Winter Flexible Work
As a residential institution, Skidmore College relies on employees’ presence on campus to meet students’ and operational needs. In addition, the College recognizes a collaborative work environment is often best achieved when employees are in physical proximity, where there is a greater opportunity for increased communication, better teamwork, higher morale and improved productivity. At the same time, the College recognizes that flexibility in the workplace helps employees balance personal and professional responsibilities, and flexible work arrangements may be made when appropriate and consistent with the needs of an employee and the College.
The College currently offers Summer Flexible Hours to non-union staff between the Spring and Fall semesters. To provide additional flexibility to employees and to help the College assess options for flexible work arrangements in the future, the College is piloting the following Winter Flexible Work Policy. The Winter Flexible Work Policy extends the Summer Flexible Hours policy to the Winter break between the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters and expands this policy to include a partial remote work option. This policy will apply during the period between December 13, 2021 and January 21, 2022. After January 21, 2022, the College will return to full on-campus work while it evaluates the effects of this policy and engages the community in further discussion about flexible work arrangements.
Eligibility for Winter Flexible Work Arrangements
This policy applies to all non-union staff members whose job duties can be performed within a flexible work arrangement without compromising the College’s educational mission and values.
The availability of flexible work arrangements will vary by division, department and position based on operational needs. To be successful, flexible work arrangements must not cause any reduction in service, quality of work or productivity. Please note, this policy takes effect after the end of classes but before the end of the Fall semester, which may affect availability of flexible work arrangements until after the end of the Fall semester for some divisions and departments.
Flexible Work Arrangement Options
The following options are available flexible work arrangements between December 13, 2021 and January 21, 2022:
- Compressed workweek. An employee may work a four-day per week schedule by extending the seven-hour workday to 8 hours and 45 minutes per day plus a one (1) hour unpaid lunch period. Example: Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
- An employee may work a five-day per week schedule with variable hours per day as long as the total for the week is 35 hours with a minimum of a 30 minute unpaid lunch period daily for any work day that has a minimum of 6 hours. Example: Monday-Thursday, 8:30a.m.-5:00 p.m. (30 minute lunch) and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.;: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; (5 day schedule) or Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; 8:00 a.m.-5:15 p.m. (4 day schedule).
- Remote work. An employee whose job duties may be performed remotely without compromising the College’s educational mission and values and who have demonstrated the ability to perform productively remotely may work from home up to two days per week.
Please note an employee may not combine a compressed workweek with remote work such that an employee works less than three days per week on campus.
Procedure for Requesting a Winter Flexible Work Arrangement
Eligible employees seeking a flexible work arrangement may submit a written request to their supervisor and/or department head using the Winter Flexible Work Request form.
Procedure for Evaluating Flexible Work Arrangements
All requests for a winter flexible work arrangement require advance approval by the employee’s supervisor and/or department head in consultation with the division Vice President. Supervisors and department heads may approve flexible work arrangements if it meets the following criteria:
- It does not negatively impact the program or department’s ability to meet their commitments to students and colleagues, including the requirement the program/department continues to maintain regular office hours during which adequate in-person, office and email service is available.
- The employee’s job duties can be effectively performed under the flexible work arrangement without compromising the College’s educational mission and values.
- The employee continues to meet all expectations for job performance.
- The employee works, at minimum, three days per week on campus.
- For remote work arrangements, the employee has an appropriate workspace and suitable internet at home.
Although there may be instances where the operational needs of an office or department preclude the use of flex time, the accommodation of flexible winter work schedule requests is encouraged as much as possible. Consistent with applicable law, employees may not use more than one-half of their one-hour lunch period to reduce their overall work schedules.
Expectations for Flexible Work Arrangements
Employees approved for a flexible work arrangement must always maintain satisfactory job performance, including, among other requirements, continuing to work normal work hours, responding to all work-related calls, emails and other messages on a timely basis, completing all work assigned on a timely basis and complying with all College policies. Employees are expected to alter their flexible work arrangement (including working on campus) if required by their supervisor. If an employee needs to change their normal work hours or remote work schedule, they need to obtain advance approval from their supervisor. The College reserves the right to approve or deny any flexible work arrangement and to modify or revoke such arrangements once approved.
Employees who are approved to work remotely must comply with all Skidmore College policies and procedures while working off-site. Employees who work remotely must establish an appropriate work environment within their home for work purposes that is free from everyday distractions, includes a suitable desk or table, has access to internet service and does not pose any health or safety risks. Skidmore College will not reimburse the employee for the cost of off-site related expenses, including internet access. Personal tax implications related to the off-site workspace shall be the employee’s responsibility.
Winter Flexible Work will end after January 21, 2022, and the College will return to full on-campus work for the start of the Spring 2022 semester. The College will solicit feedback on the implementation of this policy from employees and supervisors and will use this information in its ongoing evaluation of a flexible work arrangements policy for Skidmore College.
If you have any questions regarding any aspect of the winter flexible work policy, please contact Human Resources.