Please see the Human Resources "Working through COVID-19" website for guidelines specific to Governor Eric Holcomb’s “stay-at-home order” effective March 25 through April 2, 2020.

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.

Human Resources has created these Flexible Work Guidelines to 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 arrangements are agreed upon by the employee and their supervisor (and department leadership if applicable).

HR does not require an approved copy of the agreement, but is available to provide assistance if needed at hr@purdue.edu or 765-494-2222.

Tips when considering a Flexible Work (Telework) Agreement

Many teams are utilizing telework more and more; therefore, departments may want to implement some or all of the following tips:

  1. Consider implementing a telework task force. If the number of employees within in your team is quite high, you might want to create and utilize a task force to manage telework protocols and procedures for your team.
  2. Create a communication and accountability plan. Having these types of plans in place will help ensure business continues as close to normally as possible. Identify if there are routine responsibilities that cannot be fulfilled while working remotely and assess how that would impact the role of the team. Outline and plan ways to help reduce the impact that would have on others.
  3. Communicate with and engage the team. For a team to successfully telework, each member needs to embrace technology and proactive communication in ways that might be different from traditional, in-office methods of working together. Managers can support the success of their team by:
    • Have a team discussion about what it would look like for the team to begin working remotely.
    • Identify and prioritize technology needs and resource accessibility of team members for remote work.
    • Document and share telework practices/policies/plans.
  4. Enable and encourage ongoing communication. Ongoing communication is vital for a team to be able to effectively and efficiently telework remotely. Outlining expectations that the entire team will to check-in and communicate with each other will help the team members continue to feel connected and valued.
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. Note: The “Flexible Work Agreement” form is optional and should be used internally between employee, supervisor and department leadership if applicable.

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.

Options

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.

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.

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 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.

Forms, Tools and Checklist

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. The forms are not required nor intended for Human Resources use; they are to be used by the employee and their supervisor.

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.

Application of University Policies

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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