Return to on-site work

Determining eligibility for hybrid or remote work

The extended nature of the pandemic may have caused your unit to re-think or re-consider what types of work need to be done on campus or can be done successfully in a remote location. Similarly, some employees who were temporarily allowed to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic and who are in positions that lend themselves to telework may have become accustomed to teleworking and find it can benefit not only themselves, but the manager, team, and the University.

Whether the position or person is suitable for remote or hybrid work is based on the nature of the job duties, employee readiness for telework, and/or manager and team readiness for telework. Determinations are at management discretion and should be made thoughtfully, not based on any one factor alone (cost savings, employee preference, etc.), and reviewed with the employee for any changes or updates at least annually. Determinations should also be made and in a consistent, fair and transparent way that prioritizes equity and employee engagement.

Definitions

  • Unit is a unit or campus with an administrator reporting directly to the President or Provost. This includes UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, and UW Medicine.
  • Unit leader is the administrator reporting directly to the President or Provost.
Telework designations Features Examples
Occasional Infrequent, not regularly scheduled.
  • Unanticipated, personal disruption requires that the employee work from home (temporary child or other caregiving need, home repair that can’t be coordinated in non-work hours, etc.).
  • Employee plans to work for a period of time during an approved vacation.
  • Employee works from home due to a workplace disruption, inclement weather, or suspended operations.
Hybrid Ongoing telework, less than 100% of weekly scheduled hours.
  • Employee works from home during designated hours to support a specific childcare need or arrangement.
  • Employee works from home every Friday to maximize productivity due to a difficult commute.
  • Employee is a self-motivated, high performer who thrives in an independent work environment, but is also needed onsite for projects or team activities.
Remote Ongoing, 100% of job duties performed at a remote work location.
  • Employee is a self-motivated, high performer who thrives in an independent work environment, and is not needed onsite for projects or team activities.
  • Employee possesses skills critical to unit functioning.
  • Employee has compelling family health circumstances that impact their ability to report to work (outside of their own disability accommodation).
  • Employee’s job duties require them to be in a specific remote location.

Position suitability

A position(s) suitable for telework is one that has responsibilities that can be conducted through telework, using basic telecommunications technology at home without affecting service quality or organizational operations.

Characteristics of positions that DO NOT lend themselves to telework
  • Job duties require access to specific personnel, onsite files, or specialized space/equipment/technology in order to effectively perform the job
  • The position had regular in-person client/customer/student interaction pre-COVID which became less efficient or effective in a remote environment.
  • Position’s job duties require participation in onsite meetings or presentations.
  • Telework relationship adds additional cost to the employer. For example, a remote telework arrangement should not typically result in the duplication of office equipment.
  • Employee’s continued telework negatively impacts team performance.
Characteristics of positions that DO lend themselves to telework
  • Job duties can be conducted outside of the worksite
  • Teleworking does not affect the service quality or organizational operations
  • Teleworking does not add additional cost to the employer.
  • Teleworking does not negatively impact team performance.

Job profile flags in Workday indicate which staff job profiles are typically suitable for telework and are meant as a guide as units consider which staff positions to flag as typically suitable for telework based on position duties. When hiring new employees and transitioning current employees to new telework agreements, units are not prohibited from executing telework arrangements for staff employees in positions without a “Not typically telework eligible” flag, but it should be an indicator that any agreement should be carefully considered.

Job profile telework designation flags

Job profile flags (found under “Additional data” on the job profile) are for use on all staff job profiles including classified non-union, contract covered staff, professional staff, ICA contract coaches, Hall Health physicians, temporary hourly staff, or other staff job profiles. Each job profile is marked with one of the following flags:

  • Typically telework eligible – Job duties typically lend themselves to telework
  • Not typically telework eligible – Job duties typically do not lend themselves to telework, including all “temporary” job profiles due to their short duration.
  • Indeterminate – Job duties are not specific enough to determine whether the work is typically telework eligible (e.g., “Temporary staff helper” or “Professional staff project position.” Determination must be made at the position-level.

