will discuss the specifics when they contact you, after the request has been received.
Can I take my chair home from my current office space?
No, employees are discouraged from taking chairs from the office without first submitting a remote work furniture request.
- Will I get a cell phone?
- No, the DWP will not be providing cell phones as part of the program. 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. Otherwise your desk phone will become a computer softphone through Cisco Jabber.
- What parking options do remote workers have?
- UC Davis Health and UC Davis Campus employees will provide a new daily parking option for employees not needing long term parking. Affiliates may purchase a daily permit through ParkMobile (the ParkMobile app). The daily cost will be equivalent to the monthly permit price. There is no commitment and you can pay as you use it. ParkMobile is used worldwide including by the City of Sacramento and the UC Davis campus.
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.