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COVID-19 FAQ: Telecommuting

Is a Temporary Telecommuting Application and Agreement Form required given the shelter-in-place order?
Yes. A Temporary Telecommuting Application and Agreement Form is required for all employees who are telecommuting. This form helps track and provide support to the Airport’s remote workforce. More information about temporary telecommuting and the form is available on SFOConnect here.

How can I work effectively, remotely?

  • Top Sites: SF DHR Telecommute Page and SFOConnect

  • Overview: Remote work is new for us at SFO, but we are not alone - most employees are not experienced in working remotely. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 24 percent of U.S. employees did some or all of their work at home. So how do they do it well? Read on to learn top tips of top teleworkers.

    • Designate your workspace and hours. With your home and workspace now combined, do your best to define an ergonomic, well-lit, comfortable and equipped workstation for your daily use. Beyond where you will work, define when you will work by agreeing upon hours with your supervisor and sharing this with your colleagues. Marking your hours on your shared calendar can make this clear to your internal team can be helpful, and help you stick to those hours and limit distractions during this fixed time.

    • Refer to guidelines for working, communicating and collaborating remotely. Your team is encouraged to talk about telework as a team often and regularly to ensure it is working. Refer to any agreed upon guidelines for communications and collaboration to ensure you are regularly sharing updates via agreed upon tools and forums (e.g. email, phone, MS Teams, etc.).

    • Communicate often, clearly and respectfully. Be a proactive communicator by reaching out to both your teammates and supervisor with questions, ideas, roadblocks, etc. to ensure your work gets accomplished well and on time. Be mindful of the language you use when electronic to ensure you maintain good rapport with your supervisor, team and others you email. Know that it's common to misinterpret digital communication, so default to giving the respondent the benefit of the doubt and always opt to work it out via phone or video chat.

    • Help ITT Help You. Understand that demands are high on the ITT HelpDesk. While they are responding to VPN requests, setting up MS Teams, and more, you can support cybersecurity by being cautious with links/passwords AND ensure strong internet access to enable your new maximized use of it. Note that many video conferencing services require a connection of 1.5Mbps - test yours using speedtest.net. Questions? Contact SFOHelpdesk@FLYSFO.COM or (650) 821-4357.

    • Be ambitious. Make use of this temporary telework by:

      • Tackling a big project that requires more heads-down focus.

      • Learning to be a remote collaboration pro by taking MS Teams, MS Sharepoint, MS Office, or GSuite Trainings.

      • Gaining additional aviation sector knowledge by attending an upcoming or past Airport Cooperative Research Project (ACRP) or International Air Transport Association webinar.

      • Learning & Development (L&D) has acquired over 300 online training resources. These will be shared shortly and will and include trainings on telecommuting, professional and career development, leadership, MS Office 365, and ITT. Additional information will be regularly communicated through SFOConnect.

    • Be flexible. Take breaks if you find your focus is being tested. Enjoy a quick disruption if it helps you settle back into and deliver that work. Also, your supervisor is encouraged to be flexible with you, so also be understanding should they need to shift meetings around or consolidate during this challenging time for all.

    •  Be a remote meeting pro. Be sure attendees are clear on what technology will be used as far in advance as possible. Assign a facilitator who establishes a clear agenda and set of goals for the meeting. Begin meetings with a friendly casual check-in with everyone, just like you would in-person, to set a positive tone and collaborative spirit.

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How do I manage kids AND my full-time job, remotely?

  • Top Site: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Healthy Parenting – WHO

  • Overview: To support our working parents, we’ve compiled some tips to help you interact constructively with your children below.

    • Prep & Block: Create a daily routine or schedule for elementary students and empower your teens to set their own. Do your best to “single-task” for focused work. If you have a two-parent/guardian household, plan, divide and conquer by establishing blocks of one-on-one time (or two or three, depending upon the # of children in your household). When you are “on”, block this time on your calendar and communicate it with your team and supervisor to know that you will have limited, or no, accessibility.

    • Helping Hands: Manage stress and your extra messy house (yep!) by putting your kids to work during a “Helping Hands” (not chore!) time. As a family, define and assign these roles to ensure everyone contributes to keeping your home clean and healthy.

    • Find the light: Recognize that this is a very unique time and look for bright spots and ways to grow as a family. Phone or video chat with a family member; draw a rainbow or uplifting window sign for neighbors to enjoy; take a virtual museum tour or attend a remote concert; host a virtual dance party, movie or play date with your kid’s class; pick a pen pal or journal daily to document your shelter-in- place story.

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How do I manage effectively, remotely?

  • Top Site: COVID-19 Has My Teams Working Remotely: A Guide for Leaders - Gallup

  • Overview: SFO is not the only organization participating in the “World’s Largest Work From Home Experiment,” due to COVID-19, so find comfort in knowing that you are one of millions of managers leading a remote workforce for the first time. To succeed, your employees require a clear definition of assignments and performance expectations. Read on to learn how to build trust, clarity and productivity during this temporary, and unprecedented, time:

    • Establish guidelines for working, and communicating, remotely such as how often and in what way employees check in with you or the broader team. Document and agree on a regular communication plan and timeframes with direct reports and a cadence for formal meetings, informal check-ins, quick replies; 1<>1s, etc.

    • Create clear guidance on use of collaboration tools. Documenting everything helps make work shareable so colleagues can more easily be informed of co-workers' projects. Agree what tools your team will use for sharing files, tracking projects and milestones, reporting weekly outcomes (e.g. MS Teams, Google Docs/Sheets, Asana).

    • Monitor Performance and Results. Follow HR guidance on PPARs, which will be consistent even during temporary telework assignments. Do not confuse (email) activity with productivity and results. Be sure to monitor deliverables closely, supporting staff where coaching or training is needed.

    • Regularly check in with employees to ensure they are on target to hit their individual and your team’s collective goals. Consider adding more frequent, shorter meetings with your direct reports and the team and minimizing longer project remote meetings as well.

    • Be flexible. Ensure employees are accountable but allow for wiggle room to be flexible with schedules which may currently be outside of your employee’s control.

    • Collaborate with Colleagues. Establish a peer network to troubleshoot or share best practices. Lean on other managers who are also learning by doing with their remote teams.

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