The University encourages the adoption of non-traditional work arrangements when they work to the advantage of both the employee and the unit. Adoption of a non-traditional work arrangement therefore requires the supervisor's and/or unit administrator's advance approval in writing, and is based on their determination that the arrangement will work for all concerned.
WHAT IS A NON-TRADITIONAL WORK ARRANGEMENT?
These are work schedules that deviate from the traditional "8-to-5" workday and Monday through Friday workweek that can accommodate employee preference or a unit's unique job requirements. Examples include telework (telecommuting), alternative work schedules, flexible work schedules, and reduced work schedules.
Telework (telecommuting) allows a staff member to use telecommunications and computer technology to regularly work from home or an alternative work site.
Alternative Work Schedules are anything other than five (5) consecutive equal length work days in a seven (7) day work week.
Flexible Work Schedules have the following characteristics:
A fixed, core block of work time during which the employee is always at work
A daily work start time that can vary within a specified range
A daily work end time that must be adjusted each day in accordance with that day's start time
Reduced Work Schedules are schedules based on an FTE of less than 40 hours/week.
AS AN EMPLOYEE, WHAT FACTORS SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN PROPOSING A NON-TRADITIONAL WORK ARRANGEMENT?
If you plan on proposing a non-traditional work arrangement, keep in mind that your supervisor will probably want to know how the arrangement will help you, and how it will meet the department’s needs as well. Consider the following points:
Does your position require regular interaction with coworkers or clients? If it does, how will your proposal address any concerns that might arise about your ability to meet these requirements?
Does your productivity, reliability, and overall work record demonstrate the ability to fulfill the terms of the proposed arrangement?
For teleworking arrangements:
Does your position require that you work with such confidential information as student records, personnel records or patient records? How can you perform your job duties and maintain the required data security and confidentiality?
Will your proposal require a computer, printer, or other equipment? Who will supply the equipment and be responsible for maintaining, upgrading, and supporting it?
Is your home computer secure? If not, there is a high probability that you could corrupt files or damage UW computers by spreading computer viruses or other malware.
Do you perform work that has critical deadlines that might be missed if you are working from home and your computer connection or electricity fails? If so, how will you ensure that critical deadlines can be met or tasks can be accomplished even if you experience a home computer problem?
Requests for non-traditional work arrangements must be made and approved in writing. Once adopted, non-traditional work arrangement may be revised or ended in the same way that other work schedule modifications would be made for the position.
Telework arrangements are for a prescribed time, are revocable at the employer’s discretion, and are subject to prior approval by the department head or as required by the school, college, administrative unit, etc. Telework arrangements must be confirmed in writing and signed by the employee and the authorizing supervisor before beginning the arrangement. Terms of the individual telework arrangement should be specified in writing, along with the Telework Plan and Agreement. Please also complete the UW Tacoma Telecommuting Agreement and send it to UWTHR.
Describe the type of arrangement you are requesting and the proposed weekly work schedule
Describe how your position’s job duties will be accomplished
Describe how the arrangement will benefit your work group, department, and/or organization (or at least, how it will not have a negative effect on the organization)
Describe your plans for communicating with coworkers and others and what kind of back-up for your work you think may be necessary in the event you are absent
Identify the proposed start date and how you suggest the success of the arrangement be evaluated (tasks completed, deadlines met, etc.)
Commit to being flexible and making adjustments to your proposal as necessary to ensure success
Tell your supervisor that you understand that the arrangement can be ended if your supervisor or manager determines that the arrangement is not working as desired.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS?
Working an alternative work schedule requires special attention to holiday-related leave accounting:
For a full-time employee a holiday is worth eight (8) hours. For part-time employees, the holiday hour value is pro rated based on the employee's percent of full time.
If a holiday falls on a day the employee is scheduled to work fewer hours than the value of the holiday, the employee receives holiday credit for the difference. The employee can arrange to use these holiday credit hours at a later date.
If a holiday falls on a day that the employee is scheduled to work more hours than the value of the holiday, the employee will "owe" the University the difference in time between the hour value of the holiday and the hours the employee was scheduled to work. These owed hours can be taken as leave without pay, made up the same week or otherwise accounted for by using appropriate accrued leave.
AS A SUPERVISOR, HOW CAN I MANAGE A NON-TRADITIONAL WORK ARRANGEMENT?
Establish a plan that ensures clear communication and accountability.
If the arrangement involves flexible hours or an alternative work location, specify the days and times when the employee will be on site for meetings and to communicate directly with other team members.
Review leave and record-keeping implications with the employee.
Before agreeing to long term proposal implementation, establish the arrangement on a pilot basis with a designated review period. During the pilot period, either the employee or supervisor can end the arrangement.
If an arrangement results in a reduction in the employee’s scheduled work hours, make sure that the employee understands that you cannot guarantee a return to the previous schedule outside of the trial period, should the employee request it.
Make sure all parties understand the terms of the arrangement, and that once the arrangement is implemented, its continuation depends on the arrangement's working effectively for the department.
Document all pertinent details of the arrangement, including work hours and schedule, performance plan with measurable outcomes, and a review schedule and provide the employee with a copy.
Any employee may submit a proposal, but not all jobs are suitable for a flexible work arrangement. Consider your job’s main functions and whether they can be fulfilled under the proposal.
A change in your current schedule, or a return to your previous schedule, may not always be possible. You would need to talk to your supervisor to request a different non-traditional work arrangement, or return to your original schedule.
The University is not obligated to provide non-traditional work arrangements. Each proposal is considered individually to determine if it can work successfully for you and your unit.
Supervisors may also assign a position to a non-traditional work arrangement to meet work requirements.
Non-traditional work arrangements must be documented and require advance approval in writing.