Transitioning to Telework

Dear Patriots,

As we continue to shift our administrative operations to telework, we wanted to share some guidance and resources to help you in that process, as employees and managers. As communicated previously, Mason’s operations remain open with employees encouraged to telework.

Transitioning to Telework

Teleworking will mean different things for different people, as different roles transition more easily to telework. There are some jobs and assignments that require onsite presence and cannot be done remotely. It is important that employees work closely with their supervisor to make decisions and accommodations for their specific situation and responsibilities. HR & Payroll has put together Telework Guidelines for employees and managers to help navigate this process. If you are currently teleworking, or will begin teleworking, please complete a telework form.

At times, this may require flexibility and modifications to an employee’s scope of work to rethink how to make the best use of their skills and bandwidth in this environment. It is important that everyone is able to continue working and is able to do so in a safe environment. Where alternative duties cannot be identified, supervisors should contact Employee Relations at

Student employees (i.e., student wage workers, graduate assistants) are not required to telework, but those who want to continue working remotely should follow guidance provided for faculty and staff. The University Flexible Work Policy will be expanded temporarily during this time to include student workers.

Using Technology to Telework

In this new remote environment, many employees will need to use new tools or use familiar technology in an unfamiliar way.  Information to help employees stay connected with workplace is available at Working Remotely: A Guide to Maintaining Continuity.

Most Mason applications—Office 365, Patriot Web, Blackboard/myMason—are available via the Internet with just your NetID and Patriot Pass Password. Some select services, including MESA and Banner Admin, may require the Virtual Private Network (VPN) when teleworking. Webex Meetings and Webex Teams accounts have been established for every employee, and Windows Virtual Desktops will be available to provide access to Blackboard and Microsoft Office 365 applications on personal, non-Mason computers, by the end of the week.

Call forwarding to an external line, such as a cell or home phone, is available. Contact your department’s Telecom Coordinator or Telecom Administration to coordinate getting this service. Update your email signature, out-of-office and voice mail greetings as necessary to provide your updated contact information and availability.

Flexibility and Leave

We recognize many of you are facing additional responsibilities outside of work during the day, as child or other care needs may be more demanding with the closing of schools, daycares and other facilities. Employees should work with their managers to prioritize their responsibilities and encourage all to be flexible and accommodating, and report leave as appropriate.

To respond to these situations, employees have access to the Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL), as well as personal leave for supplemental time off. PHEL usage guidelines have been expanded beyond direct COVID-19 testing or treatment, which we will continue to update on our Public Health Emergency Leave Guide.

The Road Ahead

This is unprecedented for Mason as an institution, as it is for all of us as individuals, so we appreciate your continued flexibility in this evolving situation. We do not know how long this is going to last. We will continue to develop additional guidance and new tools, which we will share through regular updates and communication. Please let your supervisor know what more we can do to help in these challenging times.

We will continue to communicate with you as this situation progresses. The latest and most comprehensive information is available on Mason’s official coronavirus page. Thank you for your contribution to Mason and doing your part to ensure we can deliver on our mission of teaching, research, and service during this trying time.


Carol Dillon Kissal
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance

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