Flexible Work Arrangements

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 Arrangements 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.

Guiding Principles

Flexible work arrangements are job appropriate.

Not all types of flexible work will be suitable for every position. Some positions require an on-campus presence to serve students or other clients and customers, require the ability to work with others on campus at specific times and shifts and/or involve tools, equipment or other apparatus that need to remain on campus.

The process for evaluating flexible work requests is equitable.

The process for making decisions regarding when, where and how work gets done should always be equitable. This does not mean the resulting decisions will be equal, as there are many variables which can differ from situation to situation.

Decisions about flexible work are at the discretion of a Dean or Vice President.

Positions which are similar in their basic responsibilities can vary in priorities, services, customers, and environments across the institution. Those who are best to make the determination about what level of flexibility a position can support are those who are directly responsible for the day-to-day management of the position.

Decisions about flexible work are made without bias or favoritism.

All flexible work decisions should be evaluated based on business merit and free from any personal biases or preferences. Relevant evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to; the requirements of the position, the priorities of the unit, the individual’s ability to successfully perform the work in general and likelihood of success in the requested flexible work arrangement, and the potential impacts of the flexible work arrangement on co-workers, customers, and the overall department.

Flexible work arrangements will have a positive or net-neutral impact.

Flexible work arrangements must ensure that the same or enhanced level of service required of the position is being provided in support of our educational mission and essential administrative requirements. Flexible work arrangements cannot have an ongoing negative downstream impact on another person or area. This includes situations such as when a remote arrangement creates an ongoing increase in workload for others located onsite or when a customer would realize greater benefit from an in-person rather than virtual interaction.

Flexible work arrangements should be documented.

As with all their employees, managers should provide clear performance and communication expectations as well as regular performance feedback for employees on flexible work arrangements. Flexible work arrangements should be reviewed at least annually and updated as needed to continue meeting both the business and individual needs.

Flexible work arrangements can be changed or discontinued at any time.

Flexible work arrangements are entered into because they meet both the individual and organizational needs at the time they are proposed. Sometimes these needs will no longer be aligned and thus the arrangement will no longer be viable. It is best practice that at least one month’s notice is provided if a department/unit decides to discontinue a flexible work arrangement to provide an employee with ample time to make any personal arrangements needed to adjust to the change.