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Flexible Work - FAQs

General | Flextime | Remote Work | Hybrid | Forms | Equipment and Resources | Training | Supervisors | Employees

General

How do I initiate a Remote Work Request?
Whether you are an employee or supervisor, the first step is to review the Remote Work policy and the HRM Work Location Request form. Develop a proposal and discuss it with your supervisor or unit leadership. During that discussion, determine whether the arrangement is feasible and how it would impact the department. If the impact is unknown it, is advisable to begin with a proposal for a hybrid vs total remote work arrangement and then re-evaluate after a designated period of time to determine if the change is successful or requires modification.

Once an agreement is reached between the employee and supervisor, a HRM Work Location Request form must be submitted and reviewed by Human Resource Management (HRM). Remote work arrangements cannot begin until HRM has provided approval.


Is a Work Location Request form required for new employees hired to work in a remote or hybrid capacity?
No. Beginning August 2021, all new hires will receive information regarding their work location assignment through the KU Onboarding system.

Is a Work Location Request form required for existing employees that are being informed of their work location assignment in the Summer of 2021 in preparation for the Fall 2021 semester?

Current employees whose work location arrangements are being formalized for the return of a residential campus experience for the Fall 2021 term are not required to immediately submit the HRM Work Location Request form, to continue their arrangement.  Decisions of work location assignments made by unit leadership were communicated to HRM in April/May 2021.

During annual performance reviews, supervisors should discuss work location arrangements with employees.  If, at that time, the employee, supervisor, and departmental leadership are in agreement to continue a remote or hybrid work arrangement, and a Work Location Form has already been completed, a new Form will not be necessary.  If a Work Location Form has not been completed or the work arrangement will change, it will be necessary to complete the HRM Work Location Request form to document the arrangement. 


Does a Work Location Arrangement need to be reviewed or renewed?
Remote work arrangements should be reviewed by the supervisor and employee after the first six months and annually thereafter or at the time of evaluation to confirm continuation of the arrangement. Employees hired into a position designated as fully remote do not necessitate a review outside of the performance evaluation process.

If an end date was provided on the HRM Work Location Request form, an extension to the location arrangement will require a new form to be submitted. At least 28 calendar days prior to the expiration of the Remote Work arrangement, supervisors should notify employees about what the expected return requirements are.


Which jobs are suited for remote work?
Remote work is easiest to implement for jobs or tasks that require reading, writing, research, working with data, working on the computer and talking on the phone. In general, and at management’s discretion, a job is suited for remote work if the job or some components of it can be done off-site without disruption to the regular flow of work and communication. Work that requires on-site presence, but not in a full-time capacity, may be designated as a hybrid work arrangement.

Are student employees eligible for remote work?
Student employees are not eligible for remote work arrangements unless an exception is approved by the unit leadership and HRM.

Are remote workers restricted as to where they can work from?
Remote work arrangements are limited to the United States and the District of Columbia.

Which jobs are not as well suited for remote work?
Remote work arrangements are not required to be uniformly available to all positions or employees within a unit because not all positions are conducive to remote work arrangements. Remote work arrangements are based upon the University’s mission in providing a residential campus experience coordinated with the unit’s defined business model.

Instructional duties are generally not eligible for a remote work arrangement. Instructors are expected to provide classroom instruction and conduct office hours in person unless an exception or official accommodation is approved, the position is hired as remote, or the class is officially designated as an online course.


Due to a health issue, I have concerns about the designation of my position (in-person, fully remote, or hybrid), What steps should I take?
A work schedule modification, location change, or equipment/furniture request for a health-related reason should be submitted directly to the ADA Resource Center for Equity & Accessibility by completing the intake form or emailing accessiblity@ku.edu.

How is the remote work designation made?

A remote work arrangement can be made at the time of recruitment, during the employment period by the assigned unit leadership, or at an employee’s request to transition to a remote work arrangement. All employees are expected to follow all professional standards of performance and conduct, applicable laws, and Kansas Board of Regents and University of Kansas policies and procedures while at all work locations. KU employees are required to complete all University mandatory training by specified deadlines, regardless of the work location. A fully remote work arrangement will necessitate both the supervisor and employee to complete required trainings.

