Frequently Asked Questions about WorkFlex
Everyone’s needs are not the same, and people’s needs often change over time at different stages of their lives.
- Flexible Start/Stop Times: Some people are fine with the regular office hours, others have specific reasons for needing to come in earlier or later than colleagues.
- Hybrid Work: Many people enjoy the separation of their workplace from their home. They enjoy the interactions with their peers and find the organization of the office more conducive to getting their work done. You may be surprised at the small number of employees who want to regularly work from home. However, employees may have occasional need to work from a remote location, such as when family emergencies or severe weather make it difficult to come into work.
- Compressed Workweek: Four 10-hour days also do not appeal to everyone, especially parents of young children. Child care is often not available for the 12-hour span that such a schedule would require, and parents would not want to arrive home so late, making the evening even more hectic.
- Reduced Hours: Many employees cannot afford to reduce their incomes, even on a short-term basis. Among Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, just 2% of professional employees and 10% of hourly or administrative workers work part-time on an ongoing basis.
Overtime rules do not prohibit alternative work schedules or work from home on a Hybrid arrangement as long as the employee has agreed to the arrangement and nonexempt employees are recording and being paid for all time that they are working per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Overtime pay at time and a half is required only if the flexible arrangement includes working more than 40 hours in a single week. For most arrangements, this would not be the case.
Nonexempt employees, regardless of where they work, are expected to track their hours when they are engaged in work (regardless of the schedule). ISU’s current payroll policies such as Work Week and others will still apply. Additional information can be found here related to nonexempt time tracking.
As in any work environment, units may have experienced temporary staffing shortages from planned vacations and unexpected absences. These interruptions will still happen during this program and supervisors should continue to refine their plans.
When business needs are established in advance, supervisors can work with the team to see how much flexibility is feasible. In some instances, employees may have to temporarily rearrange their schedules to meet the unit’s needs. In other instances, there may be an agreement for employees to take turns to ensure the unit is covered. If some employees work a compressed work week (e.g., four 10-hour days) their schedules may be organized so that each one works a different four-day schedule to ensure 10-hour coverage for all five days of the week.
I have been experiencing issues with performing my work duties due to my personal medical condition. Can I request a flexible work arrangement instead of going through the Disability Accommodation process or requesting medical leave or sick time off from work?
I live with an individual who is immunocompromised and therefore at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19. Can I utilize WorkFlex to request remote work in order to lessen my risk of passing on COVID-19 infection to them?
Supervisors have to balance the needs of their workforce and the work they are responsible for delivering. ISU leadership supports this program in balance with meeting the needs of the university and asks each supervisor to give reasonable consideration of any flexible requests. The request form discusses ways you might address concerns about how the work will get done, which will help address some of the concerns of your supervisor. As supervisors think through WorkFlex requests, strong consideration of the university’s and department’s or college’s mission, goals, and customer service requirements must drive this process. If it is determined that the request does not align with the defined mission and goals, it is likely the request as provided will not be approved. You may reach out to HR Delivery if you have concerns or want to talk through your situation before making a request. Ultimately, it is the supervisor's decision, but making a good case will help them make the most informed decision.
However, if you feel your request was not considered in a way that aligns with the above, employees should first try to discuss with their supervisor to attempt to resolve informally. If this does not address your concerns you can move up the organizational hierarchy or reach out to HR Delivery. Both Merit and P&S have the ability to file a grievance (Per Merit Rules and Dispute Resolution policy, respectively) but it is strongly recommended that above options are explored first. If a formal grievance is filed, there will be an initial review to determine if the grievance meets the criteria to be eligible to continue through the respective formal grievance process.