What are good records management practices while working remotely?
So You're Working Remotely. Now What?
Keep these records management tips in mind for setting up and maintaining an ideal work from home/remote environment:
- Don't save work documents on your personal devices. Connect remotely to your work computer or use a University hosted application like OneDrive for storing documents. 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. Also, remember that personal devices can't guarantee the level of privacy 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 and subject to audit, litigation, and public records 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. Here are the university-supported options.
- Shared online spaces. Microsoft Teams, Skype, SharePoint, BOX, and other online team communication platforms can keep conversations and projects moving along while cutting down on the back-and-forth of email. Here are some best practices when using these platforms.
Disposition and Destruction of 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?
- Should they be retained until they can be returned to the office?
- Can they be disposed of or destroyed appropriately at home?
- One of the pitfalls of working remotely is the ability to save documents to multiple devices, creating duplication of documents. You should avoid saving any University data to personal devices!
- Lastly, know the University records retention requirements to determine if the document is a record and if it is, how long it should be kept.
Related topics and information:
Contact RIMS to find out how we can help develop a document management program that ensures compliance with security and privacy standards for employees working remotely.
Have a question that isn't answered here or need more specialized guidance? Please contact us!
Records and Information Management Services Group
Urbana Office: Rm. 450 HAB M/C 359
Chicago Office: AOB M/C 817