Employees who elect to pursue a remote work arrangement after hire should discuss their interest with their supervisor and complete and submit the HRM Work Location Request form.


Should an employee’s proximity to the assigned campus location be a reason for a supervisor to approve a remote work assignment?
A remote work assignment should be based upon the duties and work activities of the position, the needs of the unit, and the customers it supports. Although a physical location of a current or prospective employee might precipitate a request, a full evaluation of the position should be conducted. Establishing a designated mileage threshold of the individual’s location from the primary work site is not a sufficient justification or an equitable measure to approve a hybrid or remote work assignment.

 

Flextime

What is flextime or a flexible work schedule?

Flextime or flexible work schedule is an arrangement where the employee works any approved schedule that does not adhere to the traditional Monday through Friday or 5-day work week and/or the 8:00 – 5:00 workday. Schedule changes may be intermittent based upon occasional need or may be formalized. A flexible schedule may also be one that will result in fewer workdays in a week with longer days.


Can I combine a Remote Work arrangement with a flexible work schedule?
Yes, if the position duties, work unit and customer needs can be managed effectively. Interested employees should have an initial conversation with their supervisor. A HRM representative can be consulted for additional guidance at hrdept@ku.edu.

When does a flexible work schedule need to be formalized?

Employees should work directly with their supervisor, in advance, for any work schedule assignments or modifications. If the work schedule change is either on-going or will be for more than two pay periods, upon a communicated agreement with the employee, the supervisor should update HR/Pay with the newly revised work schedule. Work schedule changes for an occasional appointment may be verbally agreed upon between the employee and supervisor. Employees reporting their work time on an hourly basis will be required to accurately report all work hours with the newly revised work schedule.


What is the difference between a formal and informal flextime work arrangement?

A formalized work arrangement is one that has been documented as an official work schedule change update in HR/Pay. This work schedule will impact leave accruals and holiday eligibility.



Remote Work

What is fully remote?
Fully remote employees perform ongoing work activities at an off-campus designated location. Fully remote employees may be requested to return to the primary campus location for training or other needs as discussed with the supervisor.

My child or elder relative are self-sufficient and do not need my care. Can they be in the home while working remotely?
A remote work arrangement is not intended to provide child, dependent, or family care. Employees will need to evaluate their specific circumstances to ensure that the presence of others in the work location does not prohibit or impede work productivity in an ongoing manner. All employees, including those working remotely, are expected to work in a professional and collegial manner, reflecting the mission, values and goals of the KU brand

As a remote worker will I be required to work when the University is closed for inclement weather?
Employees working remotely are not eligible for any inclement weather or weather-related compensation time during the period(s) of designated inclement weather. For additional information, review the Inclement Weather Policy. Fully remote employees experiencing an extreme weather-related or other uncontrolled event (e.g., loss of electricity) that restricts or prohibits the ability to work should contact their supervisor for further instruction.

How will I communicate with colleagues when working remotely?

Supervisors and employees should discuss in advance the communication expectations while working remotely. Employees should expect to utilize KU IT technology platforms and participate in required meetings or calls to ensure that priorities and progress are communicated regularly.


What type of equipment and technology will I be required to supply if working remotely?

Remote workers are required to have their own internet at a speed which is acceptable to support the technology requirements to conduct University business. The University will furnish an electronic device to all remote workers (i.e., laptop). Requests for other items should be discussed with your supervisor to determine if other equipment will be provided.


How should brief periods of remote work be addressed if the assignment is for less than two consecutive pay periods?

Intermittent or brief periods of remote work should be discussed in advance between the employee and supervisor. A HRM Work Location Request form does not need to be submitted for any activity that is continuing for less than two consecutive bi-weekly pay periods. Employees are to continue to report time and leave as appropriate regardless of the temporary assigned work location.


