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A Leader’s Guide: Potential Work Assignments and Learning Opportunities for Remote Workers


The purpose of this guide is to help you as a leader navigate through the unfamiliar territory of managing remote work. We understand the type of work varies among our employees at West Virginia University, and not everything is transferrable to a remote setting. This guide includes everything from identifying appropriate assignments for your team to effectively managing their work and supporting them from a remote location.

Before jumping onto the content, consider the following:
  • Does the employee have access to a computer/internet at home?
  • Do I need to transfer items to a flash drive or send via email?
  • Are my employees exempt or non-exempt? (Refer to Employee Relations with any questions)
  • How and when will I check in with my team members?
  • Are there any projects that have been lingering around as “nice to have,” but you haven’t had time to tackle them?

Identifying Appropriate Assignments

Suggestions of assignments and learning opportunities that may be valuable to be distributed for your employees while working at home is available online. It is up to your discretion, as a leader, to select the types of assignments that will work best for your individual employees.

Available Resources

Click on the type of resource above to be taken directly to the resource folder.

Accessing and Saving Data

If your employees will be working on a project, such as a policy revision or improving a process, you will want to think about how and where your team plans on accessing and saving those files. Going back to a question asked earlier:

Do I need to transfer items to a flash drive or send via email?

Content saved to a departmental Share Drive is not accessible on home computers. Employees should transfer their work to supervisors via email, copy to a flash drive, or utilize Microsoft Teams. It is up to the discretion of you as a Supervisor how and where you will be collecting the remote assignments.

Tracking Work Progress

The Alternative Work Assignment Template should be used to record the time/activity of employees who are performing alternative work that is significantly different than their normal job duties. Your HR Partner can help with any questions about how often if should be completed and to whom you should forward the forms. 

As always, it is important to set solid expectations for employees on what assignments you expect accomplished with a time frame of when you expect to receive progress updates and completion of work.

Remember to be realistic and flexible about how much time employees may need and the level of support you may need to provide.

Proof of Assignments

The Customizable Proof of Assignments is an option document you can use to help guide you through discussions with your employees about the specific work they completed. It provides reflection and follow up questions you may want to ask employees about the task completed, with an area to map out exactly what you need to do to set those clear expectations with your employees.

Tips to Keep Employees Engaged

  • Continue group and individual 1-1 meetings via Microsoft Teams or by phone.
  • It is easy to become consumed in work you are completing, and daily check-ins are important to stay informed with how your employees are doing and what support they need from you and others on the team.
  • Ask employees for their input on what assignments are appealing to them.
  • Don’t forget to provide feedback and recognition while working remotely.
  • Use the Tips Before and After Training or Assignments for greater transfer of learning and application.

Qualtrics — WVU Survey Tool

Qualtrics are provided solutions to WVU leaders to help organizations address COVID-19 related issues. Go to the ‘How to Get Started’ section to learn how to use the new Remote Work Pulse will help you to understand employee needs and well-being as they adapt to new work environments.

Use your WVU access to utilize your Qualtrics account at to sign-in and click on ‘create a project’ to get started. Use Qualtrics as a way to create a pulse check survey.

During time of business disruption, it’s vital for organizations to actively listen to employee needs, diagnose areas of improvement, and take action on critical gaps to ensure the workforce has the clarity and support they need to adapt to the changing workplace experience.

Whether your organization is temporarily moving to a remote work environment or adjusting to new health and safety practices – it’s imperative to understand the changing expectations of employees in order to promote and support their overall wellbeing. Use a pulse survey for the following purposes:

  1. Quick Check-in: Pulse employees with our simple mood barometer to get a holistic view of moral and understand trends associated with open-text feedback.
  1. Remote Work Readiness Evaluation: Pulse survey employees to pinpoint gaps and take action by asking them about five key areas surrounding the remote work experience:
    • Well-being: How has the changing workplace environment impacted morale – and what can organizations do to support employee well-being?
    • Communication: Have policy amendments, health and safety practices, or other changes directly impacting the workforce been clearly communicated?
    • Collaboration: How well are employees able to collaborate with their peers, managers, and other teams when face-to-face interaction is less available?
    • Enablement: Do employees have access to the proper technology, tools and internal support services to perform in their roles – especially in remote work environments?
    • Customer Needs: What impacts do new workplace environments have on employee ability to serve customers?