Button Menu

Staff Remote and Flexible Work Policy

(Faculty members at DePauw have flexible hours and are governed by the Academic Handbook; most instruction at DePauw is in-person.)  A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also available on the Human Resources website.

Summary

As a residential university centered on providing an exemplary student experience, DePauw prizes personalized interactions, collaboration, student support, and vibrant campus life arising from the in-person presence of faculty, staff, and students. Therefore, most jobs at DePauw require staff to be physically present. At the same time, the University recognizes and values that flexible alternatives to traditional work schedules can support the University’s mission and goals and can also be beneficial to staff and the University. DePauw also learned during the pandemic that there are many things we can do well utilizing technology. 

Providing creative work solutions that are of mutual benefit to staff and the University is integral to DePauw’s vision as a great place to live, learn, and work. Based on the needs of specific areas of operation, flexible work arrangements may be beneficial for:

  • Employee wellbeing by helping employees balance work and personal responsibilities; reducing stress; enhancing staff morale and job satisfaction; and easing the financial and time constraints of commuting.   

  • Diversity and Equity by increasing the diversity of hiring pools due to providing more flexible work arrangements; and providing financial relief to those who may be unable to afford nearby housing or for whom daily commuting would be a financial detriment.

  • Environmental sustainability by reducing automotive use and energy costs.

  • Productivity by reducing turnover, decreasing absences, providing opportunities to expand and adapt service hours, and by providing more flexibility to those who require it due to extenuating circumstances

  • Meeting other University goals for enhancing office space arrangements; work effectiveness; and greater use of technology as appropriate for services and work products that can be accomplished and/or delivered remotely.  

Most importantly, a flourishing campus environment depends on effectively managing work arrangements by considering the needs of both employees and the University without sacrificing individual or collective quality of services and work. Therefore, DePauw will pilot this Remote and Flexible Work Policy from November 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 to evaluate and determine its effectiveness, in anticipation of finalizing and adopting a more permanent policy.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide requirements, guidelines, and considerations to help supervisors and staff understand and implement Flexible Work Arrangements, where and when feasible, to maximize benefits and avoid potential issues. 

Types of Flexible Work Arrangements and Approvals

At DePauw, a Flexible Work Arrangement is an alternative arrangement or schedule to a typical work day or week. For consistency of service and support to students and colleagues, official administrative office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., when most department and program offices are required to be open.

Alternative Schedule Flexible Work Arrangements

The following arrangements may be approved by a staff member’s direct supervisor and do not require a written, signed agreement. When business operations permit, and the work of other team members is not compromised, the University encourages supervisors to accommodate staff in these instances:

  • Alternative Schedule: permits an employee’s regular work schedule to vary from official office hours, while still working the same number of required hours. For example: an employee whose normal schedule is 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. instead of 8:00 to 5:00 or another who typically works evenings or weekends. Supervisors should ensure the staff member’s well being in supporting alternative schedules (i.e., allow adequate time for lunch or breaks).   

  • Flexible/Temporary Arrangements: allow adjustments in schedule to offset the weekend and/or after-hours work necessary for some positions, or short-term adjustments for occasional instances necessary for a temporary circumstance (i.e., urgent situations, home appointments, etc.)

Remote and Hybrid Remote Work Arrangements

Remote work arrangements, also known as telecommuting or telework, involve working from a remote or satellite location either all or part of the time on a regular, defined basis. There are a few full-time remote roles at DePauw (primarily those who require work within a specified geographic region; those for whom the nature of their work can be effectively done remotely, and those whose work involves minimal student contact, or arrangements for work on an interim basis). Hybrid Remote arrangements are somewhat more common and allow staff to maintain in-person interaction with colleagues and students while working from a remote location part of the time.

Processes and Requirements for Remote and Hybrid Remote Arrangements

Key considerations:  

Not all positions are suitable for either full- or part-time remote work. All requests should be considered by supervisors on an individual basis, based on the unique, specific needs of each department and role. Note that: 

  • Although not every position at DePauw lends itself to remote work, many positions lend themselves to alternative or flexible/temporary schedules. 

  • Employees ideally suited to part- or full-time remote work should demonstrate consistently high job performance, dependability, and self-discipline, with no current disciplinary actions.

Requesting and Formalizing Agreements

Staff members who believe their duties and responsibilities can be successfully accomplished through a remote arrangement, and who are interested in exploring such an option, should speak with their supervisor, who will consider whether all or a portion of the position lends itself to working remotely and whether it may benefit the University, the department and the staff member.

