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Main FAQs while in quarantine - COVID-19

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C1. Q: Where can I get the latest information on improving my telework experience?

A: For the Coast Guard IT team’s best practices on teleworking and how IT works to assist productivity during the COVID-19 response, please visit the following website: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Telework/. Regular visits are recommended as information is updated regularly.

C2. Q: Can I telework?

You must request your supervisor’s approval to telework from home, in accordance with your voluntary telework agreement and subject to supervisory approval. In order to telework, you must be in a telework-eligible position, take telework training, and should complete a telework agreement. ALCOAST 085/20 and ALCOAST 094/20 provide additional guidance.

DHS is encouraging agencies to maximize their telework capacity by entering into telework agreements with as many civilians and military members as possible. ALCOAST 094/20 has additional information and priority categories to assist commands and supervisors to balance risk to the workforce and risk to mission. Managers should ensure that there are effective processes in place for communicating efficiently with civilians and military members who are teleworking.

Please follow the general telework guidance here: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Telework/. If telework is not an option, see question D1 “What kind of leave is available?” for additional information. Please follow the guidance here: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Human-Resources- CG-1/Civilian-Human-Resources-Diversity-and-Leadership-Directorate-CG-12/Civilian- HR/Benefits/Telework/. ALCOAST 085/20 discusses temporary policy waivers and prioritization of online access based on the Coast Guard’s limited band width capabilities. Additionally, ALCOAST 094/20 -Telework Capabilities SITREP 2 requires supervisors to maximize telework and minimize the density of the workforce at CG worksites.

 

C3. Q: How do I become approved for telework?

A: Talk with your supervisor to determine if you have work that can be telework-compatible. If your supervisor agrees that your duties are suited for telework, ensure you are trained and approved. If you aren’t, take online telework training at home and consult your supervisor to arrange an telework agreement. From there, you have multiple technical options.

Please start with number one, which has the most minimal network bandwidth, and then move down the list to access greater capability as needed:
  1. Offline or “off-network” telework: No bandwidth demand. *do not use your personal email to send or receive files or save any official files to your home computer.
  2. BlackBerry (if assigned): Low bandwidth demand.
  3. Outlook Web Access (OWA): Low-Medium bandwidth demand. Minimize sending of large file attachments.
  4. CG Portal: Low-Medium bandwidth demand. Virtual Private Network (VPN): Medium-High bandwidth demand. New AnyConnect VPN software was loaded to most government laptops that were connected to the network prior to 15 March.
  5. Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI): Highest bandwidth demand. ALCOAST 094/20 provides additional guidance regarding telework priorities and options, as well as expectations of supervisors and employees.
C4. Q: Are contractors allowed to telework?
A: Yes, contractors are allowed to telework if needed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They should communicate with their Contracting Officer and Contracting Officer Representatives.

 

C5. Q: Can we use Microsoft Office365 from home?

A: Not yet, but you can take action now by taking Microsoft Office365 training available at https://cgcos.level0help.com/home. The website can be accessed through an internet-capable computer with a CAC reader. Trainings available on the website include videos and written materials on a variety of both already existing programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and new applications (Teams).

Live webinars are also available to learn the new features coming in Office365. Please check the Wednesday Webinars and Additional Webinars sections at https://cgcos.level0help.com/home to sign up. The live webinar schedule will be constantly updated so check back often and tune-in to learn virtually!

 

 

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