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Tips for Teleworking for City Employees Providing Services Virtually

March 25, 2020
Many local government employees are working remotely for the first time as safe at home orders have been placed across California during the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
Cities are establishing telework and modified work environments so they can continue to serve their communities effectively and stay strong as we all weather through this health pandemic together.

Some of the partial work from home models include the City of El Monte’s virtual city hall and the City of Lancaster’s virtual town hall meetings and modified hybrid schedule.

“To ensure that serving the businesses and residents of our community continues to be our top priority, we have created a modified hybrid schedule that allows half of our staff to telecommute while still keeping City Hall open to the public every day,” said Lancaster City Manager Jason Caudle. “We have hired a nurse to routinely check all employee temperatures and have staffed our entrance to ensure social distancing requirements are adhered to in all public interactions. We have also transitioned our public meetings to be virtual. All are live streamed on the city’s website, our local TV station, and Facebook Live to allow residents to watch them in real time and provide public comment as desired. Regular updates are provided to staff members via email and an all hands conference call daily. I am proud of our team’s adaptability, increased desire to serve, and genuine hard work during this unprecedented time in our lives.” 

Tips to Stay on Track While Teleworking
There are many strategies that can be used to continue to provide residents with the essential services and maintain a strong presence to support their communities while working away from the office and fellow co-workers. The League has assembled a list of tips shared by sources such as Governing magazine, during this ever changing work environment.

If you are working from home here are some tips that might provide some assistance:
  • Be positive!
  • Create a morning routine.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need to get your work done.
  • Claim your workspace – find a workspace in your home that is clutter free.
  • Set ground rules with the people in your space – even posting a conference call sign to let those living with you know when to be extra quiet.
  • Dress for the door – don’t wear PJs to work, although working at home means you may dress down, be sure to dress in attire that would acceptable to answer your front door.
  • Schedule breaks and take them – get up, move around, have a chat.
  • Have a plan – know what you need to get done and when.
  • Show up to meetings virtually and be heard.
  • Make sure to communicate more often than when you are in the office.
  • Take sick days – when you are not well, take the sick time you need (this applies to you or your child).
  • Make sure you pay attention to your schedule and wrap up at your regular time.
  • Socialize with colleagues virtually – loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are common problems in remote work life, especially for extroverts.
Cities that would like to share tips on working from home or examples of how to provide services to their communities while working remotely can email the League at comunications@cacities.org or message the League via Facebook and Twitter.


 
© League of California Cities