Flexible Work Arrangement

Flexible Work Arrangement Guidelines

The university supports a total compensation model that includes flexible work arrangements where both business objectives and employee objectives can be met. In consideration of these objectives Human Resources has developed these flexible work arrangement guidelines.

Management guidelines:

  • Successful leadership involves maximizing two top priorities for flexible work arrangements: (a) optimize operations and academics and (b) shift to more progressive work culture to recruit and retain top talent.
  • Supervisors should be open to reviewing requests for flexible work arrangements and they should fully evaluate ways to implement flexible work in their units. Your Human Resources Business Partner is available for consultation on this matter. Examples of flexible work arrangement options include, but are not limited to:  
    • Flexible scheduling – work schedules that are different than the department’s standard operating hours i.e., Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Compressed work weeks – allowing an employee to work longer hours in fewer days, i.e., four (4) days/ ten (10) hours or four (4) days/ nine (9) hours and one (1) day/ four (4) hours, etc.
    • The Occasional Virtual Worksite – a work alternative that provides the option of occasionally working from a virtual location (e.g., home or a different department or off campus location) for part of the employee’s assignment.
       
  • A flexible work arrangement for the purpose of these guidelines should be an arrangement with a duration lasting three (3) months or longer, however, flexible work arrangements on a more temporary basis remain acceptable and at management’s discretion.
  • Employee’s performance will be weighed in determining feasibility of a flexible work arrangement, the following performance considerations will be made:
    • Overall high performance
    • Proven ability to manage time effectively and provide timely deliverables
    • No formal or informal disciplinary action on file ie., PIP
       
  • Supervisors should communicate with the staff member(s) whether or not a flexible work arrangement is feasible and document the rationale for the decision. A Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement form is available on the Human Resources website. 
  • Supervisors should specify verbally and in writing when staff are expected to be present at the campus work site, how they are to be available during their off- site work time and how they are to communicate their specific availability, if the flexible work arrangement is approved.
  • Flexible work arrangements should be given consideration regardless of the reason for the request, if the request is operationally feasible and if the individual meets the performance criteria.
  • Supervisors should manage the flexible work arrangement to ensure success of the unit as well as the continued feasibility of the arrangement. It is the department’s responsibility to assess the impact of such an arrangement to their operation and permit flexible work arrangements accordingly.
  • Supervisors cannot take adverse action against staff for asking for a flexible work arrangement.
  • Flexible work arrangements are not guaranteed; they may be discontinued based on the changing needs of the business operations as well as on any changes in performance.
  • Working virtually often or permanently replacing the worksite location to home or other virtual location is not covered under these guidelines.
  • Decision making processes regarding flexible arrangement requests must be transparent. They should include the supervisor and/or manager as well as the next level of management in the approval process.
  • Supervisors should evaluate flexible work arrangements early and often to discuss the efficiency of the existing arrangement with the employee. Questions may include, what is working well, what changes, if any, need to be made, what barriers exist, etc.?
  • As much notice as possible should be given to an employee when terminating a flexible work arrangement, preferably not less than two weeks. However it is within management’s discretion to terminate the arrangement immediately if the needs of the operation are not being met or if the employee’s performance significantly diminishes.
  • Management, who are considering a flexible work arrangement request, should review the Flexible Work Arrangement Management Training.
  • Management should also consult with their Human Resources Business Partner as necessary when considering a flexible work arrangement request.
  • Management should maintain a signed Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement for on file in the department, and it is advisable to submit a copy to Human Resources.

Staff guidelines:

  • All staff should understand that not all jobs/roles are conducive to a flexible work arrangement and such arrangements are at the discretion of management.
  • All staff should request a flexible work arrangement in writing.
  • Eligibility for a flexible work arrangement includes having at least an overall “Meets Expectations” on the most recent performance evaluation (the absence of an evaluation will be considered a “Meets Expectations.”
  • Employees should be cooperative and be willing to adapt to the business operations and their colleagues’ various work schedules and locations.
  • Staff members are expected to maintain a safe working and computing environment, when working from an occasional virtual work location.
  • All employees who request and are approved for a flexible work arrangement, should understand that all obligations, responsibilities, terms and conditions of employment with the university remain unchanged, except those obligations and responsibilities specifically addressed in your flexible work arrangement agreement.
  • Employees must also understand that if a flexible work arrangement agreement provides for a mutually agreed upon reduced work schedule which changes your employment status from full-time to part-time, there will be a corresponding reduction in earnings and could result in a loss of some or all of your employer-paid benefits (health, life and disability). Note: in certain circumstances health benefits may be continued under FMLA.
  • Staff members must also agree to return any university equipment, records and materials within 2- days of the termination of the flexible work arrangement. All university equipment will be returned to the university by the employee for inspection, repair, replacement or repossession within 2- days’ notice.

Flexible Work Arrangement FAQs