By Jenny Maguire, Deputy Director, FI$Cal Administrative Services Division

We are approaching the one-year anniversary of when the coronavirus pandemic required a shift to home-based telework as a necessary response to a terrible crisis. On January 1, we officially transitioned from emergency telework to become the first department to pilot permanent telework – a testament to how FI$Cal employees have been innovative, patient, creative and resilient.

What has changed? A lot! We currently have about 90 percent of our employees teleworking with the remaining 10 percent on a modified schedule between reporting to the office and partial teleworking. We have consolidated more than 107,000 square feet of space down to approximately 65,000 square feet of occupancy – a move that the Governor’s Budget projects will save the state $1 million in the next fiscal year. We have developed and modified several policies and procedures to adapt to telework and have found digital alternatives for manual processes. These include the purchase of Docusign, utilization of Adobe Pro for signatures, and Service Now for most administrative services in lieu of a service window. We have issued every employee a laptop and have purchased webcams and headsets for our employees to be able to continue face-to-face interaction.

In addition, we have designed a comprehensive online telework toolkit located on our intranet where employees can find the latest communications on telework, policies, recommendations and tips and tricks. We have also made collaboration software, such as Microsoft Teams, available and will continue to add collaboration apps and deploy them over the next several months. We also procured and deployed Robin, our office reservation system, allowing our employees to reserve a workspace or conference room online. Our employees are embracing new technologies, virtual workspaces and new ways to collaborate – all while remaining productive and proficient.

What hasn’t changed? FI$Cal’s immense dedication to its customers. We have launched the new FI$Cal Learning Center, providing users with a centralized place for all of their education and training opportunities. FI$CalTv continues to bring users the latest information on our offerings, and our virtual town halls and forums keep our users up to date on the latest releases that improve system functionality.