Remote Workforce

Guidance on the procurement of equipment, furniture and supplies for remote workspaces and related policies. If you have questions, please contact the Business Office at business_office@law.columbia.edu.

Policy Guidance

Supervisors are advised to coordinate within their administrative teams to identify and bundle requests for office supplies. Once needs are identified, the supervisor will work with the Staples Advantage department account holder to place the order and provide delivery addresses to the Business Office. Please direct all office supply inquiries to purchasing@law.columbia.edu

All at-home furniture must be purchased directly by the Law School to be considered a valid business expense. At-home furniture purchases are not eligible for reimbursement.  All furniture purchased by the Law School is the property of the Law School and must be returned by the employee in the event of an employment separation. 

 At-home furniture requests fall within two categories: workplace accommodations and workplace productivity. 

  • If a member of your team has a documented medical need that requires a temporary or permanent workplace accommodation, please contact hr@law.columbia.edu and our HR team will work directly with the staff member to provide a reasonable at-home accommodation.  
  • If a member of your team is without a task chair or work surface in their remote work environment please follow the steps below.
    • Step 1: Supervisor coordinates with the employee and the Staples Advantage department account holder to identify furniture item(s) that meet the needs of the employee. Note: all workplace productivity requests will be fulfilled through Staples Advantage and will be recorded against the department's operating budget. 
    • Step 2: Supervisor sends a request to purchasing@law.columbia.edu specifying the name of the employee, the furniture item(s) needed, and the business justification. 
    • Step 3: Business Office reviews the request. All requests exceeding $300.00 will require CFO approval. If approved, the Business Office will send the pre-approval to the supervisor and the Staples Advantage department account holder. 
    • Step 4: Business Office coordinates with the employee to identify the shipping address. 
    • Step 5: Staples Advantage department account holder places the order and the order routes to the Business Office for final approval. 

All at-home technology must be purchased directly by the Law School to be considered a valid business expense. At-home technology purchases are not eligible for reimbursement.  All technology purchased by the Law School is the property of the Law School and must be returned by the employee in the event of an employment separation. To purchase technology (for use on-campus or remotely), supervisors, or their designees, should contact helpdesk@law.columbia.edu.

The Law School now permits the relocation of office computers and monitors to remote workplaces by Law IT professionals. To facilitate an orderly process, Sarah Lis is coordinating with departmental liaisons designated by senior management. Together, they will identify employees who require office technology relocations. Technology equipment may be shipped directly to remote workspaces at no cost to the department operating budget. Sarah Lis and/or your department liaison will be in contact with all Law School departments by Friday, September 11. Supervisors should first consider relocating existing office equipment to remote workspaces before acquiring new equipment. 

Printers and scanners will not be relocated off campus. If your department has operational needs that require remote printing and scanning, please contact helpdesk@law.columbia.edu and a member of the senior management team will review available options with you. 

Commuting or parking costs from home to place of work/business are taxable to a University employee. The University does not reimburse for these costs. Reference the Transit/Parking Reimbursement Program for alternative options.

Reimbursement of gift cards to Staff/Employees, including gift cards related to meals during virtual meetings, is not allowed under the University's policy. The Law School will not reimburse Employees for these costs.

Reimbursement of meals for virtual meetings, including employee engagement and team building events, is not allowed under the University's policy. The Law School will not reimburse employees for these costs.