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Flexible Work Options

Flexible Work Options are a valuable tool for supporting employee efforts to balance the demands of work and personal life. They can promote productivity and balance by offering creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments such as using non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures. Outcomes are based on the staff member's achievement of results and use of competencies critical to achieving those results. Except in the case of conversion from full-time to a less-than-full time schedule, such as for a part-time assignment or job share, the total numbers of hours worked and expected productivity remain the same. The following is GSE’s policy and procedures for flexible work options.

**Please note: flexible work arrangements may not be not available for all staff and are reviewed on a case by case basis. Requests are subject to the manager's and GSE HR's approval and are evaluated against the department/program's needs. 

**Relocation/Remote Work: before relocating, please read the University announcement at the end of this document.**

Process

  1. Review the available flexible work practices below and decide which option meets your need.
  2. Submit a request, in writing, to your manager that includes:
    1. Reason for the request
    2. Details of the request (which days of the week, hours, etc.)
    3. Duration of time (not to exceed 6 months)
    4. Any details about how the workload can be managed and disruption to business needs are minimized
  1. Managers must review the request and send their approval/denial to the Chief People Officer, Emma Grigore, for final review
  2. The CPO will review and provide an approval/denial, in writing, to the employee and manager. If approved, the letter will clearly state the terms of the arrangement and that continuation is contingent upon favorable review of the situation and business needs that support the arrangement. It will also state that the arrangement can be terminated at any time, and for any or no reason, by the manger.

Flextime

Flextime is the most common option used by employers and employees. Flextime is defined as flexibility in start and end of the workday. There is a designated core time during the workday that all staff must be present. GSE’s policy is that all offices must have at least minimum staff present during normal business hours, 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Typical start and end times for a 35-hour week under flexible work times are:

  • 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

It is not recommended that employees skip lunch and leave an hour early.

Flexplace

Flexplace allows an employee to work offsite on a regular, recurring basis. The majority of work time is spent at the office and the off-site work is typically done from home. For example, an employee may work at home one day a week and in the office the remaining four days.

A manager should answer the following questions before considering flexplace:

  • Does the employee have the technology and a hazard free work space at home to do the job?
  • Does the employee have the type of duties/responsibilities that can be carried out at home?
  • Does the employee need supervision while conducting his/her job?
  • Does the employee’s work history support such an arrangement?
  • How can I measure the results of the employee’s work from home?
  • Is the employee’s presence needed in the office for support?
  • Does it make good business sense to allow this employee to work from home part of the time?

Compressed Work Schedule

A compressed work schedule condenses a traditional 35-40 hour, five day work week into fewer than five days, usually four. The work day becomes longer, but the work week becomes shorter. A department head/manager cannot agree to an employee’s request without first securing the approval from Emma Grigore. The employee’s requests and final approval must be done in writing. This arrangement must be reviewed every 6 months.

Manager’s Role

Managers are responsible for reviewing flexible work proposals on a case-by-case basis by evaluating the individual’s performance, responsibilities and work style, and remaining focused on the organizational benefits derived by supporting the flexible work arrangement.  Since School/Center leadership have ultimate responsibility for the success of the organization, they must be comfortable with the arrangement as well.

Review Manager Guidelines for Implementing Flexible Work Arrangements.

The above options can be helpful in many situations. They can allow an employee more flexibility in juggling their work and home life and also allow a department to meet their business needs. Flexible work options do not work in all situations. However, we encourage you to review the options and consider them for your staff. Consultation with GSE Human Resources will help you decide if these options can work for you.

Relocation

Remote work at Penn GSE, at present, is largely a temporary response to a global health crisis. As we've managed work in this environment, we've found that many of our roles accommodate a temporary remote work arrangement in whole or part and many of our employees have come to like working remotely, at least some of the time. To address this, Penn is in the process of developing short and long-term remote work visions and policies.

 As we finalize our post-COVID remote work strategy, employees who are looking to relocate out of the tri-state area to work remotely from a new location in the future are advised to hold off on making such long-term plans until Penn's Post-COVID procedures are finalized and publicized. If waiting is not feasible, you will be required to seek formal approval for this change under Penn GSE's current Flexplace Policy (above) prior to finalizing arrangements or making a move. Of course, consistent with governmental COVID-19 mandates and requirements, Penn has supported employees working remotely. However, in normal times, this policy requires both a written request to work remotely and formal approval for this arrangement, via a written agreement.

A non-temporary remote work arrangement has legal, tax and benefit implications.  At this point employees should not relocate/permanently leave the tri-state area without notifying their manager and Emma Grigore who will then review with the Divisions of Finance, Central Human Resource, and the Office of the General Counsel.

 If you have any questions regarding remote work relocation please contact Emma Grigore.

 

Contact Penn GSE Human Resources

For any questions, concerns, or additional information regarding Human Resources topics, please contact us.

Emma Grigore
Chief People Officer
215-746-3133
egrigore@upenn.edu
3700 Walnut Street | 425

Kristine Chin
Human Resources Coordinator
215-573-8146
krchin@upenn.edu
3700 Walnut Street | 426