FlexPlace Frequently Asked Questions
FlexPlace arrangements at the University generally fall into one of four categories.
- Fully on-campus. These positions require a physical presence on campus to perform their work.
- Hybrid (steady schedule). These positions maintain a consistent balance of on-campus and remote work throughout the year.
- Hybrid (tailored/seasonal). These positions have schedules that fluctuate based on the nature of their work and the time of the year.
- Largely remote. These positions only work on campus occasionally and such arrangements require advance approval based on unique aspects of the work.
Occasional or ad hoc requests to work from an off-campus location are generally not considered hybrid or largely remote work arrangements. The availability and appropriateness of remote and hybrid work arrangements are determined by management and dictated by (1) the nature of the function/work performed; (2) operational needs and (3) classification-specific contract or policy terms.
FlexPlace arrangements for managerial, professional, or excluded staff members are governed by university policy. Largely remote work arrangements for managers, professionals and excluded staff members are subject to the university ‘s Remote Work Policy and Procedures. Hybrid work arrangements for managers, professionals and excluded staff members are governed by the university’s Hybrid Work Policy and Procedures.
Remote work arrangements for Local 34 staff members are governed by the university’s negotiated agreement with Local 34. The university and Local 34 are currently negotiating terms and conditions of hybrid work arrangements. Work units that are allowing Local 34 staff members to work in a hybrid arrangement can continue to do so under their current practices pending final outcome of the negotiations.
Full-time and part-time staff and temps are eligible for FlexPlace work location arrangements depending on the operational needs of the department. The university and UNITE-HERE Local 34 have negotiated an agreement that applies to largely remote work for Local 34 staff members. Negotiations regarding the terms and conditions for hybrid work are on-going. In the interim, leaders and managers in departments and work units can assess operational needs and may continue any hybrid work arrangements that they have adopted for their employees.
Transparent and proactive communication about FlexPlace work locations is essential and expected. Any staff member wishing to work at a location outside the State of Connecticut at least one day per week on an on-going basis must notify their manager before doing so. A staff member can then work from a location outside of Connecticut on their off-site days if that location is in a state on the university’s approved list. If the state is not on the approved list, and the staff member plans on regularly working from alternate location, they will have to submit a request to the Out-of-State Work Location Committee for review. Similarly, any change in off-campus work location to another state subsequent to initial approval must be shared prior to relocation. The employee should also consult with a tax advisor regarding appropriate tax withholdings based on their home and work locations.
The approval process depends on the nature of the FlexPlace work arrangement. Largely remote work arrangements are subject to the university’s Remote Work Policy and Procedures and require HR approval. Hybrid work arrangements are governed by the university’s Hybrid Work Policy and Procedures. Hybrid work arrangements fall within the judgment, discretion and control of the work unit/department leadership and management. Occasional or ad hoc requests to work from an off-campus location are generally not considered hybrid or largely remote work arrangements fall within the sole discretion of the manager.
A manager’s approach to FlexPlace work arrangements should be grounded in (1) the nature of the function/work performed; (2) operational needs and (3) classification-specific contract or policy terms. Such arrangements should be conceived and implemented with the University’s commitment to “excellence with flexibility” in mind and consistent with the Guiding Principles for Yale’s Approach to Workplace Flexibility.
Local 34 Bargaining Unit Staff
Largely remote work arrangements are dictated by the negotiated agreement and are approved on a “position” basis; largely remote work arrangements for Local 34 bargaining unit positions are not designated and approved on an individual staff member basis. The terms and conditions for hybrid work arrangements are the subject of on-going negotiations between the university and Local 34. In the interim, work units that offer hybrid work arrangements—whether steady schedule or tailored/seasonal— to Local 34 staff member, should be guided by the operational needs of the unit, the nature of the position in an objectively and fair manner, without bias or favoritism. Differences in hybrid work opportunities should be operationally justifiable.
Managerial, Professional and Excluded Staff Member
Under the university’s Remote Work Policy, largely remote work arrangements can be assessed by the unit and approved by Human Resources on a position/work unit or individual basis. The suitability of a hybrid work arrangement—whether steady schedule or tailored/seasonal—should be assessed in the first instance by the nature of the position and the work performed. Distinctions in treatment between positions or staff members should be based on the operational needs of the unit, the nature of the position and must be objectively and fairly implemented without bias or favoritism. Your Human Resources Generalist should be consulted and can be helpful in conducting a review of your organization.
The level of formality and detail of the of documentation depends on the nature of the work arrangement and the staff member classification.
For Managerial/Professional and Excluded Staff Member
A largely remote work arrangement is subject to Human Resources’ approval and the terms of the remote work arrangement should be documented to the particular staff member. A formal remote work agreement or contract is unnecessary and is not recommended, but the terms, conditions and expectations should be memorialized in a written communication to the affected staff member. If there is a group working on a largely remote basis under uniform terms and conditions, one detailed communication to the work group would be sufficient. HR has provided a template for memorializing Remote Work Arrangements that might be helpful in crafting this documentation, but some customization is necessary. Units are encouraged to work with their HR Generalists to finalize their customized communications.
