Telework and Alternative Work Schedule
Telework and Alternative Work Schedule Policy
The policy provides a general framework for teleworkers and employees approved for alternative work schedules.
A successful telework employee has particular traits, a job suitable for telework and a work site that is conducive to the work assigned. A self-assessment helps an employee interested in telework decide whether telework is right for them.
- Telework Agreement
A Telework schedule allows employees to work at home or in an alternate workplace for all or part of their workweek. A telework agreement must be completed and signed with the appropriate approvals prior to the change in the employee's work schedule.
- Alternative Work Schedule Agreement
An Alternative Work Schedule is a work schedule where the arrival and departure time differ from the core operating hours. An Alternative Work Schedule Agreement must be completed and signed with the appropriate approvals prior to the change in the employee's work schedule.
All employees can access online training videos from LinkedIn Learning and Vector Solutions through Cardinal Apps. Some of the great training videos include:
- Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success
- Remote Work Foundations
- Tips for Working Remotely
- Managing Conflict in a Remote Work
- Managing Virtual Teams
- Transitions to a Remote Workforce
Frequently Asked Questions
A teleworker is an employee who engages in a work arrangement at an alternate workplace, usually at the employee's home, at least one day per work week. The telework employee performs the same work they would in their primary workplace with the same performance expectations.
A mobile worker is an employee who travels continuously as part of their job responsibilities, such as meeting off-site with clients and customers. Mobile workers are not considered a teleworker and do not need an agreement. A teleworker is those employees who work at an alternate workplace separate from the primary workplace. Teleworkers need an agreement on file.
A compressed work week allows employees to work longer days for part of the week in exchange for one additional day off or half a day off each week. Please see section 21.3 Alternative Work Schedule in the policy for additional information on eligibility of a compressed work week.
Flextime is a type of alternative work schedule that allows employees to adjust their arrival and departure times from the department's core operating hours.
UIW Staff and Administrators are eligible for telework or an alternative work schedule. An employee's eligibility for telework or an alternative work schedule is determined on a case-by-case basis and takes into consideration an evaluation of the likelihood of the employee succeeding and an evaluation of the supervisor's ability to manage the employee. No university employee is entitled to or guaranteed the opportunity to telework or have an alternative work schedule.
Suitability for full or partial telework is determined through a collaborative process that considers multiple factors, including the completion of the Telework Self-Assessment form. A good candidate for telework are employees who:
- Demonstrated time management and organizational skills.
- Have a successful performance history and has a current annual evaluation on file with an overall rating of at least "strong performer."
- Demonstrated initiative and dependability.
- Ability to work independently.
- Have appropriate technology equipment at the alternative worksite and is conducive to productive work.
- Strong understanding of role and expectations.
- Have no active formal disciplinary actions on file.
For additional information, please review the Telework and Alternative Work Schedule policy.
Each telework work arrangement is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Characteristics of positions that may be considered suitable for telework include:
- Jobs that entail working independently.
- There is no need for face-to-face interactions.
- The position does not require the employee to have immediate access to documents or other information located only in the workplace.
- The telework arrangement will not impact service quality, hinder operations, or increase the workload for other employees.
- The primary workplace is appropriately staffed and can remain open during core operating hours.
For additional information, please review the Telework and Alternative Work Schedule policy.
Either the employee or the supervisor may suggest a telework or alternative work arrangement. The employee and the supervisor are encouraged to discuss their needs and to work together to develop the best possible arrangements for their situation. Supervisors have the authority to request approval of a telework or alternative arrangement, or to postpone consideration of a remote work arrangement to another time.
It is helpful to consider some of the factors that are utilized when evaluating telework opportunities. An interest in telework is a great start, and before you approach your supervisor, you will want to think about the following:
- Business need - How might a telework arrangement enhance operations and productivity?
- Position suitability - Do you require access to equipment, materials, or files that can only be accessed on campus? Do you require extensive face-to-face contact with students, employees, or the public?
- Employee suitability - Do you exhibit initiative and organizational skills with a positive performance history? Do you have a strong grasp of your role and expectations of your position?
- Supervisory approach - Do you have a solid communication history with your supervisor? And, if you supervise, do you have a strong relationship/communication history with your direct reports?
These are important areas to explore and assist in your framing when approaching your supervisor.
Supervisors are responsible for submitting the Telework Agreement Form or Alternative Work Agreement Form. The Agreements must be approved by the supervisor, department head (if applicable), divisional vice president, and Human Resources.
Yes, as a supervisor, you have the authority to deny telework as it is a voluntary option that is appropriate for some employees and positions but not all. Employees are not entitled to or guaranteed the opportunity to telework. Supervisors should articulate a reason for denying the request based on the nature of the position, the effectiveness of the employee, and whether any duties require the use of specific equipment, tools, or ergonomic needs that cannot be replicated at an alternate worksite. The self-assessment form is a useful tool to determine if an employee is suitable for telework.