If I am asked to return to campus for a required in-person training or meeting, will I be reimbursed?
The University is not required to reimburse travel costs (i.e., airfare, mileage., hotel, per diem) of remote workers. If a unit does provide reimbursement, such benefit should be afforded to all employees in that designated work unit. Non-exempt, hourly employees are required to be paid if travel time is during the designated work hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act

 

Hybrid

What is a hybrid work arrangement?
A hybrid work arrangement is when the employee has an established work schedule to perform job duties from multiple primary worksites on a reoccurring basis: 1) on-site at the designated campus location and 2) at an alternate work location (likely the employee’s residence). Generally, one day or more per week should be assigned to work at each designated location noting that work schedules may be adjusted as needed between the supervisor and employee for specific unit and customer needs. The employee may or may not have a private or shared designated workspace on campus.

What is hoteling and how do I reserve a workspace for a temporary period of time?
Hoteling is when the employee is designated as a remote worker but will occasionally need to work on campus and does not have a specific, designated workspace. In this situation, workspace reservations may be required when the employee will be on campus. Details on how to make a reservation to be announced.

As a hybrid worker will I have a dedicated office space at my designated campus location?

Not necessarily, some areas may have designated spaces but may not be assigned to an individual. This will be dependent upon your job duties and space availability.


Remote employees may be required to return to the campus location for designated training, projects, etc. What steps should an employee take to ensure that they will have a space to work at upon arrival and avoid a parking violation?
Employees should work with their supervisor to determine an appropriate hoteling location and make a reservation prior to their arrival. Employees can purchase parking permits and can see the options available through the KU Parking portal.

 

Forms

What form do I use to change an official work assignment location?

The HRM Work Location Request form can be initiated by either the employee or supervisor if a change needs to be made to a work location designation. Work location changes require HRM’s approval and a 28-calendar day notice period.


Do I need to complete a form for a work schedule change?

No. Work schedule changes can be submitted by the supervisor in HR/Pay. An employee should be provided a 14-calendar day advance notice of any work schedule change.


Who updates the directory data, where is this done and why it is done?
Directory Data is to be maintained by the Employee in HR/Pay Self Service. (Supervisors also have access to update their employees). This data is used for space utilization, for state reporting and for validation of state taxation.
  • If the employee is hybrid or fully on campus their primary work address is to be their KU Building and Room.
  • If the employee is remote their primary work address is to be their State and if in Kansas their State and County.
    •  States outside of Kansas start with the Building Code of OTH-
    • Counties in Kansas start with the Building Code of KS-
    • Materials: Full List of Building Codes is located on the HRM website: Building Codes
  • If you do not find a building code or need assistance, please contact hrpay@ku.edu

When does a directory primary work address need to be updated in HR/Pay?
Primary work locations should be kept current if the location change is ‘Permanent”. Moving to a new location while repair work is being performed is not considered permanent. 

 

Equipment and Resources

Can I use a personal device when working remotely?

Employees with a remote work arrangement are required to have a University issued computer or other electronic device. Security and confidentiality of University records must be maintained, and electronic records must be stored in University-identified drives via secure remote access technology provided by KU Information Technology. For further information please refer to the Information Technology Security Policy. The supervisor should identify the employee’s equipment needs and coordinate acquisition of assigned equipment with their KU IT Technical Services Liaison.  


How do I handle sensitive and confidential data when working remotely?
The employee is required to follow all University policies and procedures regarding access to and destruction of sensitive or confidential data at any assigned work location. Employees are required to keep University-owned equipment and information secure at the work site. The stipulations for use of personal computers for University business is outlined in the Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources policy. 

What do I have to supply in the way of technology and/or equipment?
The unit is not required to reimburse or provide internet service to employees designated as fully remote or hybrid.  Employees in such work arrangements are required to have connectivity speed that supports meeting the required work and meeting assignments.  Employees located in areas that may have reduced internet options may discuss with their supervisor if the unit will help with related internet support such as an assigned hot spot. 

