Workplace Flexibility Options

There are 5 types of workplace flexibility options at UNH

Each type is defined below, along with examples and additional information regarding the benefits, challenges and items to consider for each option.

Compressed Work Week

A compressed work week condenses one or more standard workweeks into fewer, longer days.

Examples:  (for a 40-hour-per-week employee)

  • A full-time schedule of work is accomplished by working four 10-hour days.
  • A full-time schedule of work is accomplished over two weeks by working 80 hours in nine days so that the employee has one extra day off every other week.

Benefits

  • Employee keeps full pay and benefits unless number of hours worked each week decreases.
  • May reduce employee’s child-care or elder-care costs.
  • Provides employee with larger blocks of time off.
  • May reduce commuting time and costs.
  • Provides a low-cost employee benefit.
  • May enhance productivity, with fewer interruptions during atypical office hours.
  • May enhance the use of facilities or equipment.
  • May increase total staff hours on especially busy days or periods during the day.

Challenges

  • Employee may or may not be as productive on longer-day schedule.
  • Employee may not receive supervision at all hours.
  • May cause understaffing at times.
  • Key people may be unavailable at times, requiring cross-training to ensure coverage.
  • May create difficulty in scheduling meetings, coordinating projects, etc.
  • For exempt staff, difficulty defining a full work load.
  • For non-exempt staff, the need to be careful not to incur overtime.

Compressed work week proposals need to address:

  • How effective channels of communication will be established.
  • How weeks with holidays will be handled. (Holidays have the basic hourly value of 8 or 7.5 hours, not 10 hours.)

Flex-Time

Flex-Time is a change to a regular work schedule without changing the percent-time of the appointment. The supervisor/manager has the authority to grant or deny a staff member's request for a flextime schedule, based on institutional policy. To ensure support for operational needs for the department/office, the supervisor may designate core times/days when all staff members are required to be present at work.

Examples:

  • Staggered hours within a fixed schedule: Employees establish start and end times that differ from the department’s norm, but keep the same schedule each day (e.g., Monday–Friday, 11–7).
  • Core hours within a variable schedule: Employees must be present during specified core hours, but may adjust their arrival and departure times each day (e.g., set coverage 10–2 every day, but the other four hours per day vary). It is expected that the employee will work a set number of hours each week.
  • Variable day: Employees may work a consistent schedule of a different number of hours each day as long as they achieve the expected number of hours within the week (e.g., Monday and Wednesday, 10 hours; Tuesday and Friday, 8 hours; Thursday, 4 hours).
  • Mid-Day Flextime: Employees may take a longer scheduled break than usual if they make up the extra time by starting work earlier or staying later (e.g., work 8 am –noon; break noon–2 pm; work 2–6 pm).

Benefits

  • Employee keeps full pay and benefits, unless number of hours worked each week decreases.
  • Provides a low-cost employee benefit.
  • May ease employee’s commute.
  • Often enhances employee’s productivity.
  • May facilitate recruiting and retention.
  • Can reduce absenteeism and tardiness.
  • May improve coverage or extend hours.

Challenges

  • May not free as much time as employee needs.
  • May not provide supervision at all hours.
  • May cause under staffing at times.
  • Key people may be unavailable at certain times, requiring cross-training to ensure coverage.
  • May create difficulty in scheduling meetings, coordinating projects, etc.
  • May make it more difficult to keep track of hours.

Flex-Time proposals need to address:

  • How effective channels of communication will be established and maintained.
  • How hours will be tracked.

 

Part-Time/Reduced Time

Part-Time/Reduced Time is a work schedule that is less than full-time. An employee whose schedule is reduced to less than 75% time is not eligible for full benefits.

Examples: (based on a 40 hour work week)

  • 80% Time: Four 8-hour days
  • 75% Time: Four 7.5-hour days
  • 50% Time: Five 4-hour days

Benefits

  • Provides flexibility to alter schedule in response to home or work demands.
  • Can reduce absenteeism and tardiness.
  • Often enhances employee’s morale, productivity, and commitment.
  • May facilitate recruitment and/or retention.
  • May allow employer to reduce costs without reducing staff.
  • Can be used for phased-in retirement.

Challenges

  • Reduction in income and possibly some benefits. If the percent time falls below the percent described above, the employee would not be eligible for benefits.
  • Re-assigning the rest of the employee’s job duties.
  • Employee may be viewed as less committed by colleagues or supervisor/manager.
  • May cause understaffing at times.
  • May create difficulty in scheduling meetings, coordinating projects, etc.
  • Measuring the performance of part-timers.

