Rutgers is committed to workplace excellence. One of the ways in which we can achieve this is by providing a variety of flexible work options. Flexible work options can help us achieve many objectives: enhancing the student and patient experience and employee work-life balance and well-being; supporting the recruitment and retention of top talent and environmental sustainability efforts; achieving greater administrative efficiency, improving employee productivity and performance, and supporting business continuity plans.
The FlexWork@RU Pilot Program is effective through- August 31, 2024. Department Heads are encouraged to look broadly at their operations to identify what is appropriate for their teams while ensuring that flexible work arrangements are offered in a fair, consistent, and equitable manner. Our goal is to focus on our core mission and support sustainability efforts while maintaining a vibrant campus community, excellent operations, performance, and a collaborative team environment.
- Flexible Work Arrangement Types
- Ad Hoc: A work arrangement where employees are permitted or directed by a supervisor to work at an off-campus site, if job duties and technology resources permit such an arrangement, during circumstances such as inclement weather, special projects, or business travel. These arrangements are temporary and require prior approval by the direct supervisor or designee and have no expectation of continuance.
- Compressed Workweek: A flexible work arrangement available only to those employees with fully in-person schedules. A compressed work week schedule allows an employee to maintain a full-time schedule, but work hours are performed over less than five days per week or ten days per pay period. For example, a compressed 40-hour work week can be four 10‐hour days Tuesday through Friday and Mondays off. Compressed Work Week cannot be combined with any other flexible work arrangement type.
- Flex Workday: A work schedule which provides for non-work periods in a workday and extending the amount of the workday while working only the same number of hours in the day. For example, a schedule of work time from 9:00am-12:00pm, with a three-hour non-work period, followed by work time from 3:00pm to 7:30pm.
- Hybrid: A work arrangement where an employee is both regularly scheduled to work at an assigned university work location for a minimum number of days during a work week and at an alternate work location for the remaining scheduled work days in a work week. Employees must live within a commutable distance (NJ, NY, PA, or DE) to campus to participate in a hybrid work arrangement.
- Fully Remote: A work arrangement where an employee performs job responsibilities at an alternate work location for all scheduled work days in a workweek (within a commutable distance to campus including NJ, NY, PA, or DE). In this work arrangement an employee may be scheduled to work remote regularly but also required, at times, to attend meetings or work from an on-campus work site as directed by a supervisor or as operationally necessary. Fully remote work arrangements may only be considered under extraordinary circumstances for a period not to exceed one year with the potential for yearly renewals based upon circumstances.
- Determining Eligibility
Department Heads should review job descriptions and use the FWA Decision Tree and the questions below to help determine which positions may be eligible for flexible work arrangements within your department.
- Will the employee’s presence on-site/in the workplace impact the quality of services provided by this position to students, patients, or other relevant stakeholders?
- Will a flexible work arrangement provide for greater service through extended hours?
- How much regular, in-person interaction does the position require?
- How much of the work must be completed during regular business hours?
- Does the position provide services required to be performed on-site during emergencies to address the needs of the on-campus communities served?
Position Requirements and Department Culture Impact
- Can the essential functions of the position be effectively performed in a flexible work arrangement?
- Does the position rely on a team dynamic, and must the teamwork be performed on-site, or can collaboration and communication be effectively achieved through remote interactions?
- How reliant are others (either within the department or elsewhere) on the work (e.g., information, decisions, answers) provided by the position?
- Will the flexible work arrangement increase the workload of other positions within the department or unit?
- Will flexible work arrangements create or address equity concerns?
- How much on-site supervision, oversight, or direction is necessary?
- Does the employee have the necessary equipment/technology and/or appropriate workspace to successfully participate in a flexible work arrangement if hybrid or remote?
- Will certain tasks need to be performed on-site due to reliance on equipment only available on-campus or at an official university work location?
- If the position is classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are there appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure accurate timekeeping as part of a flexible work arrangement?
Employee Well-being and Department Operations Impact
- Will offering flexible work arrangements increase the ability to attract new employees and/or assist with the retention of current employees?
- Will offering flexible work arrangements increase the ability to attract new employees and aid in the recruitment for hard-to-fill positions?
- Will flexible work arrangements increase engagement, productivity, and/or employee well-being?
- How will the supervisor evaluate and measure the success of the flexible work arrangement?
- Will flexible work arrangements result in cost savings and/or reduce overtime costs?
- Does the flexible work arrangement enhance space utilization?
NOTE: All factors need not carry equal weight in the decision-making process. Flexible work arrangements must comply with the provisions of relevant collective negotiations agreements and Rutgers Flexible Work Arrangements Policy 60.3.22. Please note, Policy 60.3.22 has been relaxed and will apply to all staff for the pilot program period ending on 8/31/24.
- Application Process
- Employees applying for a flexible work arrangement must first complete the Rutgers Ethics Armor Program Annual Outside Activity Questionnaire.
- Supervisors and their teams must complete a Department Needs Assessment and Team Agreement to set expectations and guarantee availability, accessibility, and responsiveness.
- Once the Department Needs Assessment and Team Agreement is complete, employees can enter their FWA application into the FlexWork@RU System (view Application System User Guide).
- Only flexible work arrangements lasting 4 consecutive weeks or more should be entered into the FlexWork@RU System. Those flexible work arrangements lasting fewer than 4 consecutive weeks should not be submitted.
- Approval Process
- Department Head approval is required for flex workday schedules, compressed workweeks, and hybrid arrangements involving 1-2 days working remote.
- Department Head and Cabinet Officer approval is required for flexible work arrangements involving 3-4 days working remote.
- Department Head, Cabinet Officer and University Human Resources approval is required for fully remote arrangements.
- Please note: Alternate work locations outside of NJ may result in tax withholdings to ensure compliance with local and state laws. At this time, Rutgers employees participating in flexible work arrangements involving remote days must live in NJ, NY, PA, or DE and be within a commutable distance to campus.
- Changes or Modifications
The university reserves the right and discretion to modify or revoke a flexible work arrangement at any time.
- Flexible work arrangement changes or modifications lasting more than 4 consecutive weeks should be entered into the FlexWork@RU System.
- Only changes or modifications lasting 4 consecutive weeks or more should be entered into the FlexWork@RU System.
- Approvals may be revoked by the appropriate department head when doing so is determined to be in Rutgers’ best interests.
- Such change requires a minimum of 14 calendar days’ notice.
- Flexible work arrangements may be modified or changed without prior notification. This can be based on a number of reasons such as when an immediate/unanticipated operational need arises, or the job functions are required to address an emergency or other urgent matter, staffing changes, leadership changes, performance deficiencies, etc.
To learn more about the FlexWork@RU Program, visit our Training and Resources webpage.