Alternative Work Schedule Procedure

Untitled Document          I.  Introduction

Over the last few decades, many businesses and universities have instituted non-standard work schedule options for their employees. The use of non-standard work schedule options is a valuable employee benefit as long as customer needs are met. The Information Technology division recognizes the needs of our employees and would like to explain our intention to support alternative options. All non-standard work schedules must comply with the Weber State University Policy and Procedures Manual (PPM) and applicable State and Federal Laws (e.g., Fair Labor Standards Act, OSHA).

Information Technology will openly and positively consider all requests for non-standard work schedules. We will look for flexible and creative alternatives for meeting employee requests without compromising our division’s objectives and customer service. Unfortunately, not every job lends itself to alternative work schedules. Employees who request alternative work schedules are responsible for designing a workable program. Some positions may not be able to take full advantage of flexible work hours due to business needs.

  1. Alternative Work Schedule Options Include the following or a combination of the following:

Compressed Full-time (40 or more hours in less than 5 days)

    Compressed Full-time refers to working a 40 hour week within a shorter number of days. An example could be working four 10 hour days.

    Anyone requesting to work compressed time should understand that as professional staff, we are to work a minimum of 40 hours per week. Employees are expected to put in a full week of work and complete all work as assigned within the shortened week structure.

    A schedule for compressed Full-time should be decided with your supervisor. A compressed schedule will be reevaluated if work is not getting done or if customer needs are not being met. Core business hours for the IT Division should be considered as well as core hours of the customers supported by the employee.

Telecommuting (i.e., work at home)

    Telecommuting is a tool allowing for flexibility in work location. A telecommuter’s performance is measured by accomplishments, not work location. It does not change the basic terms and conditions of employment with the University. Telecommuting is not a substitute for primary child or home health care.

    Telecommuters are expected to adhere to University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures regarding security and confidentiality. Employees must use network access procedures established by the University. Any staff member with VPN access will install virus-protection software and will ensure that the virus definitions are kept current.

    The employee is responsible for maintaining telecommuting equipment. Employees are responsible for setting aside a home work space that is ergonomically sound, clean, safe and free of obstructions and hazardous materials. The home work space should be free of distractions.

Flexible Schedules (i.e., any work hours other than 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday)

    As the name implies, flexible schedules are flexible. The employee and supervisor will work out an acceptable schedule. The employee is responsible for adhering to the agreed schedule.

    Flexible schedules all have two things in common: core hours, during which you must be at work; and flexible times bands which are the times you can vary to arrive and depart from work. For example, rather than all employees working 7:30 to 4:30, some might work 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, and others 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

  1. Ad Hoc Alternative Work Schedule

Ad Hoc alternative work schedules recognize that infrequent situations arise where an employee without a formal Alternative Work agreement, may need a short term (e.g., one to two day) alternative work schedule. Ad Hoc alternative work schedule requests do not require an Alternative Work Schedule agreement however it does require prior manager approval. The employee must contact their manager for approval. The employee must adhere to the requirements and expectations outlined in this procedure.

  1. Process

The key to a successful non-standard work schedule is a well thought through design. The ‘customer impact’—both internal to Information Technology and external—must be addressed. Alternative work arrangements are a privilege permitted at management’s discretion. An employee’s alternative work schedule agreement may require review as University circumstances change.

To assist management in balancing customer’s needs with alternative work solutions, we have created the following process in order to maintain an effective and positive work environment for all.

The Information Technology Division and Weber State University are not obligated to provide funds for support of a non-standard schedule or telecommuting expenses.

PARTICIPATION: All Information Technology employees who have consistently met or exceeded the expectations of their position and:

    • Who have a full understanding of the operations of his/her department;
    • Who is able to establish priorities and has demonstrated effective time management habits;
    • Who can maintain a safe and ergonomically sound home work area, free from distractions;
    • Who have successfully completed their probationary periods;
    • Whose documented performance is satisfactory or whose performance rating on their last evaluation is at least satisfactory;
    • Who work effectively with minimal supervision;
    • Who is reachable by phone and instant messenger during assigned work hours.

Step 1:  Employee prepares a draft Alternative Work Schedule Agreement including rationale for a non-standard work schedule.  the rationale must demonstrate how the employee can fulfill all obligations of his or her position, as described in the job description.  In particular, the rationale should consider the following questions:

  • If the employee proposes to work form home, what communications technology will be in place to support data and voice communications on campus?
  • What interactions (meetings, consultations, informal questioning and problem solving) does the position entail and exactly how will these interactions occur under the proposed schedule?  Consider the following:
    • IT Division colleagues
    • Students, staff and faculty outside the Division
    • People external to the University (i.e., vendors)
  • What are the perceived risks of working from home?  What contingencies will be used to mitigate these risks?

Step 2:  Comments are solicited from staff within the department and other University staff who work regularly with the employee.

Step 3:  Manager reviews proposal with the employee.  The request is approved, denied or a request is made for revisions and further review.

Step 4:  Once approved, an Alternative Work Schedule Agreement (Appendix A) is signed and filed in the Vice President for Information Technology office.

Step 5:  Changes to previously approved alternate work schedule must be submitted and approved by this same process.

Step 6:  Each Alternate Work Schedule Agreement will be reviewed at least annually.

EXPECTATIONS OF EMPLOYEES:

  • Employee must be available via phone, instant messenger and e-mail during agreed upon work schedule. Office hones will be forwarded to cell phone or employee home phone.
  • Must remain flexible on their time out of the office in the case that a Division or Department meeting is called on regularly scheduled time off.
  • Managers may require employees to be on site as needed for work-related meetings or other events that may occur on a regularly scheduled telecommute day.
  • If employee misses a meeting they are responsible for contacting others for meeting information and potential assignments.
  • Must manage regularly scheduled hours on weeks where there is a University holiday. Holiday, sick time, and vacation will be prorated based on number of hours worked. Employees receive full-time holiday pay of 8 hours. A sick day must be reported as the number of hours scheduled for the missed day.
  • Must understand that this is a privilige, not a guarantee. If business needs change then an alternative work schedule will be reviewed.
  • Information Technolgy management reserves the right to terminate an alternative work schedule, for any reason.
  • Individual programs will be reviewed at least annually.
  • Telecommuters are expected to adhere to University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures regarding security and confidentiality.
  • Employees must use network access procedures established by the University.
  • Any staff member with VPN access will install virus-protection software and will ensure that the virus definitions are kept current.
  • Employees are responsible for setting aside a home work space that is ergonomically sound, clean, safe and free of obstructions and hazardous materials.
  • The home work space should be free of distractions and disruptions.
  • Telecommuters and employees with a compressed work week are responsible for submitting a bi-weekly report to their manager reviewing work competed, work in progress, work in their queue and issues or challenges hindering their progress in fulfilling their job requirements.

Apeals:

If an employee feels that their request was unjustly denied they may appeal to the Vice President of Information Technology.

Policy Number:  2010-7
Author:  Jean Fruth, Mark Green, Shelly Belflower, Gursharan Bakshi
Date Approved:  02/20/10
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