Student, academic personnel, or “other” (e.g., contingent worker) job profiles are not flagged because position-level and worker-level telework designations are not used on those employment types.

Position-level telework designation flags

Position-level flags (found as a “custom organization” in Workday) are determined by the unit, are independent of the incumbent in the position, do not specify amount, and should take into consideration both the job profile flag as well as the characteristics of the position. The values include:

  • Typically telework eligible (remote/hybrid) – The position’s duties typically do lend themselves to some amount of telework.
  • Not typically telework eligible — The position’s duties typically do not lend themselves to any amount of telework.

Employee suitability

 Hybrid work suitability criteria

Some employees may be better prepared than others to manage the unique requirements of teleworking. When evaluating a new telework request or a request to extend an existing telework agreement, managers should consider whether the employee has a record of satisfactory performance in the workplace and has demonstrated the ability to:

  • Prioritize work to meet deadlines.
  • Display self-discipline and accomplish job duties with minimal supervision/direction.
  • Consistently follow UW policies and team norms regardless of work location.
  • Understand their role and expectations.
  • Be organized, highly disciplined and self-motivated.
  • Communicate and coordinate effectively with clients, stakeholders, and team members over phone, email, and Zoom/Teams.
  • Manage time effectively.
  • Meet work performance and/or productivity levels whether onsite or teleworking.

Before approving a telework request, consider any changes needed to ensure your team continues to meet its objectives. Ensure that the employee and work product will be as effectively managed as their on-site colleagues.

Additional considerations include:

  • Whether the employee has space that supports and is conducive to successful telework
  • Whether regular onsite meetings or in-person client/customer/student interactions preclude a hybrid arrangement may depend on their frequency and degree to which they are within the teleworking employee’s control (e.g., a consultant or trainer may be able to schedule sessions for days they are onsite, whereas an advisor whose students “drop in”, or an employee at a customer service window cannot).
Remote work suitability criteria

Remote work agreements (100% telework) are supported by compelling policy, critical skill-based requirement, or family health circumstances.

In addition to considering the worker criteria above for hybrid telework, evaluate the employee’s performance based on the following additional criteria:

  1. Has the employee’s work performance and/or productivity during COVID remote work remained stable or improved?
  2. Is this a key employee to retain for your organization because of significant institutional knowledge or unique expertise that is hard to replace/replicate?
  3. Does the cost of recruitment for and training of a new employee outweigh the impact to team culture and any challenges with telework?
  4. Will the employee’s continued telework jeopardize the performance of a team? Does the employee manage a large or complex team?
Worker-level telework designation flags

Worker-level telework flags (found under “Additional data” on the worker in Workday) represent the amount of telework agreed to between a unit and the employee. The indication of a telework designation assumes that a telework agreement is on file in the department and supports one of the following values:

  • Yes – hybrid telework arrangement (3 days or more/week) – Employee teleworks three or more days per workweek
  • Yes – hybrid telework arrangement (2 days or less/week) – Employee teleworks two days or less per workweek
  • Yes – occasional telework allowed – Employee typically does not telework, although occasional telework during operational suspensions or other ad hoc situations is allowed upon manager approval
  • Yes – remote work arrangement (100% telework) – Employee works remotely
  • No – Employee does not telework.
  • N/A – Value does not apply

Where an employee holds more than one position and teleworks in at least one, the worker-level flags should indicate telework.

Approval processes and documentation

Telework designation Approval process Documentation
Occasional Infrequent, not regularly scheduled. Employee’s direct supervisor. Telework agreement not required, but written approval/documentation is required.
Hybrid Unit head, or as otherwise formally designated by the Unit head. Telework agreement required, annual review required.
Remote Unit head

Sub-delegations beyond the unit head are permitted for UW Bothell, UW Tacoma and UW Medicine with approval from the Executive Office.

Telework agreement required, annual review required.