Flexible Work Arrangements: Managers

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.

How to establish a flexible work arrangement

This chart can help you assess whether a position would be a good fit for a flexible work arrangement.

Assessing Positions for Flexible Work Arrangements

Use this chart to help assess whether a flexible work arrangement would be a good fit for a specific position. If any of the answers are “yes,” can a solution be worked out? If so, describe possible solution(s).

 

Yes

No

Solution

Do the job tasks require the employee to be at the workplace during regular work hours?

 

 

 

Is there any way in which the proposed work schedule changes could negatively affect our team?

 

 

 

Is there any way in which the proposed work schedule changes could negatively affect our department’s productivity?

 

 

 

Is there any way in which proposed work schedule changes could negatively affect customer service?

 

 

 

Is there any way in which the proposed work schedule changes could negatively affect your communication with myself or our team?

 

 

 

Is there any way in which the proposed work schedule changes could affect the job responsibilities or tasks?

 

 

 

Would these proposed changes make it more difficult for me to supervise the employee and their work?

 

 

 

Once the position is determined to be a good fit for a FWA, the employee and supervisor must complete the Flexible Work Arrangement/Work from Home Request. If an employee wishes to telework as part of a FWA, a Telecommuting Agreement must be completed and signed by the employee and the employee's supervisor.  This agreement must also have the approval of the employee's dean or director prior to the employee initiating a telecommuting arrangement. Teleworking must be in accordance with the HOP 5-2130 Telecommuting Policy.

Tips for managers

  • Look for the business case. Why is this good for your department and advantageous for the position?
  • Identify specific measures of productivity for this position.
  • Consider specifying how long a new employee must work for this department before being considered for a FWA.
  • Specify a trial period for implementing a FWA and a date for review.
  • Consult with the Employee Assistance Program, the Office of Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution, or Strategic Workforce Solutions.
  • Set clear expectations and guidelines, e.g., forward phones, respond to email in a set amount of time, come into the office if needed, etc.
  • Assess information security needs for the work to be performed.
  • Consider replacing old desktop computers with laptops; consider designating a laptop to be checked out by employees who are working remotely.
  • Consider the impact on communication, e.g., meetings, security concerns and availability for phone calls while teleworking. Consider information security needs as you choose a solution. Examples of solutions utilized by departments on campus include the following:

Relevant policies

Resources

The following offices can provide consultations on flexible work arrangements and provide tips on how to make a FWA successful.

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.