Flexible Work Options
These courses are an introduction to flexibility and supportiveness that can help employees decide if a flexible schedule is right for them and assist managers and supervisors in understanding how flexible schedules work in today’s workplace. Together, these courses will help managers and employees work together to develop a work environment that meets everyone’s needs.
An Employee's Guide to Flexibility
Assists employees as they examine flexible schedule options and determine if a flexible schedule is right for them. The training provides simple to follow guidelines for developing your own flexible schedule proposal and tips on approaching your supervisor.
Managing the 21st Century Workforce: A Guide to Flexibility for Managers
Makes the business case for flexibility, identifies and sharpens the skills that will be needed, and offers practice in choosing and managing employees on flexible work arrangements.
Courses are currently being updated and will be available soon. For more information, please call 443-997-7000.
Guidelines For Flexible Work Arrangements
- Flexible Work Schedule
- Flexible Work Schedule Request Form
- Alternate Work Location
- Alternate Work Location Agreement
- Alternate Work Location Request Form
- Flexible Workplace/Flexplace
As a residential research university with a medical school and a close affiliation to The Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Johns Hopkins University has special needs that require some services to be available at all times. Therefore, a major responsibility of supervisors and managers is to schedule staff to meet operating needs.
The standard university work schedule is 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. While the needs of the university and most staff members can be met within the standard hours and week, supervisors may establish alternate work schedules or staff may seek to arrange an alternate work schedule that better satisfies the needs of the individual and meets the needs of the university. Recognizing the benefits of an alternate work schedule, a staff member's request can be approved at the sole discretion of the supervisor. Alternate work schedules requested by staff are called "flexible work schedules." Approved flexible work schedules will sustain or enhance the staff member's ability to do the job and will not present an undue inconvenience to the public and/or members of the university community.
Flexible work schedules are not appropriate for all positions or to all work sites within the university. When appropriate, supervisors and staff are encouraged to apply these guidelines to meet the mutual needs of the university and the staff member.
These guidelines include definitions of the various types of flexible arrangements and outlines the responsibilities of the staff member and the university. It is constructed to assist staff members and supervisors in assessing and evaluating requests for flexible work arrangements.
Flexible Work Schedules/Flextime
Discussion of flexible work schedules can be initiated by the supervisor or a staff member. Staff seeking a flexible work schedule should submit the request in writing to the supervisor by completing the Flexible Work Schedule Request Form. The more traditional variations to work schedules include:
Fixed starting and quitting times
Changing starting and quitting times. For example, a staff member may work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. The arrangement may be reviewed and changed by the supervisor at any time.
Fixed varied starting and quitting times
A fixed schedule of varying starting and quitting times each day. The staff member works 7.5 hours each day. A staff member using varied starting and quitting times might work Monday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., etc. The arrangement may be reviewed and changed by the supervisor at any time. A common feature of this schedule is that there are "core" hours when the unit is fully staffed.
Compressed work schedules
Changing the number of hours to be worked per day to permit fewer work days per week. For example, a staff member who is regularly scheduled to work 40 hours per week may work 4 ten hour days.
Questions to Consider
- When contemplating implementation of the above flexible work schedules, the staff member and supervisor need to consider both university and individual issues. Answering the following questions will be helpful:How will university and departmental needs be met?
- How will the needs of the customer/client be met?
- Does the job contain tasks that can be done at non-traditional times?
- Have the support needs of the staff member and the supervisor been carefully assessed?
- In the absence of the supervisor, can the staff member function independently?
- Can arrival and departure times be monitored?
- What will the impact be on the other work functions of the unit?
- Can "core hours" be established for managing peak periods, coordinating work among staff, scheduling meetings, office events, etc.?
- Can accountability and clear performance expectations be provided?
Schedule arrangements are dependent on several factors, such as current job performance and attendance, the ability to work independently, the nature of the work to be performed, the desire of the staff member to be successful in a flexible work schedule, and good communication skills.
Lunches and/or scheduled rest periods are not to be eliminated when staff work a flexible schedule.
Approval of a request for a flexible work schedule is at the sole discretion of the supervisor and departmental leadership. An employee can not use the university grievance procedure to grieve a decision on a request for a flexible work schedule.
As a residential, research university with a medical school and a close affiliation to The Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Johns Hopkins University has special needs that require some services to be available at all times. Therefore, supervisors and managers are responsible for establishing work schedules and designating work locations for staff to complete their assigned duties.
While most positions require staff to report to university locations, the duties of some positions can be accomplished by staff working at alternate work locations, on an occasional or continuing basis.
Accordingly, in the sole discretion of the university, it may be appropriate in certain circumstances to consider whether working at home or at a satellite office may meet both the university's needs and those of the staff member. However, working at an alternate off-site location should not be permitted unless an arrangement can be made with the staff member that permits the university to monitor reasonably the work performance and that addresses the need for a safe and productive work environment. Because of potentially complicated issues with respect to equipment, work space designation, equipment problems, liability issues and income tax consequences, supervisors should not approve alternate work place arrangements without first consulting with their divisional human resources director/manager. The human resources director/manager will be available to provide advice and to help develop a written Alternate Work Locations Agreement to meet the needs of the university and the staff member. The staff of the Office of the General Counsel and/or Risk Management may be consulted in the preparation of the Agreement.
Approved alternate work locations will sustain or enhance the staff member's ability to do the job and will not present an undue inconvenience to the public and/or members of the university community.
An alternate work location will not be appropriate for all university positions. When appropriate, supervisors and staff are encouraged to apply these guidelines to meet the mutual needs of the university and the staff member.
More commonly known as telecommuting, formal flexible workplace arrangements are very different from the informal practice of professional and administrative staff occasionally working at home. The university offers a more formal arrangement for flexible work schedule at an alternate location, such as a staff member's home, one or more days a week.
An Alternate Work Location Request Form completed by the staff member should be submitted to the supervisor for approval. When approved, the following flexplace arrangments are permitted.
- Home based: Staff conduct business from their homes.
- Telecommunting/telework center - satellite offices: Two or more staff members share office operations and space for a single employer to reduce commute time, alleviate traffic/parking/congestion problems.
- Virtual/mobile office: Staff have the skills, equipment, tools and technology to perform job duties from wherever the person needs to be: home, office, car, etc.
When contemplating implementation of the above flexible workplace arrangements, the staff member and supervisor need to consider both university and individual issues. Answering the following questions will be helpful.
- Is the staff member knowledgeable about the job?
- Has the staff member demonstrated independence and good judgement?
- Is the staff member trustworthy?
- Is the staff member highly disciplined, requiring minimum supervision?
- Can "core office hours" be established for managing peak periods, coordinating work among staff, scheduling meetings, etc.?
- Can a point of contact, such as a secretary deal with incoming calls, visitors, or unforseen situations be established?
- Have arrangements been made for adequate dependent care?
- Has the impact on the other work functions of the unit been evaluated?
- Has adequate communication been provided to other staff?
- Has the effect on work flow and productivity been determined if a staff member works at home?
- Has the amount of funding to provide equipment and support required by working at an alternate location been determined?
- Have guidelines for work assignments, work flow, communications, work space, objectives, time on-site, and a contact person been established?
- How will the university, department and customer/client needs be met?
Approval of a request for an alternate work location is at the sole discretion of the supervisor and departmental leadership. An employee cannot use the university grievance procedure to grieve a decision on a request for an alternate work location.