Guidelines for Employees

Employees who are interested in pursuing a flexible work arrangement should keep in mind that the arrangement depends on a partnership between a supervisor and an employee to ensure that the needs of both are being met. This will help the employee and the supervisor determine if the job, environment and/or work history are suitable for specific flexible work arrangements. Employees may consult their HR Generalists for guidance.

Considering a Flexible Work Arrangement

A preparation process is essential for employees who are proposing a Flexible Work Arrangement. While developing the proposal, it is suggested that you consider the questions listed below.

  • Can the job be done at hours outside the range of traditional work week hours?
  • Will the customers’ needs continue to be met?
  • Does the job include managing people?
  • How will the performance be measured?
  • Can the job be done at a location outside of the office or regular workspace?
  • Does the job require access to specialized equipment or files?
  • What are the differences in the schedule you are proposing from your current schedule, including your proposed work days, start and end times, hours of work, and location?
  • How might you enhance your performance in a flexible work arrangement through new and innovative ways of working?
  • What is the amount of your work that is portable/amount of face-to-face contact you require with people at the office?
  • What are the tasks or responsibilities you have that are unpredictable or variable?
  • What job elements must be accomplished to make clear to both you and your supervisor that your proposed flexible work arrangement is working well?
  • Are you a highly motivated employee and can work independently?
  • Have you demonstrated ability to solve problems without supervisor intervention?
  • Are you able to manage your own time?
  • Do you have access to the necessary equipment and systems?
  • Are operational and/or business needs and results being met?
  • Is the arrangement seamless to co-workers, customers and clients?
  • Are your goals and/or objectives being met?
  • Are you effectively communicating with your supervisor?

To request a Flexible Work Arrangement, an employee should meet with his or her supervisor. The employee is encouraged to use the FWA worksheet, Thinking It Through, to guide the discussion.

Following the request, the supervisor will review the FWA request, taking into consideration the operational needs of the department. The supervisor will be responsible for communicating a decision to approve or deny the request. If the request is approved, the supervisor and employee will devise an implementation plan. If a request for a flexible work arrangement is declined, the employee can appeal the decision to the appropriate dean or department head.

The details of the arrangement must be agreed upon by both the employee and the supervisor.

Employees with flexible work arrangements are more inclined to practice self-management, work productively, and experience improved morale. In order to achieve these results, special attention should be paid to the following:

Communication: All department employees should be kept informed of their colleagues’ flexible arrangement schedules. This calls for paying extra attention to communication for the first few weeks until everyone is familiar with any new arrangement. When an employee’s schedule changes, communication about the change should be constant and consistent. To avoid confusion and misunderstanding, work with your supervisor to communicate the change.

Availability: Employees working a flexible work arrangement may be expected to structure their work schedules so there are no disruptions to the departments’ operations. Your supervisor may establish core hours and alter meeting times for all employees.

Manage your results: Criteria for and measurements of success should be established at the beginning of the new arrangement. Employees are strongly encouraged to use the Yale Performance Management Tool. This will enable you to measure performance and results.