Communicating Remote Work Expectations

June 18, 2020 • April Mabry

Communicating Remote Work Expectations

As schools grapple with decisions about instructional and work arrangements for 2020–2021, job description modifications and other methods for communicating remote work expectations to employees are being considered.

This spring, we published sample modifications to the teacher job description to help employers communicate schedule and job performance expectations for teachers working and delivering instruction remotely.

COVID-19 closures are continuing into the summer and are expected to impact instructional and work arrangements for the 2020–2021 school year. As schools reopen in the fall, districts may need to provide a combination of in-person and distance learning, which means new and different responsibilities for many teachers. To meet this need, we developed a new job description for teachers providing distance and in-person learning.

We also developed sample job responsibilities for positions other than teacher to help employers set expectations for future remote work arrangements. These responsibilities can be found in the HR Library topic Remote Work Criteria.

Communicating changes

With all the other challenges HR is facing, the thought of updating and distributing job descriptions before employees return in the fall is daunting.

To simplify the process, HR may consider the following options:

  • Provide employees with the modifications in a separate document (e.g., one for teachers and another for other employees).
  • Distribute the modifications electronically through automated systems or the web (e.g., HRIS, timekeeping system, district intranet).
  • Process employee acknowledgement electronically.
  • Distribute the modification with other beginning of the year notices and acknowledgements (e.g., employee handbook, confidentiality agreements, acceptable use agreement).
  • Include the modification with salary notifications, providing notification is sent before the start of the employee’s work calendar.


Remember, while it is best practice to require employees to sign the job description when changes are made, there is no legal requirement to distribute and collect hard copies. Also, job descriptions do not need to be attached to an employment contract.

April Mabry is an assistant director at TASB HR Services. Send April an email at

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Tagged: COVID-19, "Employee performance", Employment, "Job descriptions"