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Flexible Work Arrangements

There are three types of flexible work arrangements: Flextime, Compressed Workweek, and Remote Work.

Flextime and a Compressed Workweek are alternative work schedule options that allow employees some flexibility in their schedules, where operationally appropriate. Employees are still expected to work either core hours with a flextime schedule or the same number of hours with a compressed workweek, but it allows them the opportunity to adjust work schedules to be more advantageous to their work or personal needs. Both Flextime and Compressed Workweek arrangements must align with the responsibilities of a particular role and require review and approval by supervisors.

Remote Work is offered on a limited basis, and approval for remote positions is reserved for roles requiring highly specialized positions or where local talent is not readily available. Remote work is an alternative work option where an employee’s official work location is off-site regularly (fully remote) or some of the time (hybrid). Still, they may be required to come onto campus for meetings or other activities. For Academic units, approval is required by the Dean and then Provost. Requests from all other units must be submitted by the departmental Vice President to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Institutional Equity before submission to the Chief Operating Officer. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources will notify the department of the decision.

Flextime

What is Flextime?
Flextime is an alternative work schedule that gives employees greater flexibility in choosing their work hours or the opportunity to change their work schedules from one week to the next depending on personal needs. Under a flextime arrangement, employees are required to work during the university’s core hours (9:00a -2:00p), allowing for flexibility in starting and ending times.

What is the Review and Approval Process for Flextime?
Flextime arrangements must align with the responsibilities of a particular role and require review and approval by supervisors. The approval process is as follows:

Timekeeper Responsibility
It’s the timekeeper’s responsibility to update the employee’s schedule in Kronos if the flexible work arrangement results in a change in hours of work or days off.  Failure to update the schedule may cause errors in the employee’s pay.  

Supervisors should contact their HR Business Partner if they need guidance in developing criteria for a flexible work arrangement request.

Compressed Workweek

What is a Compressed Workweek?
A Compressed Workweek is an alternative work schedule that allows employees to work an increased number of hours each day in order to shorten the number of days worked during the workweek. Under a compressed workweek arrangement, employees are required to work the same number of working hours a pay period. A reduction in work hours is not considered a flexible work arrangement.

What is the Review and Approval Process for a Compressed Workweek?
Compressed Workweek arrangements must align with the responsibilities of a particular role and require review and approval by supervisors. The approval process is as follows:

Timekeeper Responsibility
It’s the timekeeper’s responsibility to update the employee’s schedule in Kronos if the flexible work arrangement results in a change in hours of work or days off.  Failure to update the schedule may cause errors in the employee’s pay.  

Supervisors should contact their HR Business Partner if they need guidance in developing criteria for a flexible work arrangement request.

Remote Work

What is Remote Work?
Remote work is an alternative work option where an employee’s official work location is off-site regularly (fully remote) or some of the time (hybrid). Still, they may be required to come onto campus for meetings or other activities. Remote work is offered on a limited basis, and approval for remote positions is reserved for roles requiring highly specialized positions or where local talent is not readily available.

For Academic units, approval is required by the Dean and then Provost. Requests from all other units must be submitted by the departmental Vice President to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Institutional Equity before submission to the Chief Operating Officer. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources will notify the department of the decision.

Depending on the employee’s location, the arrangement must be processed by the Office of Human Resources before the employee begins the remote work arrangement in order to comply with any applicable state or federal law.

What is the Review and Approval Process for Remote Work?
Remote arrangements are limited and reserved for unique needs or circumstances and therefore require review and approval by supervisors. The approval process is as follows:

  • Supervisor submits completed Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement form to initiate the request.
  • For Academic units, the completed form with all applicable approvals is then submitted to the Dean and then Provost.
  • For all other units, the completed form must be submitted by the departmental Vice President to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Institutional Equity before submission to the Chief Operating Officer. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources will notify the department of the decision.

Supervisors should contact their HR Business Partner if they need guidance in developing criteria for a flexible work arrangement request.

Employment Status
An employee’s employment status (exempt or non-exempt) must be considered when designing a remote work schedule.  Exempt positions have a bit more flexibility as it pertains to a work schedule, since overtime is not a factor.  All non-exempt employees must be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 within a workweek (Friday-Thursday).  Managers of non-exempt employees must consider any overtime implications that a remote work schedule may cause.  

Example: If a non-exempt employee is responding to a work-related email, regardless of the time of day/night, this is considered time worked.

FAQs

Why does Remote Work require additional approvals compared to Flextime or a Compressed Workweek?
Long-term hybrid or fully remote work will only be allowed on a limited basis when justified by the nature of the work being performed and therefore requires additional levels of approval.

As a supervisor, am I able to grant one employee’s request and deny another employee’s request?  
Decisions related to granting a flexible work arrangement should be based on the needs of the organization as well as objective criteria related to an employee’s job performance and job demands.  Supervisors are expected to maintain a consistent approach when reviewing the criteria of a flexible work arrangement request.  Supervisors are advised to document the basis for each decision that is approved or denied.  

Is a reduction in hours considered a flexible work arrangement?
A reduction in the standard work hours per week is not considered a flexible work arrangement.
Example: An employee regularly scheduled to work 37.5 hours per week who is requesting to reduce the standard work hours to 18.75 per week would not be covered under this policy.  Flexible work arrangements must reflect the standard work hours assigned at the time of the request.

Are employees eligible to appeal a denial of a flexible work arrangement?
The decision to grant Flextime or a Flexible Workweek is determined by the supervisor and department head.  If an employee’s supervisor denies the request, the employee may ask the department head to review the request. The department head’s decision is final.

The decision to grant Remote Work is determined by the Dean or Provost for Academic units; for all other units, the decision is ultimately granted by the Chief Operating Officer. These decisions are final and are not subject to appeal.

I supervise a support staff employee who is key to the daily operations of the department.  I have been able to grant the flexible work arrangement request of others in the department but have concerns about granting the absence of this critical staff person.  How should I proceed?
Flexible work arrangements may not be feasible for every employee and every department. It may be helpful to review how operations are handled when this employee is out of the office due to vacation or illness, and then determine if that can be maintained as part of a flexible work arrangement.   

Can a supervisor revoke a flexible work arrangement that they already approved?
Yes, a supervisor is able to revoke a flexible work arrangement.  Some of the reasons a flexible work arrangement may be revoked is if it is no longer beneficial to business operations and/or if the employee develops job performance, attendance, or behavioral deficiencies.

My friend and I work in the same division.  Their request for a flexible work arrangement was approved and mine was denied.  How is that fair?
Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the employee’s request, subject to the service needs of the department. Flexible work arrangement may not be feasible for every employee and every department. If an employee’s supervisor denies the request for Flextime or a Compressed Workweek, the employee may ask the department head to review the request. The department head’s decision is final. All Remote Work decisions are final.

What if the day that I’m scheduled to be off as part of my flexible work arrangement falls on a holiday?
Refer to the Staff Handbook Holiday section for guidance.