A unit is required to provide an electronic device (i.e., laptop) for remote workers.  For further information please refer to the Information Technology Security Policy. Although the University is not required to supply furniture or additional equipment for remote workers, the unit has discretion to make such purchases.  The University is not required to furnish or provide additional equipment for the remote work location beyond the designated computer requirements unless the designated item is approved by HRM as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Is there information from KU’s IT Security Office about working remotely?
Yes, there is helpful information on the IT website about policies as well as information about home internet connection, how to prepare in advance for technical help, connecting to KU, conferencing and privacy. 

I was designated a remote worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, however I have now been informed I will be returning to in-person.  Do I need to bring back my workstation, monitors, electronic equipment or furniture I took home during the pandemic?

Yes.  Employees returning to an in-person work assignment should work with their supervisor about equipment and property returns to campus.  Employees may be required to return items for use onsite.  


 

Training

Will there be training for remote workers and will it be mandatory?

HRM-Learning & Development staff will be providing mandatory virtual training for remote workers beginning summer 2021. Course descriptions and class times are available in MyTalent, www.mytalent.ku.edu. You can access them here:

Working Remotely – KU Staff 


Will there be training for supervisor of remote workers and will it be mandatory?
HRM-Learning & Development staff will be providing mandatory virtual training for supervisors of remote workers beginning in summer 2021. Course descriptions and class times are available in MyTalent, www.mytalent.ku.edu. You can access them here:

Supervising Remote Workers – KU Staff
 

Will there continue to be virtual trainings for remote workers?
Yes. HRM-Learning & Development staff will continue to provide virtual trainings via Zoom during the 2021-2022 school year. For the full suite of offerings, visit MyTalent, www.mytalent.ku.edu.  

Where can I find information about virtual trainings for remote workers?
First, visit MyTalent, www.mytalent.ku.edu for a full suite of offerings. Secondly, watch for HRM emails every quarter that list the professional development trainings. The emails are normally distributed to all staff in December, March, June, and September.  

Will remote workers still be able to access LinkedIn Learning courses in at mytalent.ku.edu?
Yes, the LinkedIn Learning courses at www.mytalent.ku.edu will continue to be available for free to all KU staff and faculty (remote or not) for the foreseeable future. 

Can remote workers attend staff trainings that occur on the Lawrence campus?
Speak with your supervisor regarding professional development opportunities and training requirements. 

Will hybrid assigned employees and their supervisors be required to take training?
At this time training for hybrid arrangements is not required but is encouraged for both employees and supervisors.  Please check www.mytalent.ku.edu for availability.  

My remote working status has always been 100% remote and was not as a result of the impact of COVID. Am I required to complete this training?  

Yes. The university wants to provide resources and information to all remote workers whether you have been remote for a while or are continuing remote beyond the pandemic. 


 

Supervisor

What steps are most important for a productive remote work arrangement?
When clearly outlined and executed, remote work can prove beneficial to both employees and managers. Managers should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. With proper planning, communication problems can be minimized.  

How do I manage a team effectively if all or a portion if the team is designated as remote? 
Because employee work designations are changing and teams may not all be in the same location, HRM recommends that employee and team goals be modified to reflect expectations about communication, priorities and project progress. Contact HRM for an individual consultation on goals and expectations, if needed.

Supervisors managing fully remote employees are required to attend the  Supervising Remote Workers – KU Staff training available in MyTalent. 


What items should I be considering if a fully remote worker is out-of-state?
KU is required to follow all employment laws for the state in which the employee is working.  This could result in different minimum wage thresholds, fringe related expenses, certain costs for hourly employees to return to the worksite for required training, etc.  Contact HRM for an individual consultation if needed. 

