Questions Your Boss May Be Considering In Approving Flexible Workplace Arrangements

While we know it is the boss’ responsibility to make managerial decisions in the best interest of the university, understanding the specifics of managements’ charge could help you and your co-workers make the case that your job is suitable for Flexible Workplace Arrangements, either seasonally or permanently.

Department heads are being asked to establish priorities, review existing dynamics, align expectations and follow-up regularly to implement successful Flexible Workplace Arrangements. Their instructions for the departments ( as detailed at FlexWork@RU Department Needs Assessment and Team Agreement (rutgers.edu) ) include the following and many other questions to consider:

  • What is the nature of the work (e.g., collaborative or individual)?
  • What are the specific hours of the day that the team needs to be available, either in person or virtually?
  • Which key events, such as weekly team meetings, do team members need to attend, either in person or virtually?
  • Which options would allow the team to deliver high performance and maximize flexibility?

Further, UHR provides instructions for department heads to determine the feasibility of Flexible Workplace Arrangements for new or vacant positions using a Flexible Work Arrangement Feasibility Assessment Feasibility Assessment (rutgers.edu) acknowledging the changing nature of work where remote work is more prevalent including:

  • Will offering flexible work arrangements decrease turnover and enhance the retention of existing employees within the Department or Unit?
  • Will flexible work arrangements increase engagement, productivity, and/or employee well-being?
  • Will flexible work arrangements result in cost savings and/or reduce overtime costs?
  • Does the flexible work arrangement enhance space utilization?

The University’s program guidelines also point to considerations of “Service Impact” (look under “Determining Eligibility” on bottom of page) when making the determination of what positions may be eligible for Flexible Work Arrangements

  1. Will the employee’s presence on-site/in the workplace impact the quality of services provided by this position to students, patients, or other relevant stakeholders?
  2. Will a flexible work arrangement provide for greater service through extended hours?
  3. How much regular, in-person interaction does the position require?
  4. How much of the work must be completed during regular business hours?
  5. Does the position provide services required to be performed on-site during emergencies to address the needs of the on-campus communities served?
See also  What Flexible Work Arrangement changes or improvements would you like to see implemented?

In making a request or initiating a discussion requesting Flexible Work Arrangements, whether seasonally or annually, keep in mind the overall criteria to justify the request. Arrangements can be reached based on the needs of the department, with the justification that the job responsibilities can be managed responsibly and efficiently remotely, or using compressed workweeks, while continuing to meet departmental needs.

Loop in your local steward or building rep and forward any written responses denying a Flexable Workplace Arrangement to union@ura-aft.org.