Flexible Work Arrangements- Information for Supervisors

At Stetson, our mission is to provide educational opportunities for our students in a creative community, to foster close student, and employee alliances, and to use collaborative approaches to prepare students to impact the global community.  As an institution, we value the ability to create community, and to collaborate with peers.  However, we also recognize that students and employees each have unique needs, and that some of those needs may best be met outside of the traditional times and methods we have used to serve them. 

Included below is the policy rationale, supervisor expectations and frequently asked questions. More information regarding this policy and process is available on the Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) website. If additional questions or concerns arise, please e-mail [email protected] so we can provide support. 

Since the start of the pandemic, our goal has been to safely welcome as many people on campus to work and learn as possible. Decisions about when and how to increase the number of people on campus to work and learn have been, and will continue to be, driven by public health guidelines. 

  • In March 2020, that meant transitioning most of our employees to remote work. 
  • As we have learned more about the virus and how it is transmitted, we have been able to develop and implement policies, procedures, and mitigation strategies that have proven effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 
  • We have also shown our ability to be nimble in responding to challenges and adjusting when needed, and we are prepared to continue doing so for as long as necessary.  
  • The way we look and operate today is not how we did pre-pandemic, nor will it be how we may look in AY22/23 and beyond. 

The Stetson University experience is not a transactional one. It is driven by relationships and community that sometimes cannot be replicated through a screen.  However, we have also found that some of our students need service beyond traditional times and methods and we have found new ways of providing a high level of service remotely. 

  • Our students, both current and prospective, are asking for and need support and service from us.  
    • This may directly affect both our retention of current students and our ability to tell our story well to those students considering Stetson. 
    • Students have responded indicating that they long to connect and engage in the community. 
  • While not every employee works directly with students, each person plays an important role in supporting the work of the University. 
  • Our working community will not look identical to how it did prior to the pandemic.  Flexibility and understanding will be key to our success.
  • It takes everyone working together in collaboration for our students to drive the successful outcomes we are known for. 

Scheduling and Flexible/Hybrid Work

We know that many still need flexibility to navigate distance learning and other pandemic-related scheduling issues.  
  • You know your areas best. Work with your team to develop schedules and solutions that allow your department operations to run efficiently and effectively, as possible. 
  • Assess your operations.  Are some responsibilities best performed with a hybrid schedule?  Are there efficiencies gained? 

When the pandemic began, the University had to quickly transition to a remote work environment.  

  • While this was an important step in limiting spread, we had no idea how this would modify our workforce. 
  • We are a customer-service based organization, and our campus experience requires the highest-level support for student and business needs.  Not all students are the same, nor should the way in which we serve them. 

Working a flexible/hybrid arrangement will be considered on a case-by-case basis driven first and foremost by the needs of the University to support student success, and the effective operation of Stetson University while balancing the needs of the employee. 

  • We ask for the review of hours, services, and service delivery strategies to determine how to best meet the needs of all of our student populations. 
  • While we were able to have a large portion of our employees work remotely to help protect the health and safety of our community during the critical stages of the pandemic, it is not the ideal way to provide the majority of our services.  However, through careful analysis, we will see change in some areas if flexibility provides for an effective mode of operation. 
  • The nature of a University campus is to create and foster a vibrant, active community for all. This is best achieved when we are working together and creating the community experience collaboratively. 

Employees should discuss the opportunity with their supervisor. The Employee will then initiate the Flexible Work Arrangement Request Form and have it evaluated by the supervisor according to the document instructions. Upon agreement of the proposed request, a Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement must be completed and accompany the request form. This agreement establishes the specific conditions that apply to the employee's working situation. The agreement must be approved by the employee’s supervisor/Department Head, the VP, Dean or Athletic Director, as appropriate, and the Director and/or Associate Vice President for Human Resources prior to the start of the FWA. This agreement may be modified or terminated due to performance concerns, changing operational needs, or any other non-discriminatory reason. The employee may also terminate the agreement at any time unless it was a condition of employment.

