Given the changing demographics of the workforce and the increased competition for qualified employees, it has become increasingly important to find alternative ways to compete in today’s labor market. Alternate schedules and work from home arrangements can be a cost effective way to enhance the existing salary and benefit package, fulfill business needs, assist with recruitment and retention, improve productivity and creativity and accommodate a changing workforce.

  • Alternate schedules are a way of redesigning or restructuring work schedules so that the employee works daily hours different from regular office hours, or works a full schedule in fewer days.
  • To be eligible to work at home, employees must, among other things: (1) have portable job duties; (2) have a work site and equipment (telephone, internet, supplies, etc.) suitable for working at home; and (3) be able to work independently and productively.
  • Full-time employees are required to work a minimum of 40 hours per work week.
  • Alternate schedules and work from home arrangements are not an employee entitlement, and may be discontinued or altered by the appointing authority for any reason at any time.
  • Employees may be permitted to work alternate schedules at the discretion of the appointing authority. 

Types of Alternate Schedules

  • An employee works the same set hours each day, but his/her schedule varies from standard office hours. For example, an employee works 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in an office that is usually open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  •  An employee works different hours each day but must work during core business hours established by the supervisor. For example, where core business hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., an employee may work 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on one day and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on another day.
  • An employee works longer days in lieu of the typical 8 hours per day in order to work fewer total days. Three examples of a compressed workweek are:
    •  4/10 schedule - A full-time employee works ten hours per day for four days which results in completion of the 40 hour workweek.
    • 4 ½ day schedule - A full-time employee works four nine hour days and one four hour day within the standard workweek.
    • 9/80 schedule – A full-time employee works four nine hour days and one eight hour day in one week, and during the following week, works four nine hour days with one day off. For Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) purposes, the 9/80 schedule requires an adjustment of the defined workweek.

Advantages of an Alternate Schedule

Some benefits of an alternate work schedule may include:

  • Enhanced recruitment and retention
  • Improved morale, commitment and job satisfaction
  • Reduced stress through the ability to better balance work and personal responsibilities
  • Reduced absences and tardiness
  • Improved access to services through extended departmental work hours
  • Improved ability to schedule coverage for peak workloads
  • Additional office space options
  • Reduced congestion in traffic and parking lots
  • Potential for reduced environmental impact
  • Reduced transportation time and cost
  • Potential for uninterrupted work time

Considerations for Supervisors and Appointing Authorities

It is the responsibility of the supervisor and appointing authority to determine the suitability and type of alternate schedule. In reviewing the appropriateness of alternate schedules, supervisors and appointing authorities should consider the following:

  • Nature of work performed by the employee
  • Size of the work unit
  • Ability to ensure coverage for functions typically handled by the employee without placing undue burden on other employees in the unit
  • Establishing schedules based on customer service needs and peak workloads
  • Attendance at mandatory departmental and unit meetings
  • Consistency (to the extent possible) in determining which staff can participate in alternate schedules
  • Impact on employees whose positions are not appropriate for alternate work schedules
  • The employee’s overall performance (as demonstrated in the annual performance evaluation)
  • Supervisor/appointing authority’s ability to evaluate performance based upon results or outcomes (when possible)
  • The impact of FLSA overtime requirements on the employee's alternate schedule
  • Whether the employee is a supervisor or in a management position, in which case s/he may need to be available to his/her staff during core business hours 

Some positions, responsibilities and projects are more suitable for working from home than others and may be appropriate to maintain business continuity in the event of an emergency or as part of a flexible work arrangement. Also, responsibilities that do not require face-to-face interaction, require minimal supervision, involve the extensive use of computers and/or telephones, and have clearly defined and easily measurable tasks are more appropriate for a work at home arrangement. Appointing authorities must examine the distinct activities, functions and tasks to determine whether a work at home arrangement is appropriate.

Ongoing telework arrangements are not intended to be a substitute for family care. The employee should not have the primary responsibility of dependent care, or other responsibilities not ordinarily apart of his or her job duties during working hours. While a supervisor may choose to grant exceptions on a case-by-case or one-off basis, ongoing telework arrangements are not intended to be used in place of sick or annual leave.

Work Schedule

 As is required for the University worksite, the supervisor will establish the employee’s home work schedule; the employee will document all time worked and account for hours not worked with the appropriate leave designation (annual, sick, comp time, leave without pay, etc.) and, if eligible for overtime, must receive supervisor authorization prior to working overtime.

Work from Home Documentation

Supervisors may require the Work at Home Approval Form be completed prior to the start of formal work from home arrangement.

Equipment, supplies and telephone/data connection

University supplied equipment, software, data and supplies may be used only for official University business and must be returned to the University at the termination of work at home arrangement or upon request by the University. The employee is responsible for operating costs, home maintenance and any other cost associated with the use of the home as an alternate work location.

University information security and records management and retention policies that apply at the regular University worksite apply when the employee works from home.

Alternate Schedule Forms