UToledo Human Resources

Flexible Work Arrangements

During the COVID-19 pandemic, The University of Toledo gained experience with flexible scheduling to manage our work safely. UToledo formalized flexible scheduling with a new Flexible Work policy, effective June 1, 2021. Previous remote work agreements expired on May 31, 2021.

In accordance with this policy, employees and leaders have the option to create flexible work arrangements that balance the operational demands of the University with the preferred work arrangements of staff and leaders.

The flexible work policy has no effect on workplace accommodations made under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act. Employees in need of workplace accommodations due to a disability or medical condition should complete the ADA Accommodations Request Form.

Flexible Work Policy

The university is open for business. Our employees are onsite and ready to service our students, patients, faculty, and staff in person as needed. The University also strives to find ways to improve upon employee engagement, enhance job satisfaction, empower leaders, all while finding ways to deliver exceptional service to our customers and meet university goals. Workplace flexibility helps us with this and provides a way to manage people, time, space, and workload. UToledo supports flexible work arrangements (FWAs) that achieve productivity, enhance positive employee relations, and that align with staffing objectives.

Management and/or non-bargaining unit salaried employees may request flexible work arrangements.

Read the Flexible Work Policy.

Flexible Work Arrangement Proposal Tool

All flexible work arrangements are approved at the sole discretion of the Associate Vice President or Dean in consultation with the Vice President. Not all flexible work arrangements will be approved.

A staff member can request a flexible work arrangement using the Flexible Work Arrangement Proposal Tool. Department leaders (supervisors, managers, directors, etc.) should work with their staff on proposed flexible work arrangements. The request must meet the needs, requirements and constraints of both the University and the staff member.

After obtaining supervisor approval, the staff member needs to complete the FWA Authorization Form to obtain formal authorization from the Associate Vice President or Dean.

The Department is responsible for maintaining all documentation for and monitoring of flexible work arrangements.

Responsibilities and Guidelines

Staff Member

  1. May request a flexible work arrangement (FWA). Understands FWAs are a privilege not an entitlement, right or a guarantee, and may end at any time, for any reason.
  2. Cooperates with management to identify and co-create flexible work solutions.
  3. Adapts to business need work schedule and locations.
  4. Maintains a safe work environment.
  5. Maintains safe computing procedures.
  6. Maintains high performance standards. Role models a successful FWA.
  7. Provides cell phone number and is available during the scheduled hours.
  8. Engages with IT for the installation of Cisco Jabber.
  9. Is devoted to job duties during regularly scheduled hours, and ensures there are no distractions with other non-work-related duties.
  10. Works directly with department leadership to resolve any concerns and uses the chain of communication to resolve conflicts.
  11. Is expected to maintain badges, parking passes, and other necessary items to efficiently access campus as needed.
  12. Is responsible for any tax implications for maintaining a home office.
  13. May not use FWAs as a means for caring for family members or in lieu of a leave of absence, vacation, or ADA.
  14. Must arrange for any personal equipment necessary to successfully have an FWA. If the employee needs additional at-home office equipment, i.e., phone line, printer, internet, office furniture, etc., the employee should be prepared to personally budget for those costs and be prepared to maintain the costs of any incidental maintenance, etc. This excludes normally issued work equipment such as a laptop.
  15. If the work cannot be successfully completed for any reason at home, FWA eligibility would not exist.
  16. Understands that schedule needs must work foremost for the University and that the schedule meets the needs of the Department, primarily. The Department will consider the needs and requests of the staff member.
  17. Understands the FWA may be revised or adjusted at any time with reasonable notice. Two business days is recommended.

AVP/Dean

  1. Should be proactive in leading the initiative to determine which jobs and which employees should be considered for remote work and flexible work arrangements. Messaging should be made to the department by the AVP on the expectations and further explanation of why decisions are being made.
  2. Determine when flexible work arrangements are feasible.
  3. Consult with staff members who request flexible work arrangements.
  4. Decides and documents feasibility of flexible work arrangement requests.
  5. Will triage questions from staff member and engage HR directly for guidance.
  6. Be consistent in the review process when approving or denying flexible work arrangements.
  7. Assure operations are effective and efficient.
  8. Assure performance standards are reviewed and communicated regularly. Assure there is a performance monitoring system in place for all FWAs.
  9. Make decision process as transparent as possible.
  10. Provides cell phone number to staff members and is accessible when called upon. Must install Jabber to facilitate communications.
  11. For 100% remote jobs, leaders understand they will be releasing the space previously occupied. These spaces will be repurposed through the office of the Sr. AVP of Facilities in collaboration with the Space Committee.
  12. Maintain documentation in local personnel files. No documents need to be sent to HR.
  13. Thinks critically about FWAs and considers (not exhaustive), employee performance, training needs of employee, supervisory needs of employee, employee independence, relationship building, team building, customer needs, employee tenure, etc.

