COVID FAQS Telework
Q1: Who should telework?
A1: All NPS employees are encouraged to have an active Situational Telework Agreement on
• Situational telework allows you, with supervisory approval, to work at an alternate work site on an ad-hoc basis.
• The request can be completed within your TWMS account.
• Should a local outbreak of COVID-19 occur, having your official paperwork on file and a plan of action with your supervisor ensures preparedness.
• For additional information: https://nps.edu/group/mynps/covid-19-updates-for-nps-faculty-students-and-staff
Q2: Can my supervisor direct/mandate me to telework, even if I would prefer not to or I
am not eligible for it?
A2: Telework is an essential tool in helping the Department minimize risk to its civilian personnel and their families, as well as ensuring the readiness of our force and continuance of operations and execution of mission during a pandemic. In limited and specific circumstances, an Agency can direct an alternate place of work, even if you do not have a telework agreement in place or have previously indicated that you do not want to voluntarily participate in telework. At this time, NPS is only asking that employees be prepared by initiating voluntary situational telework agreements.
Q3: How do I create a telework agreement?
A3: Log into TWMS at: https://mytwms.dc3n.navy.mil/ with your CAC card; under the “Actions” heading, choose Tools/Functions; select Telework Request Management; click on the link “Create New Telework Request” and follow the instructions.
Q4: What if TWMS won’t let me initiate a telework agreement?
A4: You can still work from home if directed to do so. If you do not have access to a CAC card reader or are not properly coded for telework in TWMS, download and complete the online TWMS Telework training and a hard copy of DD Form 2946 and submit it to Ken Stewart at email@example.com at the Human Resources Office or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q5: If my child’s day care facility or school closes, but NPS is still open, can I telework
since I won’t have any childcare?
A5: Yes. SECDEF Memo dated 8 March 2020, Subject: Civilian Personnel Guidance for DoD Components in Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019, has granted a limited exception through December 31, 2020 that will allow civilian employees to telework during an emergency (e.g., continuity of operations event, pandemic health crisis) while a child or other persons requiring care or supervision is at home.
Q6: What is the most current guidance on teleworking?
A6: As of March 16, 2020, NPS workspaces are closed and mandatory telework is directed until further notice. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
The President has delegated approval authority to the Chief of Staff (COS) and Provost for the purposes of facilitating distance learning, classified related work and executing NPS essential functions (while maintaining social distancing requirements).
Contractor program managers should contact their contracting officer for specific direction.
Q7: Where can I find further information on Telework?
A7: in addition to these FAQs under Telework at: https://nps.edu/web/guest/covid19-faqs#telework, a link to Managing Telework Best Practices is at:
Q8: What happens if I am unable to telework due to the nature of my job or there is not enough work for me to justify a full-time telework schedule?
A8: HRO will work with you and your supervisors to determine your eligibility for either part or full-time Weather and Safety Leave, which under 5 CFR 6329c, may be granted to employees without loss or reduction of pay, if an employee, or group of employees, is prevented from safely traveling to or performing work at an approved location.
Q9: How do I request Weather and Safety Leave if I am unable to telework?
A9: If you are unable to perform your duties remotely or are only able to complete a portion of your duties remotely, send an email through your supervisor to Ms. Jennifer Amorin: email@example.com and include the following:
- Weather and Safety Leave in the subject line
- An explanation of the nature of your work
- An explanation of how current restrictions on travel and workplace access prevent you from performing your assigned duties
- Your assessment of whether or not a temporary modification of your assigned duties will allow you to perform them remotely
- The number of hours of Weather and Safety Leave you are requesting
HRO will evaluate each request and forward to the appropriate decision-making authority. If approved, the requestor will be notified and will be given instructions on how to properly code Weather and Safety Leave in SLDCADA.
Q10: What are some best practices for managing teleworkers?
A10: Actively supervise your employees by:
- Identifying specific work, tasks and projects to be accomplished;
- Considering how telework will affect the dynamics of your team;
- Leveraging communications technologies Microsoft Teams or Zoom;
- Establishing daily reporting requirements to your supervisor and/or the entire team;
- Setting performance standards via OPM: www.opm.gov;
- Being flexible in management style, communications, tasking, etc.;
- Patiently adapting to the new environment;
- Demonstrating willingness to listen and learn!
Q11: What are some best practices for teleworkers?
A11: Maximize your telework efficacy by:
- Eliminating distractions;
- Setting up a dedicated workspace at your telework location;
- Working with your supervisor to identify what duties you feel can/cannot be accomplished through telework;
- Identifying changes that need to be pre-approved;
- Working with your supervisor to set a daily telework schedule and providing expected deliverables;
- Ensuring your availability by phone or email;
- Virtually attending all required meetings;
- Communicating regularly with your supervisor and other members of the team.
Q12: What are the responsibilities for both supervisors and teleworkers during an emergency situation?
A12: Teleworkers may mitigate the effects of an emergency situation by:
- Understanding the agency's emergency plan (continuity plan, pandemic plan, etc.) and your role in executing the plan;
- Notifying employees designated as emergency personnel for a continuity or pandemic event;
- Communicating expectations to both emergency and non-emergency employees regarding their roles and responsibilities in an emergency;
- Establishing communication processes to notify emergency employees and non-emergency employees of the activation of the agency’s emergency plan and the agency operating status during the emergency;
- Integrating emergency expectations into telework agreements as appropriate.
Q13: Who do I contact in Human Resources to discuss my concerns about telework and or my various leave options?
A13: Please contact Telework Manager Kenneth Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (831) 656-2007.
Q6: Will we continue to process contracts and execute funds?
A6: All mission essential functions will continue even if telework is directed. Essential personnel have been identified and have capability to continue the mission.
Q11: Does telework allow me to work from any remote location?
A11: Employees may work from an approved alternate duty location, not from any remote location, per their normal work schedule and hours.
Q14: Are there digital tools available for supervisors/teleworkers?
A14: See the Information Technology FAQs for using Zoom, recommended for faculty, and Microsoft Teams, recommended for staff.
Q15: Can I be compelled to telework during an emergency situation?
A15: Telework is generally a voluntary agreement, but during certain emergency situations, supervisors can mandate telework to ensure continuity of operations whether an employee has a valid telework agreement or not. Not all employees can work remotely, but traditional exclusions to telework may not always apply during emergency situations. Currently, the prohibition pertaining to telework and dependent care have been waived through December 31, 2020.
Please contact HRO for assistance or to discuss options if you believe an exclusion may apply to you.