Flexible Work Arrangement Request Form

Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement

In general, positions that are primarily student facing or require on-campus service, like facilities, public safety, and others, are not eligible for hybrid or remote work.  While all positions cannot be remote or hybrid, there is opportunity for greater flexibility to be built into the workday.

Each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis regardless of exempt/non-exempt status. . Characteristics of positions that may be considered suitable for remote or hybrid work include:

  • Jobs that entail working independently.
  • Positions that are not student or customer facing.
  • Minimal interaction with internal and external contacts.
  • Limited need for access to equipment and/or work materials in the office.

Suitability for remote work is determined through a collaborative process which considers multiple factors.  The job must be able to be performed without outside assistance or interference with department operations. As a reminder, non-exempt employees, regardless of work location, must record hours worked through the department’s official timekeeping system. 

Yes. Although some employees had modified work arrangements prior to this Flexible Work Arrangement policy in July 2022, the FWA Request and Agreement forms must be completed and submitted for the following reasons: emergency management needs, accountability, and basic operational needs. As a reminder, ADA accommodations are not the same as FWAs and should go through the accommodations request process.

Use the FWA policy to review expectations and ascertain if the employee and position are a good match for an FWA setting. Remember, each arrangement is on a case-by-case basis. As a supervisor, ask: can the position continue to best perform in a new setting and provide the level of service needed?  If yes, a conversation with the employee should be had regarding expectations and FWA.  If, however, having multiple employees working an FWA in one setting is not operationally effective, conversation could be had surrounding a coordinated, flexible schedule for the interested parties.

Ongoing communication around responsibilities and expectations should continue whether in an FWA or in-person format.  Should productivity not be at the desired level, conversation surrounding this aspect should occur with documented expectations providing an opportunity for correction to be made. 

Yes. Under certain circumstances, approval may not be warranted. (i.e.: documented performance concerns, productivity, etc.) 

No. If inclement weather is declared at a campus work location, an employee who is working remotely at another location generally is not eligible for inclement weather leave and/or pay.

Yes. Supervisors may require employees to report on campus for work related meetings or other events. When available, we encourage dual modality of Teams and/or Zoom be offered, though this may not always be possible or ideal.

Yes, there may be operational needs to be explored, as well as payroll tax implications. Even temporary changes must be documented through an FWA Agreement.

No. For payroll tax purposes, the employee must provide one location.

An established FWA exists between the employee and supervisor within their respective roles. An employee who transfers to another position would need to go through the FWA approval process. A new FWA Agreement form would need to be completed. 

No. All requests for disability accommodations are reviewed through the interactive process discussion involving the employee, supervisor, and the HR Director. For questions regarding the accommodation process, contact the HR Director at your respective campus.  

The employee is required to maintain safe conditions in the work area and maintain adequate homeowners, renters, or commercial general liability insurance.  Any work-related incidents or injuries should be reported through the Workers' Compensation Reporting Process. Incidents will be reviewed to determine if they are compensable under workers compensation. 

Yes, this work arrangement may be terminated, and a traditional campus work arrangement be made by either party, unless the work location is a condition of employment.  Reasons for termination may include operational changes, staffing changes, leadership changes, performance, etc. If the termination or change to the arrangement is involuntary, the supervisor must provide notice in writing and submit a copy to Human Resources.

Please encourage the employee to contact Human Resources.  Human Resources will discuss the situation further with the employee and supervisor.  Each situation will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.  Once all parties have made a final decision, an employee may not request a denial to be pursued through other venues.  

Employees shall promptly notify their supervisor when unable to perform work assignments due to equipment failure or other unforeseen circumstances. The employee may be temporarily assigned to another project and/or work location. Dependent on the disruption, the employee may be required to return to on-campus work.

No. Stetson has resources available to route your work phone number to your remote location via computer or phone on the provided phone software (i.e. 8x8).

Yes.  Employees on an FWA are expected to be on-camera, answer their phones via the Stetson provided communication services, answer their emails and/or instant messages, etc.  Employees must be readily available and responsive during their scheduled work hours.

The Office of Information Technology provides a number of services and support.  Please see Working Remote - Stetson University.