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[Last updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 11:30am CDT]

COVID-19 Timekeeping Procedures

A UNT Resource for Temporary Remote Work Situations

  • Click to view COVID-19 Notice
    The University of North Texas is continually monitoring the status of COVID-19, also called novel coronavirus, with the health and well-being of our community firmly in mind. You will find the latest UNT information about COVID-19 and related UNT resources at unt.edu/coronavirus.

Remote Working Expectations and Resources

In situations where work can temporarily be performed from home or at an alternate location, we encourage managers to work with employees to identify those instances, and consider telecommuting during this time of uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus. .

A key consideration for managers is whether or not telecommuting is compatible with the employee’s job responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs have been developed to provide information regarding general work expectations for temporary telecommuting arrangements and provide information regarding resources to aid in the transition to telecommuting.

  • How do I request to telecommute?

    Employees who are interested in a temporary telecommuting arrangement should contact their manager to discuss whether telecommuting is compatible with their job responsibilities and the operational needs of the department.

  • How will I know if my telecommuting request has been approved?

    You will receive an email notification from Human Resources.

    Your manager will notify HRAdministration@untsystem.edu of the approved telecommuting request, and HR will email you the details of the temporary telecommuting terms. You will be required to respond to the email from HR to indicate that you have read and understand the information.

  • What approvals do I need to start telecommuting?

    All telecommuting requests require approval by the division Vice President through normal reporting channels. Employees should contact their supervisor directly to inquire about telecommuting opportunities (employees should not contact the Vice President directly). With appropriate use of technology and managerial oversight, employees whose roles do not require all work hours to be performed at their UNT work location may be eligible for some form of flexible work arrangement.

  • What are the cybersecurity guidelines for remote work?

    Employees are responsible for adhering to the UNT System Information Security Policy and UNT System Information Security Handbook in regard to ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, information, and information resources while working remotely.

    Visit healthalerts.unt.edu/cybersecurity-safeguards-working-remotely for all information.

  • Can I determine my own work hours while on a temporary telecommuting arrangement?

    No, each employee is expected to observe the normal regular work schedule for their work location. However, managers are responsible for determining individual work schedules to ensure that departmental operating and service needs are met, and may alter work schedules. Specifically, telecommuting arrangements must be developed and administered in a way that allows the department to remain open during normal university hours. When working remotely, employees are expected to work their regularly scheduled hours. Overtime must be approved in advance.

  • Are there space requirements that I must maintain in my home in order to telecommute?

    To be eligible for a telecommuting arrangement, you are required to maintain a space in your home that is quiet and free from noise or other distractions in which to conduct all university business. If children and/or pets are the in the home, you must ensure that your workspace will be uninterrupted during work calls, videoconferences, and teaching. You also must ensure and maintain an ergonomically appropriate and safe telecommuting worksite.

  • If my child’s daycare or school is closed, may I work from home?

    Yes, if your job responsibilities are compatible with working from home, you may request to work from home by contacting your manager. All telecommuting requests require approval by the division Vice President through normal reporting channels. Working remotely is not intended to serve as a substitute for child or adult care. However, working remotely could be a valuable tool to individuals with caregiving responsibilities, provided that their productivity or quality of work is not compromised. Depending on the age of your child or specific situation, you may not be able to effectively work from home due to caregiving responsibilities. In this case, you may request to utilize accrued vacation or compensatory leave.

  • If I have an existing Flexible Work Arrangement agreement in place, do I need to do anything?

    Employees who currently telecommute through a documented Flexible Work Arrangement on file with HR and wish to increase their number of telecommute days in light of the current health situation should contact their manager regarding a temporary telecommuting arrangement which supersedes the current telecommuting agreement. All telecommuting requests require approval by the division Vice President through normal reporting channels. Employees should contact their manager directly about temporary changes to an existing Flexible Work Arrangement (employees should not contact the Vice President directly).

  • Are there resources available to help me transition effectively to a telecommuting arrangement?

    Yes, Working Remotely is a LinkedIn Learning online video course that will help you learn how to work remotely and remain connected to your team and organization. In addition, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) managed by Alliance Work Partners, offers two online courses through the Help Net feature: “A Telecommuter’s Guide to Staying Connected” and “Working from Home: How You Can Telecommute”, accessible through the employee EAP login (for new EAP users, the UNT registration code is AWP-UNT-384). For job-specific questions, please contact your supervisor for guidance.

  • What resources are available to help managers with a telecommuting workforce?

