Requests & Expectations
Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) are expected to enhance employees’ job performance and productivity, help employees balance work and personal commitments, and should be supported if departmental efficiency and service are not adversely affected, regular office hours to meet departmental needs are not curtailed, and undue burdens are not placed on other employees or supervisors.
Expectations by Arrangement Type
Compressed Work Schedule
- The most common concern raised about compressed work schedules involves emergencies or unplanned coverage needs that may occur on an employee’s “off” day. This should be addressed in an employee’s request and in any approval. An employee may commit to being available by phone or email on days off to respond to emergencies, or they may need to be flexible and revert back to the normal five-day schedule when other colleagues are absent for vacation or other reasons.
- Please note: Under Dartmouth’s Holiday Policy, hourly-paid employees receive holiday pay when a College holiday falls on a day when an employee would have otherwise been scheduled to work. For example, if an hourly-paid employee has a compressed work schedule of Tuesday through Friday each week instead of Monday through Friday, the employee will not receive holiday pay or an additional day off with pay for any College holiday that falls on a Monday. (Because salaried employees are paid the same rate of pay each month, their pay is not affected whether or not they work on a holiday.)
Flexible Start and End Times
- Federal and state laws somewhat limit the degree of flexibility hourly-paid employees have to schedule their work, particularly across different workweeks. In accordance with these laws, eligibility for overtime pay is based upon all compensable time within Dartmouth’s Sunday to Saturday workweek, including all hours worked and any benefit time taken (personal, vacation, etc.). For example, a weekly schedule that alternates between 48 hours one week followed by 32 the next week (80 hours per pay period) may not be feasible for hourly-paid employees, since the law requires that the 8 hours worked over 40 in the first week must be paid as overtime. See Overtime Policy. In all cases, all hours worked must be reported by non-exempt employees.
- Reducing hours (“full-time equivalency” or “FTE”) may have implications for an employee’s benefits and paid time off accruals. Based upon Dartmouth’s current medical credit formula, reducing hours below 37.5 hours per week may result in an increase to the employee’s share of the cost of medical coverage. Additionally, the amount of paid time off will be prorated based upon the reduced schedule. As with a compressed work schedule, if the reduced schedule includes not working on certain workdays, the employee will no longer receive holiday pay when a Dartmouth holiday falls on such a day.
- Another important factor to consider is that it may not be possible to return to full-time status in the future, as this would result in additional cost to the department at the time it occurs. If a reduction in hours is approved, the employee and supervisors should expect that a trial period may not be feasible, and this arrangement may well prove to be permanent, unless the department’s staffing needs change. A Payroll Authorization Form submitted through the department’s applicable Finance Center will be required for any reduction in time status/FTE.
- Please note that reductions in time in support of time away to care for yourself or others may fall under Family Medical Leave.
- If two employees sharing a job will have their own computers and workspaces, it may result in additional expenses incurred by the department. The job-sharing proposal should address these expenses with a plan to offset them or include a rationale for how the benefits of the arrangement outweigh the added costs.
- Since this arrangement involves two employees, the proposal should include contingency plans if certain issues arise in the partnership. For example, what will happen if one partner in the job-sharing arrangement leaves? How will time-off plans be coordinated? How will disagreements with the partner be handled?
- Like a reduced-hours arrangement, a job-sharing arrangement can be difficult to change or reverse once it is in place, and a trial period is normally not an option. If hours/time status are reduced, a Payroll Authorization Form is required.
- Remote work allows for work to be performed off-site, usually at the employee’s home, on a regular basis. Remote work is most appropriate for work that does not require the employee’s presence in the workplace, has clearly defined tasks, measurable work activity, and can be performed alone. Supervisors should expect accessibility to be similar to in-office employees. To be a good candidate for remote work, an employee should be a strong performer who does not require close supervision, and who is comfortable working in isolation from other employees. Remote work is not an alternative to childcare or elder care, or other non-work responsibilities that may inhibit productivity and performance.
Employee & Supervisor Considerations
- How will the employee and supervisor adapt to the flexible work arrangement?
- Define a timeline for milestones and/or goals that need to be met. Schedule regular meetings with employee and supervisor to discuss progress.
- How will the employee conduct work or participate in meetings and events that would customarily be conducted in person if they are working remotely or asynchronously?
- How will the supervisor ensure resource and visibility equity across a team of on-site, hybrid, and remote employees?
- How will a FWA affect the productivity of others who rely upon the employee?
- What will the work schedule be? Does the work require the employee to be available at specific times for phone calls, or to respond to instant messages and emails?
- What technology will be needed? What technology will the department provide, and why? How fast, reliable and secure is the remote connectivity to Dartmouth?
- How will confidential information be kept secure?
- If there are work documents at a remote location, what will happen if those documents are urgently needed at the office?
- If the employee is splitting time between working off-site and working in the office, can the office workspace be changed, moved, or repurposed when not in use?
- (if working remotely) How comfortable is the remote location as a workspace (furniture, temperature control, ventilation, ambient noise, distractions, ergonomics, etc.)? Does the remote workspace meet Dartmouth’s workspace safety requirements as outlined in the Suitable Workspace Checklist, found in the Remote/Hybrid work example agreement (pdf)?
- (if working remotely) Is there a need for additional homeowners or renters insurance coverage for a home office or for the technology that the employee owns? (Some basic insurance policies specifically exclude coverage of computers, smartphones, and tablets without a rider.)
- (if working remotely) Consider those who have workplace accommodations in place at the work site but may also need them at the non-Dartmouth location and where that responsibility lies.
- (if working remotely) Tax implications related to the off-site work area are the responsibility of the employee, who is advised to consult a tax professional.
Employees and supervisors should contact their HR Consultant at any time with questions about a flexible work arrangement request, its evaluation, or its implementation.