Flexible Work Arrangement

8450.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to describe the types of Flexible Work Arrangements that may be available to eligible university staff members, the process for evaluating a request for a flexible work arrangement and the approval process for a flexible work arrangement request.  This policy is intended to serve as a recruitment and retention tool for the university workforce based upon roles applicable for such arrangements.  This policy is not an entitlement nor intended to apply to short-term, ad-hoc arrangements requested to meet temporary and unexpected needs.

8450.2 Scope

This policy applies to flexible work arrangements for eligible exempt (salaried) and non-exempt (hourly) staff.  These arrangements are voluntary and available only with administrative approval.  Such arrangements are to be reviewed at least annually with the staff member to determine the efficacy and continuation of such arrangements.  Arrangements can be modified or discontinued, based on operational needs, with at least 30 days’ advance notice.  Supervisors are encouraged to use their best discretion, consistent with applicable laws and university policies, to address temporary short-term, unexpected needs.  Additionally, flexible work arrangements should not create additional budget requirements, whether through additional hours or through the purchase of additional equipment.

8450.3 Policy Statement

Wright State University strives to be appropriately staffed at all times in order to effectively pursue our educational mission.  Further, we strive to be an organization that recognizes the need for flexibility with schedules to attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce.  In recognition of the wide range of professional responsibilities and duties required of university staff, there are circumstances in which a flexible work arrangement can be implemented so as to optimally balance the needs of the university and those of an individual staff member and/or work team.  This policy outlines the type of flexible work arrangements that may be available to certain staff members and the process by which such an arrangement is managed and implemented.  Flexible work arrangements, although not considered part of the university employee benefits package, is a total rewards option based upon business objectives and supervisory discretion.

8450.4 Definitions

A.  Core Hours and Peak Periods

     Core hours refers to the period of hours each work day or peak workload periods during which a department must be staffed at an appropriate or specified level. Core hours may also include the requirement for employees to be on campus during a particular day of the week.

     Peak periods refer to cyclical times of the year when business activity or work volume is high, during which an operation must be staffed on site at a specified level. During peak periods, employees may be required to work on campus for their regular schedule.

    The department head is responsible for determining the Core Hours and Peak Periods for the department while ensuring the university’s commitment to a high level of service is maintained.  The department head may alter Core Hours and Peak Periods from time to time.

B. Flexible Work Arrangement

    The term “Flexible Work Arrangement” as used in this policy refers to Flex Hours, Compressed Work Weeks and Flexplace as defined below.

C.  Flex Hours

     Flex Hours allows for flexible scheduling arrangements that permit variations in starting and departure times, but does not alter the total number of hours worked in a workweek.

     Examples of flex hour arrangements include the following:

  • Fixed starting and departure times that are different from normal business hours of the department.  Agreed-upon starting and departure times continue for a specified period with the same number of hours worked each day.
     
  • Pre-approved starting and departure times that may vary daily.  With such a personalized work schedule, an employee may arrive at work and leave at a different time each day, provided the number of hours worked each day remains the same.

D.  Compressed Work Weeks

     The Compressed Work Week allows a staff member to work a traditional 40-hour workweek in less than the traditional number of workdays.

  • Examples of compressed workweek arrangements include the following:
     
  • A full-time employee scheduled for 40 hours per week could work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.  Or four 9-hour days and one 4-hour day.
  • The length of the work day could vary, but the majority of the work hours must remain within the core hours of the operation.
     
  • Also, at no time should the workweek result in a schedule that is in excess of the normal 40-hour workweek or require the use of overtime.

E.  Flexplace

     The term Flexplace, or remote, refers to arrangements that allow an employee to work at home or another off-site location, for a specified number of hours per week or per month, and/or for a pre-determined duration.  A separate work area should be designated in the off-site setting for  the Flexplace arrangement.  This area should be conducive to working productively.

     Flexplace arrangements must be conducive to a hybrid approach with some work time on campus and some work time off-site.