Human Resources

  1. Consult with Leaders regarding flexible work arrangements.
  2. Runs a monthly report for SLT on flexible work arrangements.
  3. Owns the FWA policy, interprets policy, and advises constituents.

FAQs

  1. Are FWAs encouraged or discouraged?
    FWA (flexible work arrangements) are neither discouraged nor encouraged. They are simply “tools” for creative staffing arrangements, made available as options to leaders and staff to partner together to solve any number of staffing concerns. (arrive early/leave early, 4 10-hour days, onsite 3/offsite 2, 100% telecommute like Coders; seasonal flex such as during University shut-downs, etc.
  1. Are FWAs supposed to be blanket / across the enterprise arrangement?
    No. In most situations, the AVP/ Dean will be making individual FWAs. Notwithstanding, there will be cases where an entire group of workers in a particular job specialty will have blanket arrangements such as Coders.
  1. How will employees request an FWA?
    Employees will use the electronic form that was created when the remote work agreements were extended.
    Step 1. Employee will have a conversation with their Supervisor about the feasibility of a FWA.
    Step 2. Employee will complete the online FWA Proposal Tool documenting all FWA details.
    Step 3. Supervisor/Manager/Director will seek approval from AVP or Dean.
    Step 4. Once approval is granted, Employee will complete the automated form to officially initiate the FWA.
  1. Will Supervisors be permitted to extend current remote work agreements?
    No. Remote work agreements will sunset May 31, 2021. Instead, UToledo will have flexible work arrangements, and anyone currently on a remote work agreement will need to resubmit following the new FWA policy. This does not apply to people on an approved accommodation.
  1. There were equity concerns during the last year over remote work agreements. How can this be improved?
    Because of the equity issue, related to the variable treatment of remote work agreements, administration of the FWA policy is being escalated to the AVP/Dean level, to have more consistency. That said, the policy is not a one size fits all and there will be some variability. Leaders are going to have to be transparent, make decisions, and be prepared to defend their decisions.

    As well, please keep in mind that not all job responsibilities, and therefore, FWAs can be treated in an identical manner. What is good for one department may not work for the next, which may not work at UTMC, which may not work for the College of Law, or the Department of History, etc.
  1. What if multiple employees request FWAs and the department cannot accommodate all the requests?
    The AVP/Dean will have to make these decisions. The decision could be based on employee performance, training needs of employee, supervisory needs of employee, employee independence, relationship building, team building, customer needs, employee tenure, etc.
  1. What if, for any reason, the FWA is not working well?
    If, for any reason the FWA is not working well, it may be cancelled or revised at any time by the AVP or Dean.
  1. Can staff work overtime from an alternate location?
    No. There are no provisions ever for self-approved overtime.
  1. Can the employee on a FWA get reimbursed for home office expenses – internet, cell phone, utility bills, etc.?
    No.
  1. Will the University pay for parking for those on an FWA?
    No. Anyone on a FWA must pay for their parking.
  1. What happens if the AVP/Dean and the staff submitting the FWA cannot agree on the terms of the FWA?
    The FWA will not be approved. Until the AVP/Dean decides and approves the FWA there is no FWA. Human Resources will be available to consult with department leaders but under no circumstances will Human Resources be the arbiter or make any decisions on behalf of the Departments.
  1. Can the staff member grieve if unhappy with the results of an FWA proposal?
    No, because FWAs are approved at the discretion of the AVP or Dean, and because FWAs are considered temporal and flexible based on business need, the FWA is not considered grieveable.
  1. Are hourly staff available to work remote?
    No.
  1. I would like to work remotely one day a week, but I already signed up for the Voluntary Summer Reduced Hours program, can I do both?
    The AVP/Dean can decide if both will be allowed.
Last Updated: 5/19/21