- The School District of Palm Beach County
- Remote Work Employee Resource Center
- Health Benefits
- Retiree Health Benefits
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- FRS Retirement Plans
- Remote Work Employee Resource Center
- Survivor Benefits
- Voluntary Retirement Savings
Remote Work Employee Resource Center
Remote work is the performance of the essential functions of one’s job description through digital platforms at an alternate work location without the need to commute to a District-owned facility.
Remote Work Policy 3.77 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Episodic and Remote Work?
Episodic remote work is defined as remote work which is performed at an alternate work location for a limited duration of time or intermittently generally due to specific tasks or sporadic issues. For example, episodic for a teacher could be on teacher duty/planning days when students are not on campus. For an office worker, episodic remote work could be on a day when hurricane shutters are being installed at the employee’s home and he/she/they need to be at that location.
Remote Work is defined as a flexible working schedule wherein work is performed at an alternate work location on a full-time or part-time basis, which may be for an extended duration of time. The schedule could include workers who do not have a physical presence at a District location but are called in from time to time to work in a “touchdown space”. It could also include workers who work remotely two (2) days per week but are in the office on three (3) days. It is important that the employee work with his/her/their supervisor in creating a schedule that works for the employee while meeting the needs of the department/school and the District at large.
What is the difference between an Assigned Work Location and an Alternate Work Location?
The Assigned Work Location is the location to which the employee regularly reports for duty which is owned and/or operated by the School District. The Alternate Work Location is a worksite other than a central workplace which may include employees’ homes and satellite offices where District business is performed.
Which jobs are eligible for remote work?
The Board has adopted a Remote Work Manual as part of the Policy. Within the manual each job code is listed by job family with indication on whether that job is eligible for episodic or remote work.
How was it determined that my job code was/wasn’t eligible?
A committee of District administrators and Principals reviewed every job code with its job description, if available, and determined whether the essential functions could be performed through digital platforms at an alternate work location not owned by the School District without the need to commute.
Is there an appeal if my job is not eligible in the manual?
No. The manual was adopted by the School Board as part of the policy. If the employee believes an error was made, he/she/they should provide a written explanation to the applicable Chief. When the policy is reviewed by the School Board at a later date, the changes may be considered at that time.
If my job code is eligible does that mean I am automatically permitted to work remotely?
No. Remote work is a privilege not a right. Working remotely must be approved by the employee’s supervisor. There are job descriptions utilized throughout the District that perform very different functions. Remote work cannot negatively impact the level or type of service/support we provide to students, parents, the community and our coworkers.
Do prior disciplinary or performance issues impact my eligibility for remote work?
It can. A candidate for remote work must have a history of satisfactory or better job performance ratings and no formal discipline during the past twelve (12) months calculated on the date of the incident giving rise to the disciplinary action. Notwithstanding this restriction, an employee new to the District may still apply.
Process for Application
When can I apply?
Applications may be submitted through the online Remote Work Request page in PeopleSoft, after discussion with and the consent of your supervisor. In addition, employees shall also review Policy 3.77 prior to submitting a Remote Work application. All Remote Work applications must be approved by your management and/or the applicable Chief/Designee prior to the start of remote work. All applications must be completed on an annual basis.
How do I apply?
Employees must review the District Remote Work Policy, including the manual. Applications may be submitted through the online Remote Work Request page through the Employee Self-Service Portal in PeopleSoft. Please refer to the How to Submit a Request job aid for the steps on how to submit a request. All Remote Work applications must be approved by your management and the applicable Chief/Designee prior to the start of remote work. All applications must be completed on an annual basis.
Is there a timeline within which my application must be approved or denied?
Yes. Per policy, the Chief/Regional Superintendent/designee must approve or deny the application within thirty (30) days of receiving the request.
Can my supervisor modify my request for remote work?
Yes. Additionally, the applicable Chief/Regional Superintendent/designee has the authority to sign, amend, modify, renew, and/or terminate the Remote Work Agreement.
What if my supervisor says no?
Remote work is not a right; it is a privilege. Supervisors are not required to offer remote work opportunities; however, if they choose to do so, they must do so equitably within their department. There is no appeal process.
Once I have an approved Remote Work Agreement, can I be required to return to my assigned work location?
All remote work arrangements will be on a trial basis for the first thirty (30) calendar days. The trial period may be extended. Additionally, a Remote Work Agreement may be discontinued at any time, with or without cause. It is important to note that employees approved for Remote Work must always be available to report to a District facility when requested by their supervisor, for emergencies, team meetings, or other District business.
If I decide I no longer want to work remotely, can I return to my assigned location?
If an employee elects to discontinue a Remote Work arrangement, the employee should provide written notice to their supervisor. The employee’s return may be delayed up to two (2) weeks in order to secure a reporting location at the assigned work location.
