Records Management Tips for Telework
Keep these requirements and best practices in mind for setting up and maintaining an ideal work from home/remote environment:
- Lock up before leaving campus. Ensure documents and valuable items are secured in locked file cabinets and do not leave the keys unattended in vacated offices.
- Don’t save work documents on your personal devices. Use a university-issued and managed device for work involving sensitive information:
- connect remotely to your work computer,
- use a university shared drive over VPN,
- or University hosted applications such as Google Drive.
This allows you to continue work on projects without creating duplicate copies and losing track of drafts. It ensures your work is backed up and protected from computer glitches and unauthorized individuals. Also, remember that personal devices can’t guarantee the level of privacy and security required for University documents.
- Keep things separate. It is always best practice to separate your work from your personal life. If you do save a work-related file on a personal device, it is still considered a public record. All information created or received at the University, including meeting recordings, are public records. These records are subject to audit, investigation, litigation, and public records requests; and your personal device could be subject to discovery requests.
- Communicating. Most employees will need to continue meeting with their work teams, committees, and supervisors while they work from home. Alternatives to meeting in-person include video, voice, and chat options, in addition to traditional email correspondence. University-supported options can be found at: https://telework.vcu.edu
- Check Yourself Before You Record Yourself. It’s tempting to record remote meetings for later reference, but before pushing the button, you should first consider how to manage the recordings you make. All information created or received at the University, including meeting recordings, are public records and subject to public records requests and litigation. Finally, check whether your software is configured to automatically record meetings and chats. If so, identify where those files are saved and apply the appropriate record retention/destruction requirements. Not sure about retention times, please visit: https://go.vcu.edu/records-ownership
Storage and Destruction of Paper Documents
Keep the following details in mind when working with University information. Documents should not simply be thrown in the trash or recycled. Here are a few things to consider:
- What will you do with documents containing University information that are printed or created at home? Printing paper copies of documents containing university information, especially those containing sensitive information at home should be avoided. Printing to PDF or into University shared drives over VPN or storage applications such as Google Drive is recommended. DocuSign is suggested when signatures are required.
- Are the documents stored in a locked file drawer accessible only to you and in compliance with VCU’s other physical security standards? Documents containing sensitive information should always be protected from unauthorized access, regardless of where the document should reside. It is best to not store any documents with sensitive information at remote sites. If documents containing sensitive information must be stored at a remote site, then adequate physical security must also be adhered; which may include the use of a locked cabinet or drawer when the workspace is not occupied, proper shredding of documents no longer needed, and in special cases, auditing of physical access to the document. For comprehensive information, please visit the Physical Security Standard and work with your supervisor to ensure the proper measures are applied. If necessary, seek advice from the Information Security Office at http://itsupport.vcu.edu.
- Should paper documents be retained remotely until they can be returned to the office? If yes, properly secure the documents and work with your supervisor to implement a schedule to routinely return documents to the office. Do not leave University records in an unsecured, unattended location while in transit. If necessary, seek advice from the Records Management Office at http://itsupport.vcu.edu.
- After being digitized or retention expires, can documents be destroyed appropriately (e.g. shred) at home? If not, work with your supervisor to determine a solution or alternatives to avoid paper copies altogether. If necessary, seek advice from the Records Management Office at http://itsupport.vcu.edu.
- Lastly, know the University records retention/destruction requirements to determine if the document is a record and if it is, how long it should be kept. Not sure, please visit: https://go.vcu.edu/records-management
- VCU Alternative Work Arrangment Guidelines: https://insidehr.vcu.edu/guidelines/alternative-work-arrangements/university-and-academic-professionals/technology-resources/
- VCU Data Classification Tool: https://go.vcu.edu/dataclassification
- VCU Data Management System: https://dms.vcu.edu
- VCU Physical Security Standard: https://ts.vcu.edu/media/technology-services/assets/content-assets/university-resources/ts-groups/information-security/PhysicalSecurityStandard.pdf
- VCU Records Management: https://go.vcu.edu/records-management
- VCU Records Ownership: https://go.vcu.edu/records-ownership
- VCU Telework Toolkit: https://telework.vcu.edu