Working remotely

If you have questions or concerns regarding the implementation of remote work plans, Human Resources can guide you as we continue to develop additional information to support these efforts. Please send any questions or concerns to hr@unbc.ca.


Workday and hours

  • Develop a work schedule following the spirit of the principles for remote work established by the University.
  • Have regular check-ins with teams and individually.

Use of technology

  • Employees should use UNBC-supplied standard computers. It may be necessary to bring equipment to the UNBC main campus periodically to perform maintenance. These requests will be made by staff who are responsible for maintaining the technology provided by UNBC.
  • Use video and teleconferencing tools provided by Educational Media Services.
  • Use instant messaging via Microsoft Teams.
  • Use Collaborate within Blackboard for teaching purposes. Questions regarding Collaborate can be directed to the Centre for Teaching and Learning at ctlt@unbc.ca.

Registering your computer equipment

  1. Visit the UNBC Sharepoint website and log in using your UNBC credentials.
  2. Access the working from home inventory tracking list
  3. Click the '+ new item' button and complete the inventory form.
  4. Do this for each piece of equipment you bring home.

Contact the IT Service Desk if you need help at support@unbc.ca.

Returning your equipment to campus

Distribution Services track furniture and equipment removed from campus. When you return to campus, please consider the following:

  • If you unload furniture or computer equipment you took home to work remotely at the loading dock, please check in with the staff so they can note the asset information.
  • If you unload directly to your office, please email distributionservices@unbc.ca with the asset decal numbers for each item.
  • If you report information on behalf of another employee, please cross-reference their name with the asset decal numbers.
  • Laptops do not need to be reported; only towers, monitors, printers and furniture.

    Workspace and ergonomics

    Employees should conduct an assessment of their workplace and discuss ergonomic considerations or concerns with their supervisor.

    Any work-related incidents or injuries should be reported through your supervisor through normal reporting procedures.

    To make the remote working environment as comfortable as possible, please refer to our ergonomic resources.

    WorkSafeBC

    WorkSafeBC coverage will continue to apply for employees who are directed or approved to work from home. WorkSafeBC coverage is limited to work-related injuries occurring during the approved work hours and assigned duties. Employees are encouraged to follow safe work practices and to promptly report any work-related incident that occurs at the home work site to their supervisor.

    Reporting an incident

    Should an incident or injury occur while you are working remotely, the reporting procedures remain the same. Your supervisor and Safety and Risk Management need to be advised, especially if you become injured.


    Fraud awareness and prevention

    Working remotely means you may be using different tools to communicate. With that, the potential exists for scammers to try to take advantage of you. UNBC has been inundated with 'spoofing' emails—messages that appear to come from an individual working at UNBC, but are actually not. Please be careful when reviewing your e-mails, especially on devices such as your mobile phone that only display a sender’s name, not the full e-mail address. You can usually see the sender’s real e-mail address if you click on the name.

    Be sure to pay attention to the warning that now appears at the top of all emails originating from outside UNBC. If you have any doubt that the sender is indeed trying to reach you, verify with them through a different method of contact than what is listed in the email.


    Privacy and security

    Whether a UNBC employee works on-site, remotely, or at home, UNBC is obligated by policy and provincial law to protect personal privacy. If paper records are lost or inappropriately accessed, please email privacy@unbc.ca.

    Privacy guidelines for privacy and protection of personal information

    UNBC is obligated by the Privacy and Access to Information Policy and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to protect personal privacy. When working remotely or from home, employees need to rely on accessing technological security measures that are in place at UNBC to ensure we protect the personal information of all members of the University community.

    The following will assist faculty and staff as we shift to working remotely in response to the pandemic.

    Paper vs. electronic records

    Employees working remotely will access and use electronic versions of records whenever possible. Only take paper records home if they cannot be accessed or created electronically from UNBC drives and services.

    Employees working from home and accessing electronic records remotely must do so over a secure network. Do not use external hard drives or USB sticks to transfer personal information from UNBC to any location off campus unless approved by your supervisor and the Information Governance Officer. UNBC uses the VM Ware Horizon Client to provide you a virtual desktop to access information from UNBC remotely.

    Use of paper records

    If an employee requires the use of paper records to work from home, keep the records safe while in transit and at the employee’s home, and ensure they are returned to UNBC. Create a file list indicating who is “checking out” paper records from UNBC, and when, and make this file list available to all faculty and/or staff in the work unit to allow the University to keep track of records in its custody and control.

    If paper records are lost, or inappropriately accessed, notify the Privacy Office at privacy@unbc.ca if the records contain personal information.

    Transport and storage of personal information

    Do not leave paper records and electronic devices (laptops, USB drives, and smartphones) containing records unlocked and/or unattended while in transit. Encrypt electronic devices containing personal information before removing them from UNBC. Store records containing personal information in a secure location when left unattended.

    Use of information technology

    British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not permit the use of information technology services that store personal information outside of Canada. To ensure UNBC meets its legal obligations, employees who are working from home must only use information technology resources approved for use by University Information Technology Systems.

    Using cloud services that store personal information outside of Canada such as Gmail, Google Docs, or Dropbox is not permitted.

    Videoconferencing services such as Zoom and Skype allow recordings of your remote meetings; however, these services operate outside of Canada. Limit the sensitivity of personal information discussed while recording on these platforms, especially regarding any matters that could potentially damage the reputation of an individual. Avoid recording a meeting on these platforms until you receive prior written informed consent from all participants and all third parties that will be discussed in the meeting.

    If you are unsure about whether a service you would like to use is compliant with B.C. Privacy legislation, please contact privacy@unbc.ca for support.

    UNBC training and resources

    For more information on how to manage personal information on and off campus, please refer to the UNBC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

    The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia has a guidance document to navigate working from home.

    Privacy breach protocol

    Working from home or remotely can increase the likelihood of inappropriate access to or disclosure of personal information. If you have disclosed any personal information inappropriately to a third party without consent, please complete the protocol below.

    Please see the instructions below and complete all five steps to report a privacy breach:

    1. In addition to reporting this breach to privacy@unbc.ca, report the breach to your supervisor. Report the breach to the itsecurity@unbc.ca if a data device has been lost or stolen or if a system has been compromised.
    2. Which record(s) were breached or which device was lost or stolen? Whose personal information was included in the record(s) or on the device(s)? Being as specific as you can, what personal information was included in the records or device?
    3. Notify any individuals affected by the breach. Send a copy of your notification to privacy@unbc.ca.
    4. If an unintended recipient can be identified, request that unintended recipient returns and/or destroys the record depending on the medium. Please provide evidence that you have made this request by forwarding your request, and any responses you receive to privacy@unbc.ca. If you cannot determine who has unintentionally accessed the information, please state this.
    5. What strategy or action plan will you use to reduce or eliminate the potential for the same breach to occur again? Include this plan in your report.