Please see below for Employee Frequently Asked Questions
Updated 3/27/20

I am working off campus but may have mail or printing pickups, how can I get them?

To ensure proper social distancing and protect the health of print and mail service employees, please call 540-857-7228 in advance and the staff will place packages or materials outside the door. If you are having difficulty opening your PO Box, staff can open from inside for you while maintaining proper social distancing.

I do not have childcare readily available to respond to the K-12 closure. What do I do?

Talk with your supervisor about your options related to utilizing appropriate paid time off benefits or making alternative work arrangements. Decisions may be made in consultation with Human Resources.

I’d prefer to telework instead of being on campus. Can I do that?

Currently, telework arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your supervisor and Human Resources. While the college wishes to provide flexibility under these unique circumstances, we must also be mindful of ensuring that business operations are not disrupted, as the college is still open.

Can I choose to go home and use leave?

You may leave work and cover your time using paid time off benefits with your supervisor’s approval. However, your supervisor is not required to approve your time off if your department is short on staff or must meet pressing business needs.   

Can I access Virginia Western’s internet Wi-Fi if campus is closed to students?

If campus buildings are closed to students, Virginia Western students will be allowed to access the college’s Wi-Fi from their vehicles in the parking lot.

What do I do if I am sick, or a family member is sick?

If you or an immediate family member are sick, please stay home and notify your supervisor through your normal process. Your supervisor, in consultation with Human Resources, will advise you on next steps.

How can I find online resources for teaching or to telework?

You’re in luck, the IET team has put together a website to help you get started: https://virginiawestern.edu/iet-services/preparing-to-telework/.

If we close, do I continue to work from home?

First, to be clear, even though we have shifted to remote work for the majority of the college, we are not currently closed. If we receive direction from the Governor or local health agencies to close our physical campus, telework agreements will remain active for offsite work, as employees will be expected to be able to support continued operations remotely, as able. Please remember that this is NOT the same as an inclement weather closure. Our physical campus may have restricted access, but our college will continue to function in a virtual capacity.

I’m part time – how does this impact me?

Speak with your supervisor about how your particular job will be impacted and expectations for work. In general, we are working diligently to ensure that our part-time workforce remains actively working. As with our full-time population, remote work is strongly encouraged where feasible and appropriate. For jobs that require presence on campus, work will continue as long as our physical campus remains open.

I’m teleworking – are the expectations of my job the same?

At a high level, yes. Teleworking simply means that you are performing the core responsibilities of your job from a remote location instead of on campus. The specific deliverables and/or work responsibilities you’ve been assigned may be different from what you would typically do from campus, as not all job duties can easily transition to remote work. Your supervisor will have provided you with expectations, and will remain in continued communication with you throughout your telework arrangement. Let your supervisor know if you are uncertain about what to do, or have questions related to your work assignments.

I’m stressing out about trying to work from home. Will there still be resources available to help me?

Yes. Your supervisor is your primary resource – they will be best positioned to talk with you about your specific concerns and how your work objectives may be accomplished. Our Help Desk will continue to be available to assist with technology related questions as well. IET has also shared the following resource to assist with questions related to remote-access capabilities (https://virginiawestern.edu/iet-services/preparing-to-telework/).

Why are some employees continuing to work on campus?

Not all jobs are able to easily translate to telework. As long as our physical campus remains open, employees who need to be on campus to fulfill their job responsibilities may continue to work from the college.

I could work from home, but I’d rather not. Do I have that choice?

In order to most effectively utilize social distancing, all individuals who are able to perform their core responsibilities remotely are strongly encouraged to utilize telework. Individual situations and/or requests must be discussed with your immediate supervisor and the college retains the right to mandate telework for eligible employees at our discretion.

How will telework impact my ability to get my job done?

Ideally, telework will allow for our campus community to continue business without disruption to key operations. Realistically, telework is a new environment for all of us, and there will be bumps along the way. If you are experiencing specific difficulties, make your supervisor and/or the appropriate department aware so that we can assist you in working through them. In general, remember that successful telework will require patience, flexibility, and communication. We are all learning as we go to some extent, so providing that understanding to one another will be key.

I’m worried about COVID-19 in general. What resources are there to assist me?

For our campus community, Sheri Meixner remains available for consultation via phone (540-857-6711) or email (SMeixner@virginiawestern.edu). Anthem provides a wealth of online resources related to EAP. Visit https://resources.powerflexweb.com/1631/login.html and enter “Commonwealth of Virginia” in the company code box, then click Commonwealth of Virginia. You may also reach out to Human Resources via Hrapps@virginiawestern.edu to discuss what EAP options may be available to you personally. The CDC has also developed a webpage dedicated to tips for managing anxiety and stress, which can be accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.

Surely no one is evil enough to scam people during this health crisis, right?

Wrong! Avoid becoming a victim of online scams: https://virginiawestern.edu/iet-services/disaster-related-scams/.

Where can I find more health information and best practices?