Guidelines for Supervisors

Supervisors are key to the success of a flexible work arrangement (FWA) and are best positioned to assess which jobs and employees are suitable for flexible work arrangements. They should be prepared to manage the work under the conditions of the arrangement, and set and manage the expectations. Managing flexible work arrangements requires the same skills as managing everyday issues.

Assessing a flexible work arrangement

When supervisors receive a request for a flexible work arrangement, they need to consider all of the issues and implications of the arrangement and discuss them with the employees. This will help both the supervisors and the employees determine if their job, environment and/or work history are suitable for specific flexible work arrangements. Employees are encouraged to use the FWA worksheet, Thinking It Through, to guide the discussion.

Supervisors should think through potential challenges and ways to overcome these challenges before approving a flexible work arrangement. Supervisors may consult their HR Generalist for guidance.

Questions to consider:

1. Is a flexible work arrangement right for this position?

  • Do you have your own manager’s support with respect to implementing flexible work arrangements in their department?
  • Is it necessary for all staff members in a similar job or in a unit to work the exact same schedule?
  • Can the job be completed at hours outside the range of traditional work week hours?
  • Will the customers’ needs continue to be met?
  • Does the job include managing people?
  • What are the maximum number of staff members in the unit who can work on a flexible work arrangement before any work flow or productivity is impacted?
  • How will the performance be measured?
  • Can the job be done at a location outside of the office or regular workspace?
  • Is face to face interaction an important component of the work?
  • Does the job require access to specialized equipment or files?

2. Is a flexible work arrangement appropriate for this employee?

  • Is the employee highly motivated and can he/she work independently?
  • Will it be necessary to monitor arrivals and departures?
  • Has the employee demonstrated ability to solve problems without supervisor intervention?
  • Is the employee able to manage his/her own time?
  • Does the employee have access to the necessary equipment and systems?