For purposes of this policy, Remote Work Arrangements are defined as work arrangements in which some or all of the employee’s responsibilities are routinely performed at a place other than their regularly assigned work location, i.e., from home. It is the policy of the state universities, in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with this policy, to authorize administrators within the APA bargaining unit to participate in remote work arrangements.
II. General Provisions
A Remote Work Arrangement does not change the nature of the work the administrator is expected to perform or the hours an administrator is expected to work. Moreover, approval for a Remote Work Arrangement does not change the terms and conditions of employment and shall have no impact on an administrator’s classification, compensation structure or benefits.
Administrators are required to comply with the policies, procedures and practices of the university while participating in a Remote Work Arrangement, including the obligation to safeguard confidential information and/or university data and protect against its unauthorized disclosure, access or destruction. A Remote Work Arrangement is not a replacement for dependent care and is not intended to be used in place of vacation, sick, personal or other types of leave. Administrators are expected to request leave in accordance with university policy when they are unable to work during an assigned Remote Work Arrangement.
Administrators are expected to maintain a safe working environment while working remotely. Administrators are responsible for ensuring that they have the appropriate work environment for a Remote Work Arrangement, including, but not limited to, adequate internet connectivity, sufficient technology, and an ergonomically appropriate and safe workspace. Administrators are solely responsible for all operating costs, furniture, home maintenance, and incidental costs (e.g. internet provider and utilities) associated with the administrator’s remote worksite. The University has sole discretion to determine the appropriateness of hardware and software used by its employees who are working remotely, and may require and/or provide specific equipment and/or software to ensure compliance with University standards and policies. The university is not liable for any damages to an administrator’s property that results from a Remote Work Arrangement.
Administrators who participate in a Remote Work Arrangement are considered to be in an official duty status during the administrator’s designated work schedule. As such, administrators are subject to applicable Workers’ Compensation laws if injured in the performance of their duties and are required to immediately report work-related injuries to Human Resources.
Not all positions are appropriate for a Remote Work Arrangement. Factors considered in determining whether a Remote Work Arrangement may be appropriate are: the nature of the work performed by the position; the efficiency of work processes; the impact on operations; and the administrator’s ability to maintain productivity with limited supervision.
Eligibility to participate in a Remote Work Arrangement is at the sole discretion of an administrator’s area supervisor and/or divisional vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer.
A Remote Work Arrangement may be requested by an administrator or initiated by the administrator’s area supervisor and/or divisional vice president and/or Chief Human Resources Officer in consultation with the administrator.
In order to be approved for a Remote Work Arrangement, administrators must submit a Remote Work Arrangement Proposal, which will be reviewed and is subject to approval by the area supervisor and/or divisional vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer. A Remote Work Arrangement Proposal shall include a current job description, the days and hours the administrator is requesting to work remotely, the duties and tasks to be performed remotely, the method(s) of performing such duties and tasks, a description of the available connectivity and equipment at the remote location and a description of the technological support the administrator is requesting, if any. The area supervisor, divisional vice president and/or Chief Human Resources Officer may request, in their discretion, additional information from an administrator in reviewing a request to work remotely.
The Remote Work Arrangement Plan shall be submitted to the area supervisor for initial review and approval, and then to the divisional vice president for review and approval. If a Remote Work Arrangement Proposal is approved by the area supervisor and divisional vice president, the area supervisor shall submit the Remote Work Arrangement Proposal to the Chief Human Resources Officer for final review and approval. Human Resources will endeavor to inform the administrator of a decision regarding the request for a remote work arrangement within thirty (30) days of the request. An approved Remote Work Arrangement shall be documented in the administrator’s personnel file. In the event a request for a Remote Work Arrangement is denied, Human Resources shall explain the reasons the request was denied.
Denial of any request for a Remote Work Arrangement, changes to an authorized Remote Work Arrangement or cessation of an authorized Remote Work Arrangement shall not be subject to the grievance and arbitration process.
Changes, Modifications and Termination
All Remote Work Arrangements shall be reviewed regularly on a schedule to be determined by the area supervisor and/or divisional vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer.
An administrator may request a change, suspension or termination of a Remote Work Arrangement at any time. Any requested change to a Remote Work Arrangement shall be made in writing and subject to the aforementioned approval process.
The area supervisor, divisional vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer each has the authority to cancel a Remote Work Arrangement at any time and for any reason. To the extent practicable, an administrator shall be provided with ten (10) business days advance notice of any such cancellation unless the Arrangement is terminated due to concerns regarding performance, productivity or the employee’s conduct.
Any change, modification or termination of a Remote Work Arrangement shall be documented in an administrator’s personnel file.
IV. Employee and Supervisor Expectations
- Administrators shall maintain established performance standards while working remotely.
- Administrators shall comply with all policies, procedures and practices of the university while working remotely, including the safeguarding of confidential information and university data.
- Administrators shall ensure that the alternative worksite is an appropriate and safe work environment.
- Administrators shall maintain effective communication with the area supervisor and colleagues and shall timely respond to all inquiries while working remotely.
- Administrators shall be available for participation in university, division, department and/or office meetings, whether participation is in person or remote.
- Administrators shall be readily accessible by email and telephone during their scheduled hours of work. Administrators are required to provide their area supervisor with a current home telephone number and/or cell phone number, whichever will be routinely available for incoming calls during the workday.
- Upon request, administrators shall provide their area supervisor with a summary of the work performed remotely, in a reasonable manner and frequency as determined by the area supervisor, and shall demonstrate the work completed through the report modality and frequency determined by the supervisor, such as weekly virtual meetings, e-mail summaries, telephone conferences, etc.
- At the discretion of the University, administrators working remotely will not be excused from working because employees at their regular work location are dismissed due to an emergency.
- The operational needs of the university, division, department or office, including staff meetings, may require that an administrator report to the workplace on a day approved to work remotely.
- Supervisors shall discuss with administrators clear expectations and measurable tasks to be performed while working remotely.
- Supervisors shall request regular updates from administrators on work performed while working remotely to ensure continued productivity.
- Supervisors shall maintain ongoing and effective communication with administrators on days of remote working.
- To the extent possible, supervisors shall provide administrators with advance notice when operational needs demand that administrators report to the workplace on a day on which they are scheduled to work remotely.
- Supervisors shall ensure adherence to the policies, procedures and practices of the university, including all time and attendance policies.
- Supervisors shall regularly assess Remote Working Arrangements to ensure that the continuation of such arrangements is productive, effective and in the best interest of the university.