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Flexible Work - Getting Started

Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work arrangements can look differently based on the position, job duties and customers an employee supports. A flexible work arrangement might be a schedule modification, a change as to where the work is performed, or both.

Defining flexible Work

  • Fully Remote: An employee spends most, or all, of their working hours outside the traditional/assigned campus work location. Visits to the campus work location are infrequent but may be required occasionally for in-person activities (e.g., training, meetings, etc.). A fully remote worker may be located within the U.S. or District of Colombia however all state employment laws and tax requirements must be followed. When returning to the campus/designated work site, employees will be able to access/schedule “hoteling” locations for a temporary workspace.
  • Hybrid: Allows an employee to work a specific number of days of the week (generally one or more) outside of the on-campus worksite and the remainder of the hours at the assigned campus worksite. In a hybrid environment, supervisors and employees need to have a strong communication plan if the assigned work location does not have standardization each week. The employee may or may not have a designated on-campus individual workstation but is likely to have a designated work area
  • Flexible Schedule/Flextime: An arrangement where an employee works any approved schedule that does not adhere to the traditional assigned work schedule (e.g., Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). It may include varying the work hours, the days of the week, or both.

How to Decide if a Flexible Work Arrangement is Best

It is often difficult to know if a remote work arrangement will be successful in a post-pandemic work environment with units balancing the needs of an active residential campus with a highly engaged research community. When areas of uncertainty exist, utilize the Forms and Policy  information to begin to define and describe the specifics of the arrangement. Each position is different and will need to be assessed on an individualized basis. It is recommended that new or revised remote work assignments are piloted for a six-month period. During that period, communication is critical so that expectations are clear for everyone so that the arrangement can be discussed and modified accordingly.

Items to Consider When Proposing a Remote Work or Flexible Scheduling Arrangement

Employee

  • Is the change essential for success of the unit, customer, and employee?
  • Outline the benefits of the requested change to the supervisor, customer, and colleagues.
  • Anticipate challenges and provide suggestions or possible solutions.
  • Be open to feedback and changes to what is being proposed.
  • Be accountable for what is agreed to.
  • Communicate with your supervisor to ensure that the arrangement and your productivity are meeting expectations.
  • Discuss expectations of staying engaged and connected with customers and colleagues.
  • Regularly evaluate the arrangement with your supervisor and be open to implement adjustments.
  • Understand that a remote work arrangement may not be possible for all positions or in all locations as defined by University policy or the unit.

Supervisor

Review the position duties to determine if a remote work or flexible schedule arrangement would be beneficial to the unit and/or customer.

  • Work with the employee to address/anticipate challenges, obstacles, or problems.
  • Consider equity; do similar arrangements exist with other staff in a similar role?
  • Clearly communicate tasks, expectations, work schedules, and communication platforms.
  • Measure performance looking at job performance, productivity and behaviors.
  • Provide regular feedback.
  • Be willing to reverse or modify the plan if it is not serving the unit or customer needs.
  • Set expectations for procedures and guidelines for remote work and flexible work arrangements with all employees.
  • Develop an inclusive communication method for all employees which may mean using a technology platform so that all employees can participate.
  • Acquire approval from unit leadership for a change in a work location assignment or schedule.
  • Review the University policy to understand the limitations of the type of position and locations that qualify for remote work.
  • Contact hrdept@ku.edu for more information regarding work location sites outside of Kansas and Missouri.

Employees and supervisors are expected to discuss the needs and issues presented, working together to develop the best arrangement possible. If, following the discussion, a change to a work location is to go forward a HRM Work Location Request form must be completed for review and approval by Human Resource Management.


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