Working From Home Guidelines

Work from Home Guidelines Effective March 18, 2020

This document provides guidelines for work from home during the current State of Emergency declared by the Government of Ontario.

Below is the list of positions that will work from home effective March 18, 2020:

Essential Services -

  • DT team – Supporting the system for digital technology needs
  • Librarians, Archivist, Red Book Coordinator
  • JHSC reps – May be called in if there are work refusals
  • Communication Staff
  • Planning Staff
  • Financial Services
  • Human Resources – Training and Development
  • Newcomer Learning Centre staff
  • Non-essential Services-
  • Information Staff (Information Clerks, Public Service Programmers, Library Assistants, Library
  • Technicians)
  • Central Shippers
  • Departmental Clerks
  • Branch Sorter Clerks
  • Technical Services Staff
  • Local History Staff
  • Library Pages
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Strategic Planning Coordinator
  • Call-in Staff

*Please note the list of positions above may be modified (added and removed as required). All staff are put on notice that they may be called back to work at any time. If you have returned from travel outside of Canada from March 13, 2020 and forward or have been advised to isolate due to the virus by a health care provider, please email Jessica Butera at Please refer to the March 16, 2020 communication for more details.

The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list of procedures but provides management with a set of considerations to evaluate if staff are to “work from home” successfully, types of work that can be performed from home, technology tools needed and how to manage/check in with employees when at home. Managers have the discretion to allow variations from these guidelines, with approval.

Type of work: Any work that can be done remotely. Discrete work packages that can be evaluated for completion and performance- (examples include a report or document, logged phone calls, online training, video recording, chat lines and emails). Please note: regarding essential services, Managers will advise the specific, remote work you will be doing. Non-essential staff: a list of training will be provided and logs will be required to be completed weekly.

Technology: Staff will need to connect remotely to HPL and/or have access to HPL website or other websites. Access to a computer and unlimited, at-home Internet is required to work from home. We are unable to provide additional technology at this time. For staff who have been provided technology to accomplish your work, please take home this technology to work remotely.

Skill level: Staff allowed to “work from home” must possess basic to intermediate level knowledge of technology in the tasks they will be assigned to complete. At a minimum, staff can connect to the internet – log on to HPL tools and complete the required tasks without additional hands-on training. Quick instructions or training manuals may be provided as a reference.

Management of Performance: Staff working from home must demonstrate weekly (or another timeframe as defined by their Manager) to their manager/supervisor the list of tasks accomplished and work performed. Examples may include: creating a log of activities per day as provided from Learning and Development, identifying or attaching supporting documents of progress, keeping logs of number calls and intermittent, check-ins with superiors. Management should consider a daily team meeting or quick touch point to manage progress of work.

Hours of Work while at home: This depends on the position you hold and are listed below-
Essential staff- Managers will provide these staff with schedules and they are subject to change at any time.

Non-essential staff - During this state of emergency, staff are expected to work their normally scheduled hours between 9-5 Monday to Friday. For example: A Library Page is normally scheduled 20 hours per week. They will regularly check email, HPLnet and our website for updates, work through the training 4 hours per day.

Tools required –

  1. Computer/laptop (with camera preferred)

  2. Internet

  3. O365 – Outlook; Teams; oneDrive; MS Office Suite

Tools optional/Advanced
1. VDI (VPN for some access) 2. Phone

For employees who do not have access to the Internet or devices, please report this to your direct supervisor. This will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Procedures for specific positions below but more information will follow from your Managers for other positions:

Duties for all Librarians (Central and Branch Librarians, inclusive of the Red Book Coordinator and Archivist): Librarians will work from 9-5 Monday to Friday. They will have their laptop or an assigned laptop to take home with them to log in to HPL services.
Librarians will be responsible for monitoring the AskHPL mailbox and answering customer concerns through email.

All Librarians will be asked to contribute to and assist with training development efforts with the Learning and Development Team.

Newcomer Learning Centre: Staff in this department will be responsible Online tutoring responsibilities.