Go to navigation Go to content
opener

Flexible work arrangements: Specific types


Flexible Work Schedules involve setting flexible times of day employees can start and stop work, while maintaining awareness of what core hours need to be maintained. Each department must consider the needs, goals, performance standard, and schedule within the core service hours. Flexible Work Schedules must not cause or contribute to the need for additional staff or for existing staff to work overtime hours.

Examples of how Flexible Work Schedules can work:

  • Individualized start and stop times that stay the same every day. 
    • This may mean that some employees within the department may choose to work 7:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m. schedule with a half-hour lunch break while others may have an 8:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m. schedule with an hour lunch.
  • Individualized start and quit times may vary daily, however, the same number of hours are worked every day.
  • Individualized start and quit times with varied daily hours but consistency in the total number of hours worked every week.
  • Shortened lunch period to leave earlier than the standard workday. 

Recommendations:

  • Where possible, schedule staff meetings during a time in the schedule when all employees are available (in person or virtually).
  • Consider overtime and other implications when requiring employees to attend on-site meetings, training sessions or similar events outside of their alternative work schedule.

A Compressed Work Week allows employees to work 40 hours per week in less than five days (e.g., a four-day, ten-hour schedule). When implementing Compressed Work Week schedules, established core business days/hours should still be covered. 

  • Where possible, schedule staff meetings during a time in the schedule when all employees are available (in person or virtually). Consider overtime and other implications when employees are required to attend on-site meetings, training sessions or similar events outside of their compressed work schedule.  
  • Management should consider impact to the department before approving an employee’s request to switch the day they are usually off during the week.
  • As with a normal work schedule, it is during their days off that employees are encouraged to schedule outside appointments, etc.
  • When absent a whole day, employees must report time used equivalent to their compressed work schedule (e.g., missing one day on a four-day, ten-hour schedule means 10 hours would be reported).
  • Work schedules should be well communicated throughout the department.
  • Holidays – All regular staff members receive paid time off for designated university holidays in proportion to their FTE, up to a maximum of eight (8) hours. During weeks where paid holidays occur, the work schedule must be adjusted so the eight (8) hours of holiday pay does not result in hours outside of an employee’s standard hours.
  • See HR-217 Emergency Closure and Suspension of Operations regarding emergency closures.

Employees who practice Flex Place spend part or all of the day/work week working from a remote location. Supervisors must consider the needs and goals of the department, the nature of each employee’s job, performance standards, and the core service hours of the department. Due to the nature of the regulations set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), supervisors must use caution if they are going to permit non-exempt employees to work remotely.

Examples of how Flex Place can work:

  • An employee  can work at home Monday and Tuesday every week.
  • An employee can work at a nearby coffee shop on Thursdays and work from home on Friday.

Recommendations:

  • Develop a specific plan for monitoring employee performance.
  • Where possible, schedule meetings during a time in the schedule when all employees are present. Consider established Flex Place schedules and other implications when scheduling on-site meetings, training sessions, or similar events outside of employees alternative work schedule.
  • Determine if employees are required to use their home computers or will be provided university computers and other equipment and supplies. If the university provides electronic equipment, consider whether or not employees will be held responsible for the safety and security of university property.
  • Consider data security of confidential information when telecommuting.  See the university’s Information Security Program website for more information.  
  • Worker’s Compensation – The same procedures apply for work-related injuries which occur in the remote worksite.  See HR-409 Work Incurred Injury or Illness.

Employees requesting release time (paid) or a Flexible Work Arrangement (unpaid) are expected to work with the supervisor to ensure department needs are met and the impact to the department is minimized.

Supervisors should consider employees’ requests for flex time or release time to participate in wellness-related activities as follows:

  • Release time for employees to attend wellness trainings and events sponsored by Healthy for Life (e.g., health screenings, flu shots, Eat for Life program, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program).  The time requested would be determined by the specific training or event the employee wants to attend.
  • Flex time (but not release time) of approximately 150 minutes a week is available to participate in other types of wellness activities (e.g., walking, running, swimming).

Departments are encouraged to increase participation in wellness activities while still meeting department needs.  Employees are encouraged to consider department needs when planning time spent on wellness activities. Use of release time should not result in overtime for non-exempt employees. Supervisors with questions about the use of this benefit should contact their local human resource representative. You may use the Flexible Work Arrangement Form (available on the guides and forms webpage) or engage in a more informal agreement.

For more information about Healthy for Life programs, go to www.wellness.umsystem.edu.

Reviewed July 06, 2015.