Working Remotely in Vermont

Best Practices for employers and employees working remotely in Vermont

Many of us were forced to quickly adapt to working remotely at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and are making do as best we can. As the pandemic continues and the future is uncertain, employees and employers may want to hone their skills, bulk up their remote working resources, and formalize remote work policies to prepare for more effective and seamless remote working—something many employees would like—even as many workplaces begin to re-open.

This resource was developed in partnership with the Upper Valley Transportation Management Association. We are compiling comprehensive telework resources for workplaces, including step by step guidance, resources, and policy assistance. We will update this page frequently.

Please check out Best Practices for Video Meetings and Conferences, as an additional resources developed by Vermont TMAs.

There are many aspects to remote work and there is a lot to think about as an employer/supervisor and as an employee. Some major categories to consider are:

  • IT, hardware, software, and security (including Internet access and speed)
  • Home office set-up (including safety and ergonomics)
  • Remote collaboration methods and meeting protocols (both for internal and external collaboration)
  • Remote management and supervision
  • Boundaries/expectations around the workday
  • Social disconnection, changes in efficiency, video meeting burnout and other wellness considerations

Below are resources from remote work experts on the various aspects required to successfully work remotely. We begin with general resources, and then have a section for the employer/supervisor and a section for employees. At the end, you can find a sample telework policy.

General Resources

Compiled by the State of Vermont’s Department of Human Resources, this guide for state workers contains useful information to any Vermont workplace.  Information Resources for COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) For State Employees and Managers

University of North Carolina’s Teleworking Guidance has samples of organizational telework policies, telework agreements for employees, and tech tips to maintain security. Teleworking Guidance: Best Practices, Sample Policies, and Cybersecurity

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility has many great timely resources and webinars and this one is excellent. Transitioning Your Business to Remote

How to Collaborate Effectively if your Team is Remote

How to Create an Effective Teleworking Program

LifeLabs Learning: Complete Remote Work Playbook

Work-at-Home Tips for Employers

For the Employer/Supervisor

IT, Security, and Privacy

It’s crucial to ensure that employees can access a work computer and related software, their electronic files, and appropriate internet capacity all while maintaining the security and privacy required by the nature of their work. Here are some resources to help an employer address these issues.

Though specific to California state workers, this contains detailed and thorough security and privacy guidelines that may be useful to a wider workplace audience. Telework Security Considerations — California Office of Information Security & Privacy Protection

These are some security tips from Vermont-based NPI TEchnology Management. Making the remote workplace work.

Leadership & Management

Leading and managing a remote team – or a team where some employees are remote and others aren’t – requires some new skills and tools. Here are a handful of resources that address what you need to know.

How to Manage the Loneliness and Isolation of Remote Workers

Managing Employees You Can’t See

A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers

Remote Work Thrival Guide

Though we have moved into a new phase of the pandemic, many of the health, anxiety, and other issues from March and April are still with us or will likely re-emerge. We share some pandemic-specific resources for management.

Lead Your Employees Through the Emotional Side of Covid-19

The Heart of Resilient Leadership: Responding to Covid-19

Leading Through Covid-19: Finding Hope and Opportunity in a Global Calamity

4 Actions to be a Strong Leader During Covid-19 Disruption

10 Ways Inclusive Leaders Can Mitigate Bias When Communicating About Coronavirus

COVID-19 Resources: Maintaining Inclusion in a Time of Chaos

For Employees

It’s easy to forget about ergonomics and staying healthy amid the chaos that often accompanies working from home. These are two resources to help you get properly set up. We encourage you to work with your employer to make sure you are provided the resources you need.  Everything You Need to Set Up an Ergonomic Home Office and How to Set Up a Home Office That Works for You

For many of us, working at home has its challenges and distractions. Here are a couple resources to help with that. How to Work from Home with your Partner without Going Crazy and How to Work from Home and Actually be Productive.

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A note on the paradox of remote work in Vermont. Much of what we all love about this region is our community connectedness. But likewise, much of what we love is the rural nature and the ability to live far from others – which often means having little to no internet access and a long commute. Remote work (as well as remote meetings and opportunities for public engagement) can provide an opportunity for people to save money, time, and fuel by not driving. It also provides opportunity for people with disabilities, illnesses, or dependents at home to participate fully without leaving home. With that said, it’s crucial to balance remote engagement with opportunities for in-person social contact, especially for those who are otherwise socially isolated and/or don’t have adequate internet at home. It’s all about balance.

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