If the direct supervisor determines that the request may be beneficial, an Agreement for Remote Work Arrangement that outlines the terms of the arrangement must be completed and forwarded to the divisional Vice President for consideration. If approved by the Vice President, the agreement will be reviewed by Human Resources and the final approved document will be signed by the employee to implement the remote work agreement. Approved agreements, following any probationary period, must be reviewed annually for re-approval consideration.

Hybrid remote arrangements during the pilot period generally should be no more than one day per week. Strategic geographic assignments or non-student-facing roles may be considered for remote status beyond one day per week at the discretion of divisional Vice Presidents, based on the unique operating needs of each area. 

Although any staff member may request a remote work arrangement, as noted above, not all such requests will be approved. Each request is reviewed on an individual basis and supervisors should consider the following factors for each:

  • The ability to conduct essential duties remotely with no impairment in productivity or the ability to meet University and job expectations.

  • The remote work arrangement does not negatively impact the workload or service delivery of other team members in the department or at the university

  • Whether the remote location is suitable for performing the assigned duties.

  •  Whether on-campus office coverage during official University business hours can be maintained without negatively impacting other colleagues.

  • The amount of work that requires face-to-face interaction with students, faculty, colleagues, and guests.

  • The overall work performance of the employee as determined by the supervisor and, retrospectively, from the employee performance evaluations.

  • Whether the request meets critical University goals such as increasing the use of shared office spaces and others. 

Requirements for Remote and Hybrid Remote Work Arrangements

  • Offices, departments, and divisions must not experience any reduction in services, especially student-facing services, or quality of work in implementing remote work arrangements.

  • Remote staff must have reliable internet and phone service, and a satisfactory workspace, maintained at their own expense (some employees, based on job requirements, may be provided a stipend for a cellular phone).

  • An initial in-person University orientation and a 90-day period of in-person employment is expected for all new employees (but may be waived in special circumstances, such as assignments to geographically remote locations).

  • Remote arrangements must be reviewed for effectiveness after the first three months and at least annually thereafter, based on parameters set by the divisional vice president, as part of the employee’s evaluation process; a remote staff member’s performance must meet or exceed job requirements.  

  • Remote staff must be readily available by telephone, chat, email, and/or other established communication methods during agreed-upon work hours.

  • Most home-office expenses associated with remote work are the responsibility of the staff member; the University will provide office furniture and equipment for those employees the University requires to work remotely.

  • Remote staff may be asked to share office space on the days or during the hours they are required to be on campus. 

  • Existing University policies regarding hours, attendance, and leave apply.

  • Other than for illness or unavoidable conflict, remote staff are expected to be present on campus for required meetings and specific days or events that are important in the life of the University, as appropriate for the position, – e.g., orientation, faculty/staff convocation, Reunion or Family Weekends – and should plan their remote work schedules accordingly.  

  • Remote work arrangements may be discontinued at the discretion of the supervisor, the divisional Vice President or the University at any time.

Work Space Accommodations, Computer Usage, and Security

A remote work environment, whether at home or another location, should be conducive to working effectively and without distractions. Home office furniture and supplies are the responsibility of the employee; however, the University may assist in arranging reasonable accommodations for disabilities, medical conditions, or other special or protected needs. 

The employee and department will work together to determine whether an employee has the appropriate equipment and access necessary to perform the job. In most cases, remote workers will be authorized to use DePauw computer equipment, which should be used exclusively to conduct DePauw University business. DePauw reserves the right to require that employees working remotely use DePauw supplied computers. It is recommended that staff use a University-approved laptop for ease of transportation. DePauw will not supply duplicate equipment for remote work spaces. DePauw does not provide assistance with the set-up of a remote office.  Use of computing equipment from remote locations must conform to DePauw’s Electronic Communications and Acceptable Use Policy. Staff members are responsible for using surge protectors and maintaining software updates and virus protection; the employee will incur costs for damages or repairs caused by failure to maintain and protect equipment. 

Security and confidentiality for remote staff are the same for all work locations. Restricted or confidential material should not be removed from the campus worksite unless approved in advance, and all technology policies must be followed.

Dependent Care 

Remote work arrangements are not a substitute for ongoing dependent or child care; staff must make or maintain such dependent care arrangements during agreed-upon work hours. It is understandable that unplanned dependent care issues may arise during regular work hours on occasion that require adaptation; in these situations, staff and supervisors should work together for a solution. 

Outside Business Interests

Staff participating in remote work should not perform unrelated or outside work – such as for a personal business – during DePauw’s agreed upon office hours.