FAQ: Flexible Work Policy

What type of flex arrangements are possible?

Based on the operational needs of the unit, the following arrangements are possible:

  1. Flex Schedule
  2. Compressed Work Week
  3. Telecommuting
  4. Reduced Work Week (Part-time)/ Reduced Work Year
  5. Job Sharing

For more information on these options, please see the Flexible Work Policy or Procedures.

As of January 1, 2020, the only reduced work year option is a 9-month work year. Ten and 11-month work years will also be available in the future. University HR will communicate with campus when these become available options.

What if an employee requests a flexible work arrangement, but the requested arrangement does not meet the operational needs of the unit?

A flexible work arrangement is approved at the discretion of the supervisor and the appropriate Vice President, the Athletic Director, the Provost, or their designee*. If the request conflicts with the operational needs of the unit, the supervisor should not approve it. The supervisor is, however, encouraged to consider whether a work arrangement exists that meets the unit operational needs and those of the employee.

Does a short-term telecommuting arrangement require a written agreement?

Flexible work arrangement requests of 5 days or fewer over the course of a year do not require a signed agreement, but do require approval by the direct supervisor.

Flexible work arrangement requests of 6 to 30 days over the course of a year require a signed agreement approved by the direct supervisor.

On-going flexible work arrangements of 31 days or longer require a signed agreement approved by the supervisor and the appropriate Vice President, the Athletic Director, the Provost, or their designee(s).

Agreements are available on the Flexible Agreement Forms webpage.

Can a supervisor or unit head initiate a flexible work arrangement?

Yes. An employee may be required to work outside of normal business hours, telecommute, or otherwise alter their work hours or location in order to meet the operational needs of the unit. In such cases, the university will implement such plans in accordance with applicable policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements.

What if an employee requests to work from home on a regular basis, but only for a few days at a time?

If the total number of days requested over the course of a year is greater than 5, a written agreement should be in place.

How do the supervisor and the employee evaluate whether the flexible work arrangement is working – both operationally and from a performance standpoint?

The Flexible Work and Telecommuting Agreement forms have a section that requires documenting a plan to assess the success of the work arrangement. HR recommends that the supervisor and employee have a quarterly assessment conversation during the first year. After the first year, assessment conversations may become less frequent, but it is still important that they occur.

Is performance management handled differently if an employee has a flexible work arrangement?

No. All established expectations, CBAs, policies and procedures related to performance management apply to employees who have a flexible work arrangement. Supervisors must ensure they have methods in place to evaluate the work of employees who have alternative hours or work location.

Is there a required notice period if a flexible work arrangement needs to be terminated for either performance reasons or operational needs?

Although there is no required notice period for changing or terminating a flexible work arrangement, supervisors are encouraged to provide the employee reasonable notice that allows time to adjust to new expectations.