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Implementation of Future of Work Task Force Recommendations

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier today, President Holloway released the Future of Work Task Force Report and announced his endorsement of the recommendations with an immediate focus on implementing the six short-term recommendations. I am delighted to share key initiatives related to the rollout of these six recommendations, which were informed by the input of our university community. More information about these recommendations and the full report will also be discussed at a virtual town hall on July 7.

FlexWork@RU Pilot Program

The COVID-19 pandemic provided valuable lessons on how to employ flexibility to effectively serve our students, patients, and community. To attract and retain top talent and remain competitive with market trends, the university will embrace a new way of work through a year-long flexible work arrangement pilot program.

Beginning on September 1, 2022, through August 31, 2023, Rutgers will launch the FlexWork@RU Pilot Program which will authorize flexible work arrangements for positions and units where that is possible. Staff employees who are granted permission for such arrangements will be expected to work a minimum of three days per week on campus or at the Rutgers location to which the employee is regularly assigned to work. We will update University Policy 60.3.22 Alternative Work Arrangements for Regularly Appointed Staff, effective September 1, 2022, to reflect the new structure and expanded flexible work arrangement offerings for Rutgers staff, including frontline employees. Similar to the current version of University Policy 60.3.22, the amended policy is drafted to apply only to nonaligned staff. For the duration of the pilot program, however, it will be relaxed to allow maximum pilot participation across all staff. We will be discussing with our labor union partners any mandatorily negotiable items in this amended Policy prior to September 1 and during the one-year relaxation period.

Faculty members work in a different fashion from their staff colleagues. Discussions will need to take place between chancellors, provosts, deans, chairs, center/institute unit directors, and faculty about the best way to navigate the full breadth of faculty commitments while still meeting the needs of our students and other trainees for an in-person learning environment.

Support for New Work Modalities

University Human Resources has developed several assessment and planning tools to aid supervisors in evaluating positions to determine suitability for flexible work, including resources to facilitate team discussions, and guidelines for implementing flexible work arrangements.

An online intake system will launch in July for employees to apply for flexible work arrangements and department heads to approve and monitor flexible work arrangement applications, including tracking remote work locations to ensure appropriate taxation of wages and adherence to state and local wage laws.

In addition, the Office of Information Technology has established computer equipment standards, focusing on “mobile-first” solutions that will assist employees in having access to the technology necessary to perform their jobs successfully regardless of work location.

Caregiver Support Pilot Program

Over the past year, our employees have shared their experiences related to the challenges of managing caregiver responsibilities. On September 1, Rutgers will launch a new caregiver support pilot program. Additional details will be available later this summer.

Monitoring and Understanding Flexible Work Arrangement Impact and Success

The Office of University Strategy and the Future of Work Task Force will utilize existing and new data collected through surveys and feedback mechanisms to assess the impacts of flexible work arrangements on the university mission, our operations, and the student, patient, and employee experience. We will also consider the impact of the reduced on-campus population on our host communities and the environment. We will assess benefits, barriers, and other implications at the end of the pilot program and determine our best path forward.

Presidential Employee Excellence Recognition Program

Rutgers is committed to creating a caring, inclusive, and respectful work environment where employees are engaged, productive, valued, and rewarded for their contributions. In furtherance of this goal, Rutgers will establish a committee to organize a universitywide Presidential Employee Excellence Recognition Program in the fall. Additional details regarding eligibility criteria and nomination instructions will be communicated to employees later this year.

Flexible Work Arrangements Information Sessions and Training Resources

Beginning on July 11, the university will offer employees a series of information sessions to review the available resources and required processes for planning and implementing the new flexible work arrangements.

In addition, the university will release expanded course content through LinkedIn Learning and a series of webinars to ensure that employees, supervisors, and department heads have the learning resources they need to succeed in a hybrid work environment.

Visit the Future of Work website to access resources referenced above, register for the town hall and FlexWork@RU Pilot Program information sessions, view FlexWork@RU FAQs, or submit a question or suggestion.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this process and provided valuable insights to help shape the future of work at Rutgers University.

I look forward to working together on the implementation process and sharing additional details at the July 7 Future of Work Town Hall and via email in the weeks ahead.


Vivian Fernández