    Managing Virtual Teams is a LinkedIn Learning online video course with tips and strategies to help you successfully manage your remote employees. And, Guide to Managing Remote Staff is a detailed guide on best practices for keeping a remote team focused, productive and engaged. Managers should contact their supervisor for department-specific guidance or Human Resources for additional support.

  • When does the temporary telecommuting arrangement end?

    There is no specific end date for a temporary telecommuting arrangement in response to the current health situation, in order to avoid frequent renewals, although an end date may be determined by managers. In addition, managers retain the ability to terminate the temporary telecommuting agreement. A telecommuting arrangement is a privilege and is not intended to change a department’s regular hours of operation, nor does it alter the responsibility or diminish the authority of supervisors to establish and adjust work schedules.

  • Does the university have a policy on telecommuting?

    Yes, UNT Policy 05.022, Working Hours and Flexible Work Arrangements provides guidance on telecommuting. However, please note that the university’s normal Flexible Work Arrangement Form and training requirements outlined in the policy are waived due to the current health situation. Rather, employees discuss telecommuting options with their respective manager, who will escalate the telecommuting request to the respective division Vice President for approval through normal reporting channels. Following approval of a temporary telecommuting arrangement, managers will notify Human Resources of employees approved to telecommute. Human Resources will then email each employee to notify the employee of the approval, along with expectations and resources regarding telecommuting.

  • How does timekeeping work for telecommuting employees?

    Telecommuting employees are expected to report hours worked and absences in accordance with normal timekeeping procedures, as well as comply with any special instructions related to the current health situation or requests from their manager. Faculty members engaged in research need to track their time, but other non-tenure track and tenured/tenure-track faculty do not need to keep an hourly record of their time but are expected to complete all work responsibilities.

    COVID-19 Timekeeping Procedures

  • Am I able to take breaks while telecommuting?

    Supervisors may allow full-time staff members to take up to two 15 minute rest periods during the regular workday, and may allow part-time employees scheduled to work four hours to receive one 15 minute rest period. In addition, full-time staff members should take a minimum of a 30 minute lunch period, but may take a maximum of one hour for a lunch period, depending on their assigned work schedule. All rest periods are at the discretion of the supervisor.

  • Will the university provide equipment and utility services to enable me to telecommute?

    Employees are personally responsible for all costs associated with telecommuting, including equipment and services (e.g. internet, computer, telephone, printer, etc.) and utilities. The university will not reimburse or compensate employees for use or maintenance of, or damage to personal property or services associated with a temporary telecommuting arrangement.

    Covid-19 and Remote Work Information Resource

  • Do I need to install a VPN Client to access the UNT network remotely?

    Yes. UNT System IT Shared Services provides a comprehensive Remote Access/VPN Guide that covers the different methods of securely accessing UNT computing resources from off-campus.

    UNT Computing for Arts + Sciences has created a resource for Installing and Running the VPN Tool
    Installing and Running Cisco AnyConnect Mobility Client (VPN)

    Covid-19 and Remote Work Information Resource

  • What type of information security and confidentiality requirements apply to telecommuting?

    You are required to safeguard the security of all university data, including but not limited to, intellectual property, proprietary information, confidential personnel information, FERPA protected student records, and HIPAA protected health information. Products, documents, and records that are used, developed, or revised while telecommuting shall be copied or restored to the university’s regular recordkeeping systems. Maintenance of university records must be consistent with the university’s record retention rules and procedures. Restricted access or confidential material shall not be taken out of the primary worksite unless approved in advance by your manager.

    You are responsible to ensure that non-employees do not access university data, including in print or electronic form. Confidential and sensitive data should not be saved on a local computer, and you must follow the UNT System IT Shared Services comprehensive Remote Access/VPN Guide to securely access UNT computing resources while off-campus. All telecommuting work must comply with UNT and UNT System information security and confidentiality requirements, including the following UNT policies:

  • What happens if I am injured at home while telecommuting?

    Employees injured while working remotely must notify their supervisor immediately and complete all requested documents regarding any injury in accordance with UNT Policy 15.005, Workers' Compensation Program. The university is not responsible for injury at an alternate work location to any other person (e.g. family members) who would/should not be in the work area if the job duties were being performed at the regular place of employment.

  • Under what circumstances would my temporary telecommuting arrangement be terminated?

    Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be terminated by the manager at any time based on the incompatibility of an employee’s job responsibilities with remote working and/or to meet departmental operational needs. In addition, temporary telecommuting arrangements may be terminated at any time for failure to comply with the terms of the temporary telecommuting arrangement or university policies, or for diminishment in performance while telecommuting. A manager’s decision to terminate a temporary telecommuting arrangement is not subject to employee grievance procedures.


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