Flexible Work Guidelines

Flexible work arrangements can promote better work/life balance for employees and are intended to offer variations for the mutual benefit of the employee and the organization. These Flexible Work Guidelines outline options for supervisors and employees, provide tools and forms for assessing and implementing arrangements, and describe how flexible work arrangements align with certain University policies.

Flexible Work Options

The four most common forms of flexible work arrangements are described below. Human Resources recommends that arrangements intended to last longer than one week be described in a Flexible Work Agreement signed by the employee, supervisor, and responsible executive approver.

Flexible work schedules do not alter the authority or responsibility of executive approver to establish and change work schedules in order to accomplish the objectives and requirements of the department or organizational unit.

  • Telework
    Also known as telecommuting, remote work, virtual work, and mobile work, are the most commonly used terms to refer to work done outside the traditional on-site work environment. This term is defined in different ways and used in different contexts to refer to anything from jobs that are completely virtual or mobile to arrangements that enable an employee to work from home a few days per week or per month. Refer to the section on Telework Considerations for detailed information on implementing this type of arrangement. Please contact the appropriate office if you will be teleworking from another state.

  • Compressed workweek
    This form of flexible scheduling gives an employee the benefit of an extra day off by allowing the employee to finish the usual number of working hours in fewer days per workweek. The most common practice would be the “4/40 schedule,” where the employee works four 10-hour days with one day off each week.

  • Flex time
    This refers to allowing employees to adjust the arrival and departure times of their standard work schedule to meet their transportation or other work/life needs while maintaining an 8-hour work day. Flexible start/end times typically fall within core department operating hours (i.e., 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) and may not conflict with the department’s needs.

    Flex time also refers to a request for the employee to vary their normal daily work schedule. Typically, these requests involve time off on one day to be made up on another day within the same workweek; hours to be made up cannot be carried into another workweek. The University does not practice “comp time” (providing time off at a later date for overtime worked).

  • Job share
    Job sharing occurs when two or more people share one or more positions or set of duties. Before implementing, it should be clear how these arrangements affect pay, benefits, and holidays. It is very important that those in a job sharing arrangement work effectively as a team and communicate well.

Implementation

Flexible work arrangements are voluntary. They may be initiated by the employee or the supervisor and must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and the department/unit head (or designee). Participation in a flexible work arrangement may be terminated at any time by the supervisor or by the employee with the agreement of the supervisor. Generally, a two-week notice by either party is desirable. If the employee wishes to renew the agreement, the request is subject to review and approval by the employee’s supervisor and the department/unit head.

Forms and Tools

Employees and supervisors should meet to discuss flexible arrangements before putting them in place. Human Resources provides these optional forms and tools as resources to help employees and supervisors establish the most effective arrangement possible. Please consult your Human Resources representative if you have any questions about developing a flexible work arrangement.

Application of University Policies

All University policies, standards, procedures, practices, and instructions that apply to normal work settings and hours also apply in any flexible work arrangement. Failure to comply may result in the termination of the employee’s participation in the flexible work arrangement. Flexible work arrangements may be contingent upon acceptable performance standards.

Benefits, Overtime, and Leaves

Work hours, benefits, compensation, and leave scheduling while on a flexible work arrangement continue to be governed by applicable University policies (see Human Resources policies). Benefit status will not be affected by participation in a flexible work arrangement unless the number of regular hours worked decreases. Alterations to schedules as part of leave under FLMA are governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (VI.E.1) policy.

Requests to work overtime or use leave time must be approved, in writing, in advance by the employee’s supervisor. Purdue University must comply with the minimum wage, overtime, and record keeping laws as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Non-exempt staff will be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any single workweek. Paid time during which no work is performed (i.e., vacation, jury duty, sick leave, etc.), with the exception of University recognized holidays, will not be counted to determine eligibility for overtime pay.

Worker’s Compensation

Workers' compensation will apply only to injuries arising out of and in the course of employment as defined by the Indiana State Workers' Compensation Law. Caution: Purdue University is not responsible for injuries unrelated to work activities that might occur in the defined flexible work setting or elsewhere.

Telework Considerations

When setting up a telework arrangement, safety should be a primary concern. The Telework Safety, Workspace, and Data Security Checklist lists provisions that should be in place when establishing a home or other remote work station.

Employees and supervisors are strongly encouraged to fill out and sign the Flexible Work Agreement prior to establishing a telework arrangement. The document outlines several issues that the employee assumes responsibility for when teleworking, such as the security of equipment and data, the maintenance of personal equipment and furniture, the confidentiality of information, and tax liability.

Documents, Materials, Inventions, and Other Intellectual Property

Any inventions or written or recorded materials developed in the course of the employee’s employment at the designated workspace are subject to the provisions of the University’s policy on Intellectual Property (I.A.1), as amended or superseded.

Property Insurance

The University has an insurance program to insure its property. The insurance will not cover any personal property that is used at home. For more information, or to insure University property that will be used during a telework arrangement, contact the Department of Risk Management.

Data Security

If the employee uses a computer workstation owned by the employee or the University, s/he agrees to take reasonable steps to comply with Secure Purdue guidelines. Purdue recommends remote workstations connect to Purdue through the Virtual Private Network (VPN). To learn about data security and the VPN visit: www.purdue.edu/securepurdue.

Tax Liability

Any tax implications related to telework (i.e. home office deductions) are the responsibility of the telework employee. The employee should seek professional advice for any questions or concerns regarding tax issues.

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