Yes. To be approved for full or partial telework, an employee must have a current evaluation on file and an overall performance rating of at least "strong performer." The employee must also have a track record of performing work accurately and efficiently without the need for close supervision. However, having a "strong performer" rating does not guarantee an employee the option of telework as some jobs are not appropriate for telework, and some employees are more productive and effective when work is performed in person at the primary work location.
UIW provides equipment and materials for employees to perform their duties effectively at their primary workplace. UIW will not duplicate resources between the primary workplace and the alternative workplace. Employees are responsible for the purchase of their own furniture, printing, monitors, network and/or internet capabilities, etc., at the alternative workplace.
Yes. Attendance at an employee's primary workplace for on-site meetings, conferences, training sessions, and similar activities may be required on scheduled telework days at the supervisor's sole discretion. A supervisor should give an employee reasonable notice of required on-site activities. Transportation, gas, and parking costs for such attendance are the employee's responsibility. Employees working at the primary workplace on their normal scheduled telework days do not substitute for the employee taking another telework day.
Yes. The Telework Agreement or Alternative Work Schedule agreement is a necessary aspect of the arrangement under the Telework and Alternative Work Schedule Policy. It must be completed and submitted through the formal approval process regardless of when the employee started working at an alternate worksite or had an alternative work schedule. Employees should work with their supervisor to complete the Telework Agreement or Alternative Work Schedule Agreement form.
No, as long as the employee is working during the department’s core operating hours, 5 days a week, you do not need an agreement on file. However, if an employee works a regular compressed work schedule, such as 10 hours a day 4 days a week, the employee would need the Alternative Work Schedule Agreement on file. Also, if an employee’s work shift is outside the department’s core operating hours the Alternative Work Schedule Agreement would need to be completed and on file.
No. Temporary changes in a location such as travel to a conference or a short trip do not warrant a change in the agreement. Only regular recurring changes will require adjustments to the telework agreement.
Telework is not a substitute for child or adult care. The teleworker shall continue to plan for child or adult care to the same extent as if the teleworker were working at the primary workplace. If child(ren) or an adult in need of care is in the alternate workplace during employees' work hours, another person must be present to provide care. For additional information, please review the Telework and Alternative Work Schedule policy.
Teleworkers shall work during the core operating hours of the department. If the employee works a different schedule from the core operating hours, then the Alternative Work Schedule Agreement must also be completed in addition to the Telework Agreement.
Telework and Alternative Work Schedule is not an employee right and is entirely a management option. The supervisor can terminate or amend the agreement at any time without cause. When terminating the agreement prior to the expiration date, the supervisor will provide the employee at least seven business days’ notice unless extenuating circumstances make such notice impracticable.
No, the grievance or appeal procedures do not apply to decisions regarding telework requests or alternative work schedules.
The employee can decide to end the agreement before the expiration date provided the employee provides at least a seven business day notice in writing to their direct supervisor. The expiration of the agreement may be delayed if a viable work space is currently unavailable.
Yes, the agreements require a beginning and ending date which not exceed one year. Thirty days prior to the agreement's expiration, both supervisor and employee will participate in a review which can result in a new agreement or termination of the agreement.
No. The policy regarding the request for a reasonable accommodation can be found in Chapter 15 of the Employee Handbook. An employee who needs reasonable accommodation must contact the Office of Human Resources.
An established telework or alternative work schedule arrangement exists between the employee and supervisor within their respective department. An employee who transfers to another department would need to go through the Telework or Alternative Work Schedule approval process in their new role. A new self-assessment and a new agreement would need to be completed.
Telework or alternative work schedules are voluntary options that are appropriate for some employees and positions. An employee’s eligibility for telework is determined on a case-by-case basis, considering an evaluation of the likelihood of the employee succeeding in the telework or an alternative work schedule. It is essential that supervisors ensure decisions are made for appropriate work-related and non-discriminatory reasons. Supervisors should work with each employee individually, be transparent in their decision-making process, and point to business reasons for considering a telework or alternative work schedule.
No, the teleworker will be responsible for the care of the child and will be required to use their appropriate accrued leave. Please see the “Use of Leave” and “Child and Adult Care” sections in the Telework and Alternative Work Schedule Policy for more information.
No, employees who need to care for a family member or care for their own illness must contact Human Resources regarding Family Medical Leave (FMLA). Additional information regarding Leave of Absences can be found in Chapter 4 of the Employee Handbook.
It is essential that supervisors ensure decisions are made for appropriate work-related and non-discriminatory reasons. Supervisors should work with individual employees and consider the whole team objectively when evaluating work arrangements. It is important that Supervisors are consistent and transparent. Telework or Alternative work schedules should have either a net-positive or net-neutral effect on business results and the department work environment.
No, an administrator may not adjust or modified his or her work schedule to be able to teach a course during their regular and established working hours. For additional information regarding “Other Employment” please see Section 7.9 in the Employee Handbook.