Telecommuting & Alternative Work Schedules

IU campuses remain open with limited operations. Employees are expected to telecommute, or work on campus if they have been designated as On-Campus Essential by university Vice Presidents, Deans, and Chancellors. During this time, unit heads are encouraged to be as flexible as possible to help staff and temporary employees telecommute (work from home) where at all possible.

We recognize that there may be times when employees require additional support. If you confront a particularly difficult circumstance, contact your supervisor or  or 812-856-1234 for guidance and clarification.

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How do I telecommute or work from home?

Discuss options with your supervisor. Keep in mind that not all roles are suited for telecommuting due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home or operating requirements of the unit. See the IU HR emergency or adverse situations telecommuting webpage for details.

Last updated March 10, 2020

Does my supervisor have to approve my request to telecommute?

Supervisory approval is necessary to telecommute or work from home. Supervisors should be flexible in allowing employees who are able to do so to work from home.

Not all requests to telecommute can be approved due to the nature of the job. Decisions should be based upon whether or not an employee’s responsibilities can be performed from home, whether they have the equipment and technology available to fully perform their job away from campus.

If staff cannot work remotely, they will not be required to use any accrued time off such as sick time, vacation, or PTO as a result of any absence for COVID-19 related reasons. See the Pay, Time Off, & Leave page for more details.

Note that H-1B employees who are moved to a worksite other than what was originally reported in the H-1B petition or who are permitted to telecommute should contact OIS for guidance on if an amendment to the H-1B petition and LCA are necessary due to the change in location.

Last updated March 23, 2020

Can I telecommute while caring for a child or family member at home?

During emergency and adverse situations, HR is encouraging supervisors to allow employees to do so if they have the appropriate tools and resources.

Updated March 13, 2020

Can temporary or student employees work remotely? updated 4/3

Yes. If there is work available that they can accomplish remotely, and they have the necessary technology, they may do so if directed by a supervisor.

Updated April 3, 2020

When should I use IU VPN?

From UITS:

You cannot connect to the VPN while on the IU network. It is for off-campus use only.

Unless you need to connect to a service that requires VPN, you do not need to use it. Use VPN when you need to access on-campus resources like shared network drives or the WCMS.

If you are using unknown or untrusted public Wi-Fi to transmit confidential financial data, or data protected by federal laws, such as FERPA  and HIPAA data, VPN is needed to encrypt data.

Use VPN only when:

  • You are trying to access a service you can't get to another way like a shared network drive
  • You do not trust the internet connection you are using
  • Your IT Pro has told you that you need to use VPN

You don't need a VPN connection to:

  • Use learning tools, such as Canvas, Zoom, or Kaltura
  • Read your IU email over the web
  • Work with your files in Box


Last updated March 20, 2020

Should I be concerned about any scams related to COVID-19?

Yes, cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Be careful about emails with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

Here are some tips from UITS for avoiding email phishing scams:

  • Trust but verify — email is not a routine method of mass communication for federal, state, or local government officials.  Verify the sender by checking their email address and reach out using an already established communication channel (e.g. phone call, instant message, etc.).  Email is an official method of communication for IU.  All messages will be digitally signed and sent from IU domains (,,, etc.).
  • Hover to discover — attackers routinely include fake links that look legitimate.  Reveal the actual URLs before clicking by hovering the cursor over or long pressing the link.
  • Don’t overshare — be careful when providing personal information. No one will ever ask you for your IU passphrase or your full Social Security Number.
  • Think before you act — cyber criminals will attempt to capitalize on your emotions. Do not rush or feel under pressure because of the urgency of the subject matter.  This is especially true for links and message attachments.
  • Know how to recover — if you provided your sensitive information to an attacker, don’t panic!  Immediately reset your credentials at (search for "Passphrase Reset").


Last updated March 19, 2020

Work Schedules

Can employees be reassigned to work in new ways or roles at this time? updated 4/3

IU HR is leading an effort to help connect departments needing extra support at this time with employees who have a matching skill set. More will be shared once the program is launched.

Last updated April 3, 2020

Can my supervisor schedule me to work hours or shifts that I normally do not work?

Yes, you may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if you have been designated as an essential employee or the university is short staffed due to an outbreak. Supervisors will attempt to provide advance notice if possible. Such changes are subject to the provisions of the work schedules and premium pay policies.

Last updated March 13, 2020

If there is a large number of employees who are unable to come to work because of an outbreak, is there a maximum number of overtime hours my supervisor can require me to work?

In the event of a serious outbreak, we all may be needed to work differently—including more hours—to ensure the university continues to function. Supervisors will make efforts to permit employees to take rest periods and may use their discretion in scheduling additional breaks for employees working additional hours.

Last updated March 13, 2020