Leadership must balance employees’ needs for flexibility with critical unit staffing requirements and the cost of administering overtime compensation. With some creativity and a keen eye on the Standard Practice Guide for overtime obligations or special premiums, there are opportunities when work can be scheduled with a mutual benefit.
For further information concerning flexibility in the workplace, refer to the Standard Practice Guides:
Flexible Work Schedules
Flexible schedules can reflect many different types of arrangements. Starting and stopping times can vary within a “core business hours” schedule when all employees in a unit are expected to be at work.
Flexible Work Schedule Example
Core business hours are 9:00 to 4:00. Some full-time employees have a choice within a two-hour period for starting work. The employee, with a 30-minute lunch break, could work from 7:00 to 3:30, 7:30 to 4:00, 8:00 to 4:30 or 8:30 to 5:00. If the lunch break were 60 minutes, time would be adjusted to accommodate the additional 30 minutes.
Swing Arrangement Example
An arrangement that provides the most flexibility for the employee but is somewhat more difficult to administer is called a swing arrangement. In a swing arrangement, the employee has discretion and flexibility around starting and stopping times by the day in order to accommodate personal obligations on the off hours. In this type of scheduling there must be agreement in advance regarding regular starting and stopping times.
Non-Traditional Work Weeks/Compressed Work Weeks
A compressed workweek is a standard workweek that is compressed into fewer than five days. One common schedule is four 10-hour schedules per week (4-10s). By scheduling 4-10s with staff working on different days per week (such as schedules that include Mondays or Fridays off), work that extends into the evening hours can be completed without the need for regular overtime coverage.
Other types of schedules can also be arranged, such as nine-hour days on Monday through Thursday and four hours on Friday. This schedule has been successfully managed in many units throughout the summer months to provide a longer weekend. Longer periods of coverage exist with this schedule for most of the week.
It is recommend that the workweek revert to the traditional five-day schedule during weeks that include holidays so the appropriate amount of holiday pay is calculated. It is also recommended that units inform employees in advance when a change to their schedule will occur.
If you have a need to schedule work later in the day and have down time earlier in the day, you could consider a split schedule. This type of schedule is a work day that is scheduled in two segments divided by a period exceeding one hour, where the second segment will be considered a new starting time. (See SPG 201.55.) You may need to provide a premium of $.70 per hour in this case.
Telecommuting from Home or Remote Locations
There are instances of formalized telecommuting arrangements at the university. Some employees work from a remote location on one or more days per week, some arrangements have employees telecommuting full time and some occasionally telecommute from time to time.
Telecommuting is not encouraged for non-exempt employees. Significant confidence and trust must exist between the manager and employee, along with careful assignment and documentation of actual working hours, for a telecommuting arrangement to succeed for a non-exempt employee.