Guidelines For Initiating Flexible Work Arrangements
In order to request a flexible work arrangement (FWA), a staff member must complete a FWA proposal and submit it to the manager for consideration. Each staff-initiated proposal goes through the same process, as described below, and is evaluated on its own merits.
Managers may also initiate such arrangements; the University outlines the process later in this document. The goal is a consistent application of the process, and finding FWAs that are appropriate.
Staff: How to Propose a Flexible Work Arrangement
Staff interested in a FWA should prepare a clear, realistic proposal that includes a strong business rationale for the arrangement. Writing the proposal helps staff think through the issues from their own and other perspectives, and provides a document that staff and managers can use as a basis for discussion. By taking ownership of the process, the staff member has more control and a greater stake in the arrangement’s success.
Assess your readiness for a FWA. Review the guidelines and requirements, your job description and your tasks. Think about, and be prepared to answer questions on, how such an arrangement would affect service delivery, deadlines, etc.
- Complete the proposal form and submit it to your direct supervisor.
- Meet with your supervisor to discuss the proposal.
- Modify the proposal after the discussion, if necessary.
- Submit the final draft of the proposal to your supervisor.
- Confirm benefits and payroll impact by calling the HR Benefits Service Center at 212-851-7000, or meeting with your departmental administrator or HR manager.
- If the FWA is approved, work with your supervisor to develop an implementation plan.
- Keep a final draft and signed copy of the proposal for your records.
Managers: How to Review a Flexible Work Arrangement Proposal
Managers should understand that people want to work flexibly for diverse and compelling personal reasons; managers should not be in the business of judging those reasons. Managerial focus must be on how a change affects the organization, and on the value that might be added by working differently.
- Review the proposal. Consult with your department’s HR representative, HR Client Manager, and/or the Office of Work/Life to prepare for your meeting with the staff member.
- Meet with the staff member to discuss proposal.
- Evaluate the proposal and consult with your department’s HR representative, HR Client Manager, and/or the Office of Work/Life if you would like additional help in evaluating the proposal, especially if you are considering denying the FWA request.
- Accept or deny the proposal and inform the staff member of the decision as soon as possible.
- If you accept the proposal, schedule a meeting with the staff member to develop an implementation plan and discuss timekeeping issues. Review and confirm expectations and deliverables.
- If you deny the proposal, schedule a meeting with the staff member to explain the business rationale.
- Communicate the change to the department and any necessary business partners.
- Monitor the staff member’s progress and remain supportive.
Managers make decisions about FWAs based on whether business and operational goals can be met under the proposed arrangement.
People want to work flexibly for diverse and compelling personal reasons. Managerial focus must be on how a change affects the organization, and on the value that might be added by working differently.
Managers work from the proposal, conversations with the staff member, and consultations with CUHR to make sound, value-based organizational decisions. Managers use objective criteria to determine the viability of a specific arrangement:
- Business and department needs
- Job requirements
- The employee’s skills and performance history
Managers: How to Initiate a Flexible Work Arrangement
When operational needs require a staffing review, managers may want to consider FWAs as an option for their business planning.
Manager-initiated FWAs should not be used as a method for changing individuals’ hours or salary. Managers should base flexible work decisions on business needs and operational goals.
Managers are required to consult with their HR client manager when considering implementing FWAs as part of business needs and operational goals.
All manager-initiated FWAs require final approval by CUHR.