     All flexible work arrangements must meet the operational needs of the department and university and must conform to overtime, record keeping and meal/break provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

     The hiring of employees from outside the state is considered an exceptional hire other than where business operations may require such allowance, e.g., donor relations, admissions recruiters.  Such exceptional instances require approval from Executive Leadership (President, Provost,   COO).

8450.5 Procedures for Establishing a Flexible Work Arrangement

Any staff member seeking a flexible work arrangement must make a written request to his or her supervisor using the Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement Form.

The request will include things such as:

  • The type of arrangement being requested
  • The reason(s) for the request
  • The plan for meeting the responsibilities of the job
  • The specific work schedule and/or location
  • The requested duration of the arrangement
  • The requested review date for discussing efficacy of the arrangement if approved

Flexible work arrangement requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis. The evaluation will include a discussion between the supervisor and the staff member regarding the reasons for the request and the operational needs.

Some considerations to take into account are as follows:

  • Operational needs and specific impact of the request on students (parents), faculty and other staff.
  • Ability of the specific department and/or college to maintain appropriate staffing levels during Core Hours and Peak Periods.
  • Performance level of the particular staff member.

Additional factors to consider for Flexplace arrangements specifically:

  • Whether there is clearly defined work that can be accomplished from an off-site location.
  • Whether there are any position requirements that cannot be met from an off-site location.
  • Whether there is an ability to effectively manage the staff member’s productivity/results through offsite supervision.
  • Whether the department can continue to meet its standards for service and staff availability.
  • Whether the staff member has demonstrated a record of excellent time-management skills and satisfactory, independent work performance.
  • Whether there are established and effective methods for communicating between the staff member and the supervisor.
  • The expectations of the staff member for being on-site for meetings with the supervisor, coworkers or customers.
  • How the flexplace arrangement may impact cross-training initiatives, team-based approaches and other similar strategies.
  • Expectations for availability during the work day.

8450.6 Approval of Flexible Work Arrangements

  • Upon receipt of a Flexible Work Arrangement request, the supervisor receiving the request will discuss the request with the employee.  The supervisor must also discuss the request within the relevant department with others who have a need to know and with the division leader. Consultation for such arrangements is available with HR Business Partners.
  • The appropriate Dean or Vice President, must approve the Flexible Work Arrangement in his/her respective division, in consultation with the staff member’s supervisor, prior to the implementation of the Flexible Work Arrangement.
  • If approved, the staff member will receive a copy of the Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement Form specifying the terms and conditions for the arrangement.
  • If a request for a Flexible Work Arrangement is not approved, the supervisor will inform the employee in person and in writing, the reasons for the decision.
  • Additional approval for Flexplace arrangement: Recognizing the university has not traditionally offered flexplace arrangements and desires to closely monitor and evaluate the initial efficacy of such arrangements, the appropriate Dean or Vice President shall notify Executive Leadership of their recommended approval of a requested flexplace arrangement.

8450.7 Modifying or Terminating a Flexible Work Arrangement

  • Once approved, the employee would need written consent of his or her supervisor to modify the Flexible Work Arrangement.  An updated Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement Form must be completed which specifies the modified arrangements.
  • A supervisor may modify an approved Flexible Work Arrangement if the supervisor or college/division leader determines that such modification will better meet the current needs of the department and/or the university.  Any modification will be discussed with the staff member and specified in writing through an updated Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement Form.
  • A supervisor, after consulting with the Dean and/or Vice President and their HR Business Partner, may terminate a Flexible Work Arrangement, if the supervisor determines that the arrangement is no longer consistent with the department’s obligations or if the performance of the staff member is not meeting performance expectations.
  • If it becomes necessary to terminate a Flexible Work Arrangement, the supervisor shall make every effort to provide the employee with at least 30 days prior written notice, unless emergency circumstances prevent such notice.
  • If the Flexible Work Arrangement is being terminated for poor performance, the arrangement may be terminated with one-week notice following written notice that the staff member’s performance has not met satisfactory standards.

8450.8 Resources