What are the key factors that should be considered when evaluating a remote work or flexible scheduling request?
The following factors should be evaluated by the supervisor and unit leadership: 
  • The remote work arrangements must not adversely affect the services provided to students, parents, employees, colleagues, or the public, whether those services are directly provided by the employee or by other unit members.  
  • The remote work arrangements must not be assigned if it adversely impacts productivity at the individual or unit level, or if the arrangement negatively impacts communications, collaborations, team-based environments, etc.  
  • Work schedules in different time zones will need to be considered and managed to ensure unit operations and services are not disrupted. Work schedules should be aligned with the Central Standard Time Zone when possible. 
  • A remote work location agreement is not intended to provide child, dependent, and family care, convalescing, or caring for an ill family member. The presence of children or other dependents, guests, or pets in the remote work location cannot disrupt the overall performance of work activities or negatively affect the productivity of the employee. 
  • Although a work schedule modification that is reflective of both the employee and employer needs might be possible, the focus of the arrangement must remain on the effective fulfillment of job responsibilities. 
  • The remote work arrangements should be analyzed to determine if the position duties can be performed in a remote environment.  
  • The employee’s prior/current work performance and conduct should be considered to determine whether the employee is likely to be successful in a remote work arrangement.  
  • The remote work arrangements should not create or increase a need for additional staffing or increase work hours of existing staff. 
  • The remote work arrangements should not create data security or other confidentiality risks that cannot be effectively mitigated. 
  • The remote work arrangements require supervisors to be able to effectively manage work hours and productivity. The supervisor should provide clear performance goals and expectations for the employee, and the employee’s work quality, quantity, and timeliness should be adequately monitored by the supervisor.  
  • Hourly (non-exempt) employees working over 40 hours during an assigned work week are eligible for compensatory time/overtime hours

 

Employees

Can my supervisor change my Remote Work Arrangement?  
Yes.  A supervisor may change a work location arrangement based upon operational needs of the unit and the position.  A notice of 28-calendar days must be provided in advance to the employee regarding a work location change unless an emergency necessitates otherwise, and the situation has been endorsed by the unit leadership and HRM.

Can my Remote Work or Flexible Work Schedule request be denied?

Yes.  Remote work and/or flexible schedule is not universal nor an entitlement.  The goal is to create a work arrangement that effectively balances the needs of the department and its employees.  These situations work best when they contribute positively to employee’s work/life balance, while not negatively impacting their productivity and availability.  Supervisors need to assess the impact of a flexible schedule or remote work arrangement on their department’s continuity of operations, customer service, and goals when making the decision. 


As a newly hired remote employee, how will my I-9 form be completed?
A member of the Shared Service Center team will reach out to you to coordinate a time to discuss the options available for the I-9 visual verification process if an in-person appointment is not possible.

The Work Location Request form request I submitted was denied by my supervisor without supporting information.  Who can I contact regarding my questions and concerns regarding this outcome?

It is recommended to begin discussions with your supervisor.  If that is not an available option, contact HRM directly at hrdept@ku.edu and a member of our team will schedule a time to meet with you directly.


If I am an hourly (non-exempt) employee, am I still eligible for compensatory time/overtime hours if I work remotely? 

Yes, hourly (non-exempt) employees working over 40 hours during an assigned work week are eligible for compensatory time/overtime hours.


How will taxes be calculated if I am working remotely outside the state of Kansas?
Employees will be subject to the applicable tax jurisdiction, zoning, and tax liability associated with the remote work location as determined by KU Financial Services (KU Payroll). Employees whose remote work arrangements are not within the state of Kansas will be subject to applicable laws related to employment conditions. Remote work arrangements outside of the United States are not allowed unless it is approved official travel. For more information please visit the KU Payroll webpage for out of state employees.

If my remote location changes, who do I need to notify? 
Fully remote employees approved for remote work arrangements are required to update primary work address information in HR/Pay. The employee must notify their supervisor and KU Payroll anytime there is a city and/or state location change to the primary work address. The employee and/or supervisor are responsible for accurately reporting and maintaining primary work address and directory building information in HR/Pay under Personal Information>KU Directory, which may include a different state or Kansas county location designation if the employee is not primarily working at a campus designated location. Hybrid employees will default to an on-campus location as their primary work location. Hybrid employees should still notify their supervisor of changes to their alternate work location address. 


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