Forms, Policies, & Guides

307 - Flexible Work Arrangements

Subject: Flexible Work Arrangements (formerly Flexible Work Options, 310)

Section: U307

Date: February, 2015


To provide guidance for managers in establishing flexible work arrangements for staff employees whose work can be performed outside of a University office and/or traditional work schedule for part or all of the workweek.


The University recognizes that there may be situations where flexible work arrangements are appropriate. Flexible work arrangements offer alternative approaches to getting work done through nontraditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures. They offer employees creative approaches for completing work, while promoting balance between work and personal commitments.

Typical flexible work options include flextime, flexplace, compressed work schedules, part-time, and job-sharing assignments. These arrangements must support unit goals and must be approved by unit leadership.


1. A flexible work arrangement is valuable tool for supporting an employee's efforts to balance work responsibilities and personal life commitments.

2. Employees on a flexible work arrangement remain obligated to comply with all University rules, policies, and procedures.

3. Typical flexible work arrangements include:

a. Flextime: is the most requested, easiest to manage, and the most affordable option, flextime offers flexibility in arrival, departure, and/or lunch times, typically with a designated core midday schedule during which employees are customarily at the work site.

b. Flexplace: often referred to as telecommuting assignment, this arrangement allows for a portion of the job to be performed off-site, on a regular, recurring basis. The majority of work time is spent at the office and the off-site work typically is performed at home. It may be the most complicated flexible work option to arrange, since it involves special issues (i.e., workers' compensation considerations, and purchase and/or management of equipment and systems away from the workplace).

c. Compressed Work Schedule: traditional 37.5- to 40-hour workweek is condensed into fewer than 5 days of work. Common compressed work schedules for the traditional workweeks include: four 10-hour days for a 40-hour week; and three 10-hour days and one 7.5-hour day for a 37.5-hour workweek.

d. Part-time work: is a regular arrangement for workweek of 34 hours or fewer. Part time work is different from a temporary work assignment, which is where an employee is expected to have a temporary, nonrecurring relationship to the workplace. Regular part-time employees who work 20 hours per week or more are eligible for benefits.

e. Job sharing allows two staff employees to share the responsibilities of one full-time position. Each staff member shares a specific proportion of a full-time position. Creative and innovative schedules can be designed to meet the needs of the job sharers and the unit. The two employees are considered regular part-time employees.

4. Employees may submit written flexible work arrangement requests to both the manager and unit HR Partner for consideration. If accepted, the manager, unit HR Partner and the employee will create a flexible work arrangement agreement.

a. A flexible work arrangement agreement should provide details of the arrangement, including any change in job responsibilities (time commitments, availability) and/or condition of employment (i.e., compensation, benefits, work location, work schedule, and/or duration of the arrangement).

b. Additionally, the agreement should include provisions to recognize how busy timeframes or special projects will be addressed (i.e., may need to return to original schedule during these times).

c. If, at any time a flexible work arrangement no longer serves the employee's purposes or the needs of the University, the arrangement may be discontinued.

d. The agreement should include a provision for the modification or termination of the agreement should either the University or the employee need to change it. Two calendar weeks' notice of modification or termination will be given to the employee, unless such notice is impractical.

e. In the case of a flexplace arrangement, the agreement should also include clear delineation of responsibility for telephone costs, supplies, computer set-up and maintenance, security of any University-owned equipment that would be used away from University premises (including responsibility for loss), and any additional applicable items.

5. A pilot should be conducted to evaluate a requested flexible work arrangement before a long-term commitment is made by either the University or the employee.

a. The manager and employee should meet periodically (for example, every two weeks) to discuss the arrangement, and to make adjustments as needed.

b. The pilot should be reviewed after a period of 3 - 6 months to make appropriate adjustments and to determine whether or not the flexible work arrangement should be continued.

6. A copy of the approved flexible work arrangement agreements should be sent to the unit HR Partner.

7. In allowing flexible work arrangements, the University will abide by all federal, state and local wage and hour laws.  

8. An employee working in a flexible work arrangement remains an at-will employee, meaning he/she or the University can terminate employment at any time and for any reason, with or without advance notice. If, for any reason, the flexible work arrangement is terminated, and the employee decides not to return to his/her former traditional work schedule/arrangement and leaves the position, the employee will be considered to have resigned.

Employees represented by a union may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.