Overview of Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) are a business strategy that can help employers recruit and retain talented employees. Flexible work arrangements can lead to greater work-life balance, which in turn may lead to greater employee satisfaction, fewer unscheduled absences, increased retention, enhanced individual performance and increased business productivity.
Flexible work arrangements are a variation in where a job is performed (e.g., teleworking) or the time the work is performed (e.g., flexible schedule). The following are some examples of flexible work arrangements:
- Teleworking: routinely working one or more days per week at a location that is not the regularly assigned place of employment
- Flex-time: varying an employee’s schedule on a regular or non-regular basis while still completing the required 40 hours per week
- Compressed work week: working more hours on some days of the week to complete the required 40 hours/week in fewer than five 8-hour days
Flexible work arrangements, including teleworking, are permitted by UT Austin, as long as they are in the best interest of the University and will enhance the productivity of the employee, and followed according to University rules, procedures and policies.
Tips for proposing a FWA
- Make a business case to your supervisor. Why is this good for your department and advantageous for the position?
- Minimize focus on your personal situation; focus primarily on your position.
- Suggest a trial period; after this period reevaluate the agreement and make changes if necessary.
How to establish a flexible work arrangement
- First, use this chart to assess your current position to see if it is a good fit for a flexible work arrangement and utilize the helpful tips for establishing a flexible work arrangement with your manager.
- Once you have determined that your position is a good fit for a FWA, you must complete the Flexible Work Arrangement/Work from Home Form. In addition, if you wish to telework as part of your FWA, a Telecommuting Agreement must be completed and signed by you and your supervisor. You then must obtain the approval of your dean or director prior to the initiating a telecommuting arrangement. Teleworking must be in accordance with the HOP 5-2130 Telecommuting Policy.
Your responsibilities once a FWA is established
- Maintain a healthy and safe environment at your remote worksite.
- Do not let non-work-related events and activities interfere with your work; this includes using your scheduled work time to care for your dependents.
- Work with your supervisor to identify measures of productivity.
- Turn in weekly time reports and any other work hour records your supervisor requests.
- Get your supervisor’s approval for overtime and state compensatory time prior to earning it.
- Get your supervisor’s approval for time off.
The following offices can provide consultations on proposing a flexible work arrangement and provide tips on how to make a FWA successful.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP): 512-471-3366
- Office of Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution: 512-471-6638
- Strategic Workforce Solutions (SWS): 512-475-7200
The EAP, the HealthPoint Wellness Program and the Office of Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution gave a presentation at Staff Council about FWA. The presentation can be found here and starts at minute 20.