The expectations and details associated with hybrid work arrangements should be documented but would generally be more informally memorialized and less individualized than the documentation for largely remote work arrangements. While the “best practice” would be to document expectations and approach, the appropriate form for that documentation falls to the work unit’s judgment and discretion. Work unit options could include an “all staff” email which outlines the unit’s approach to hybrid work, including cadence, scheduling, etc. HR has drafted a template to assist units with these communications. Units are encouraged to work with their HR Generalists to finalize their customized communications.
For Local 34 Staff Members
Remote and hybrid work arrangements for Local 34 staff members are dictated by the negotiated agreement and supplemental documentation should be focused only on department-specific operational expectations.
Leaders and managers should assess the feasibility and effectiveness of FlexPlace arrangements in their units on an on-going basis and promptly address any challenges or issues that arise. These could be tied to an individual staff member’s performance (productivity, accountability, accessibility) or relate to the delivery of service (operational changes warranting a change in days on campus, etc.,). Even if things are going smoothly, it is recommended that the leadership team reflect on and assess the arrangements and potential operational changes no less than every 6 months. This planful approach will allow the management team to identify potential triggers that could necessitate changes to on-campus cadence or scheduling and allow for ample time for discussion and problem solving to avoid unnecessary disruption to staff. Note that changes to Local 34 bargaining unit staff work schedules or remote work arrangements are subject to negotiated agreements with Local 34 so reach out to your HR Generalist to engage university Labor Relations in these matters.
Please note the following procedures for Local 34 staff members and managerial, professional, and excluded staff member:
Local 34 Staff Members
Modifications to a largely remote work arrangement for a Local 34 Staff member are governed by the negotiated agreement and the work unit should consult with the HR Generalist and university Labor Relations before implementing changes. Pending the conclusion of negotiations, the terms of hybrid work arrangements for Local 34 staff members are dictated by the work unit manager/leader. That said, changes in hybrid work arrangements (i.e., eligibility for hybrid work, on-campus scheduled days, or on-campus cadence) should be noticed and implemented with labor-management best practices in mind to allow affected staff members to make necessary adjustments for the changes. Changes to existing hybrid work arrangements could prompt the need for employee participation meetings or trigger other notice requirements under the Local 34 contract. Please consult with the HR Generalist to formulate the best approach.
Managerial, Professional and Excluded Staff Member
The unit has the right to modify or discontinue any largely remote or hybrid work arrangement, but such changes should be objectively and operationally based, with reasonable notice. For largely remote work arrangements, the department will be asked to commit to a notification period as part of the approval process, but employees working in such arrangements may be required to report to campus with minimum notice in the event of an emergency. With reasonable notice, a work unit may revoke a hybrid work arrangement or require employees to report on a different schedule or cadence. A work unit must define the “reasonable notice” that will be provided but can depart from that notice requirement in the event of an operational emergency.
For largely remote work arrangements, the department will be asked to commit to a notification period as part of the approval process. The university retains the right to depart from that notification period in emergency circumstances.
The lead administrator of a work unit that is seeking approval for a fully remote function affecting a group of positions should, as a matter of professional courtesy, notify the lead administrator of any units where it is co-located. Where a function might reside within a particular department or work unit but there is centralized reporting or control (HR, Finance, IT, etc.) the department leader or their designee, should notify the leader of the centralized function of their intention to seek approval for the remote designated function.
Hybrid (steady) positions maintain a consistent balance of on-campus and remote work throughout the year. Hybrid work schedules should target an on-campus presence consistent with the minimum on-campus cadence established by the Vice President, Human Resources or their designee. Depending on the nature of the covered staff member’s hybrid work schedule and operational needs and as deemed appropriate by the appropriate executive unit leader or their designee, this on-campus cadence can be satisfied on a weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis.
For staff working hybrid, space management is the responsibility and discretion of the work unit. On-campus space should be assigned to staff members per availability and space constraints. Staff members should expect shared on campus workspace if working on campus less than three days a week.
For staff working largely remote, space management and discretion of the work unit. Designated, assigned office space is generally not available. Shared on-campus space should be available and appropriately configured for those requested to report to campus.
The University provides guidance on a minimum recommended set-up, but departments maintain discretion to provide less or more. Departments should consult the following procedures:
- 5001 PR.01 Hybrid Work Expectations and Implementation and Procedure
- 5002 PR.01 Remote Work Expectations and Implementation
- University Financial and Resource Support for FlexPlace Arrangements for Managerial and Professional and Excluded Staff Member.
Please note that these same terms for IT equipment apply to Local 34 staff under the Local 34 agreements.
Staff members working in Hybrid Work Arrangements (whether Local 34 C&Ts, Managerial and Professional or Excluded Staff members) are not entitled to reimbursement for travel to campus.
For Largely Remote Work Arrangements, managerial and professional staff members who are largely remote are eligible for reimbursement for travel to campus if their approved off-campus work location is more than 100 miles (one way) from New Haven. This rule also applies to excluded staff members, unless they are working on a largely remote basis from Massachusetts. Under Massachusetts law, hourly staff working on a largely remote basis from Massachusetts would be entitled to travel reimbursement regardless of their distance from New Haven.