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Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA)

At the University of Richmond, we understand the increasing demands that staff members face in their personal and work lives and recognize that career is just one of the many aspects of life. Finding ways to accommodate these demands can help provide an atmosphere where we can all thrive personally and professionally.

Flexible work options offer alternative approaches to getting work done through non-traditional work hours or locations. They do not reduce work hours or output. They are not a way to overcome an unmanageable assignment or difficult work relationship.

With so many different types of positions and staffing levels, flexible work arrangements cannot always be accommodated. The University Policy on Flexible Work provides all staff with a consistent process for requesting and reviewing alternative work schedules. These guidelines will support supervisors and employees in establishing these arrangements.

Typical benefits of flexible work options may include:

  • Reduced commuting costs
  • Reduced stress
  • Expanded coverage

Top 10 FAQs

Are all employees eligible for a flexible work arrangement?

Full-time and part-time employees may apply for FWAs. There are certain positions that cannot accommodate a FWA. Some positions require employees to be on campus at all times and some positions may not have as much flexibility to accommodate shift changes. Factors to be considered by the employee and supervisor include operational needs of the department, customer service requirements, productivity required, work/life balance of the employee and employee productivity.

Are there specific procedures and/or forms that need to be completed and followed?

Yes. An employee interested in a flexible work arrangement should complete a Flexible Work Agreement form. This form, along with additional details, may be found on the Human Resources website. Whether you are an employee interested in applying for a flexible work arrangement, or a manager/supervisor considering your employee's request, the website contains instructions, required documents and tools to complete the process. Additionally, if you have questions or would like someone to assist you, you may contact your HR Business Partner.

What do I do with the form after its completed?
Send to URHR either via e-mail or campus mail.
Who makes the decision about whether or not I can have a flexible work arrangement?

Upon receipt of a flexible work arrangement proposal, the supervisor receiving the request will discuss the request with the employee. The supervisor will then consult with their Department/Division leader prior to consulting with their HR Business Partner. The President's Cabinet member must approve any flexible work arrangement in his or her respective division, in consultation with the employee's supervisor and/or department head.

Is there any time when a supervisor can terminate or vary the arrangement?

The supervisor can terminate or amend the agreement based on a number of reasons, including operational changes, staffing changes, leadership changes, performance, etc. If the FWA is terminated or amended, the supervisor should make every effort to provide the employee at least 30 days' notice in writing. If the flexible work arrangement is terminated for poor performance, the arrangement may be terminated immediately. 

May I take care of my children or elderly parents while I'm working from home?

No. The flexplace option is not intended to be used as a substitute for ongoing childcare or eldercare. Employees must identify appropriate care for their children or parents regardless of where they are working.

What happens if a meeting, training session, or important event is scheduled when I am supposed to be off?

It is important to remember that the work of the university and the department must not suffer as a result of employees using flexible work options. There will be events or meetings that cannot be scheduled around your flexible schedule. This needs to be discussed between the employee and supervisor to determine how it will be handled. In some cases, the employee may have to come in. The schedule for non-exempt employees would have to be adjusted so that overtime would be avoided.

How can I manage my flexplace employees who are also part of a work team?

The flexplace agreement should detail expectations of the employee's working with others in the office. If the work team has regular meetings onsite, the flexplace employee can be required to attend those meetings, either in person or via teleconference.

Are supervisors eligible for flexible work arrangements?

Yes. Supervisors should follow the same guidelines for flexible work arrangements. However, it may be more challenging if there are employees who need supervision during the hours you are unavailable.

Are non-exempt employees eligible for flexible work arrangements?

Yes. Non-exempt employees are eligible for flexible work arrangements. However, supervisors need to be mindful of wage and hour laws when evaluating non-exempt employee’s flexible work arrangement requests. Certain types of flexible work arrangements—such as a nine-day/80-hour compressed workweek—could result in overtime pay for a non-exempt employee.