Could my remote work privileges be discontinued? And, if so, how much notice is required?
Remote work privileges may be discontinued with or without cause upon sufficient written notice. The length of sufficient notice is dependent upon the needs of the department/worksite.
When working remotely, can I work anywhere in the world?
No. Employees are not authorized to work from an alternate location outside of the State of Florida unless advance approval has been granted by the Deputy Superintendent or applicable Division Chief. You may not under any circumstances work longer than fourteen (14) working days outside of the State of Florida within any calendar year.
What is expected of employees working remotely?
Employees are expected to be readily accessible by phone and email during regular business hours, except for lunch breaks. Employees are also expected to be accountable for performance of their job duties. Each employee shall work with their supervisor to determine how productivity will be demonstrated, either through work logs such as PBSD 2293, regular email reports, Google Docs, Google Chat messages, or other means as determined by the Supervisor.
Are hourly employees eligible to apply for remote work?
It depends on your job code. If the job code is marked as eligible for episodic or remote work, then, upon the approval of your supervisor, you may apply for remote work. Please note that all non-exempt remote workers are required to clock in and out with the Web Clock or any other time keeping device as required by the District.
Can I work remotely while ill or on vacation?
Remote work is not a substitute for the use of accrued leave. If a remote worker is sick while working at home or uses other time off, the remote worker must clock in and out with the Web Clock (if available) or report hours actually worked on his/her timesheet and use leave time for the remainder of the hours by completing an absence request in PeopleSoft.
I do not have a District issued cell phone; how do I receive work calls when working remotely?
The District has secured an Avaya Workplace Application that is able to receive calls made to your District phone number. It can be installed on your personal cell phone, or a District laptop or other device. When working remotely, employees must forward their District phones to their home phone or personal device, either through the Avaya app or other means such as using a free Google Voice phone number that is separate from their personal cell phone number.
To install the Avaya app, please call the IT Support Desk (561) 242-4100 and follow the instructions on IT’s “Remote Worker User Guide.” Please note that the District will not provide District cellphones to all remote work employees. You are required to forward your office phone to the Avaya app or an alternate number where you can be reached during business hours.
What equipment will I be provided to set up my remote workspace?
The District will supply reasonable and customary office supplies that may not be used for personal matters.
What equipment/expenses am I responsible for providing for my remote workspace?
Remote workers will provide their own location; utilities; high speed internet access sufficient for the needs of the job; homeowner’s, renter’s and liability insurance; etc. Employees should review the policy and manual for more information.
On a day when I am normally scheduled to work remotely, can my supervisor require me to report to my assigned location?
Yes. Supervisors retain the right to require a remote worker to report to a District office any time work situations warrant such actions.
If I’m working remotely, may I set my own work hours?
No. You may not vary from your usual core work hours without authorization from your supervisor. Remote work arrangements must not diminish the level of service provided to stakeholders, school center, student or the public.
May an employee use remote work so that I may regularly care for my child or ill/elderly family member?
No. Remote workers must make alternate arrangements for such regular dependent care.
If my District equipment or supplies are stolen or damaged while at my alternate work location, who is responsible?
Employees must take appropriate precautions to protect District provided equipment/supplies. If equipment/supplies are damaged or lost, the employee may be subject to a claim for damages from the District.
Can I hold in-person meetings at my alternate location?
No. All in-person meetings must be held at District owned locations or at District sponsored events.
Am I required to allow District representatives to inspect my alternate location?
Yes. The District reserves the right for an authorized District representative to enter the alternate work area for business purposes (including but not limited to safety inspections, equipment installations/repairs, investigations, or return of District equipment), if necessary, following 2 hours’ notification.
If my equipment fails or I lose internet/phone services, may I continue to work remotely?
In the case of equipment/internet malfunction, or loss, the employee may be asked to report to work at the office until the equipment/internet is operational or replaced.
I frequently work with confidential or proprietary information, would that prevent me from working remotely?
No; however, it is the responsibility of the remote worker to take all precautions necessary to secure confidential and/or proprietary information and to prevent unauthorized access to such information. The remote worker is required to observe all office security practices when working outside the District’s office to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of proprietary information. Steps to ensure the protection of proprietary information include, but are not limited to, use of locked doors, file cabinets and desks; regular password maintenance; and any other steps appropriate for the job and the environment.
How does the Policy benefit the District?
Positions in departments such as IT, Finance and other core business functions ensure that we all have the support and technology to perform our work, receive paychecks and other essential functions. With a large portion of the private sector moving to remote work arrangements, it has become more difficult to attract and keep employees in these careers. The ability to offer the opportunity for remote work is crucial for the District to remain competitive in recruiting and retaining employees.