Part-Time proposals need to address:

  • Staff may be reluctant to consider part-time schedules due to financial considerations or the perception that working part-time could negatively affect career advancement. Because of this, employee/supervisor discussions should address the employee’s career goals and opportunities.
  • In addition, it is important to carefully analyze the requirements of the job for managing and evaluating a part-time employee.

Flex-Year

Flex-Year is the assignment of a non-exempt or exempt position to specific work and non-work periods* during the fiscal year.

The work periods may be fewer work hours/days for the fiscal year, or specific work and non-work periods during the fiscal year. In both cases, they result in appointments that are less than a full-time appointment, but at least 75% time as to not affect benefits eligibility. 

*The position start and end dates for these arrangements are confirmed annually with the Payroll Office by the BSC’s.

Example:

  • Flex-Year positions that provides support for academic or student departments during the academic year are typically 75% to 80% appointments. A staff member may request a change from full-time to a Flex-Year schedule. The supervisor has the authority to grant or deny the staff member's request, based on institutional policy. To ensure support for operational needs for the department/office, the supervisor may designate core times/days when all staff members are required to be present at work.

This option provides employees with an opportunity to work nine (9), ten (10) or eleven (11) months without reducing their benefit coverage.

Benefits

  • Provides more time for personal responsibilities.
  • Provides flexibility to alter schedule in response to home or work demands.
  • Can reduce absenteeism and tardiness.
  • Often enhances employee’s morale, productivity, and commitment.
  • May facilitate recruitment and/or retention.
  • May allow employer to reduce costs without reducing staff.

Challenges

  • Re-assigning the rest of the employee’s job duties.
  • Employee may be viewed as less committed by colleagues or supervisor/manager.
  • May cause under staffing at times.
  • May create difficulty in scheduling meetings, coordinating projects, etc.

Flex-Year proposals need to address:

  • A single position can only have one period of non-work per year. Please consult with Human Resources for guidance on this specific type of arrangement.
  • Exempt staff who defer pay may have pay implications.
  • REMINDER:  Position start and end dates for Flex-Year arrangements are confirmed annually with the Payroll Office by the BSC’s.

Teleworking/Remote Work

OUT OF STATE TELEWORKING
PLEASE READ:
  For ANY teleworking arrangement that is based outside the state of New Hampshire AND prior to beginning that work - the supervisor MUST communicate with the appropriate HR Partner to ensure proper workers compensation and unemployment coverage for that particular state.

Teleworking is an alternative work arrangement in which staff members use electronic media to interact with others inside and outside the institution and to perform tasks outside the normal work location for some portion of their work schedule.

It is not applicable to all jobs. The number of work hours or days assigned to the position does not change due to a teleworking arrangement.

Teleworking does not include work that is not intended to be performed at the normal work location, such as admissions recruiting, certain Cooperative Extension jobs, fundraising, athletics, and/or committee work. Teleworking requires continued compliance with USNH policies, including policies governing appropriate use of the information and data.

Employees who propose a teleworking arrangement should ensure a safe and suitable workspace that is appropriately confidential and free of distractions and interruptions that may interfere with work. Where applicable, teleworkers will need to find ways to maintain a distinct separation between work activities and personal activities.

Employees who telework are responsible for ensuring security of university information and of the university information technology systems they access remotely. The employees must follow all applicable university policies and good practices, such as the UNH OLPM Privacy and Security of Technology Resources policy, the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources policy, and the good computing practices, accessible on the UNH Information Technology Security Policies page.

**Special attention should be paid to setting up a remote work space. A home office should be equipped (by the employee) with furniture and lighting appropriate to the tasks being performed. For suggestions on how to set up an ideal remote work arrangement see our Resources page.

IMPORTANT: 

Normally, employees will not be eligible for teleworking until after the completion of their introductory period. A telecommuting arrangement ordinarily does not exceed two days per week.

For arrangements greater than this, such as full-time telecommuting, the supervisor must consult Human Resources prior to implementation of the arrangement.

 Examples:

  • Regularly work at home part of week.
  • Regularly work part-time at another work location.

Benefits

  • Employee maintains their full pay and benefits.
  • Employee saves commuting time and costs.
  • Enhanced productivity: some tasks may be better done away from the office, less interruption.
  • May enhance the use of facilities or equipment.
  • May ease parking demands.
  • May provide extended hours of service.
  • May provide heightened sense of autonomy and enhanced capacity for setting, achieving objectives.

Challenges

  • Fewer networking opportunities for the employee.
  • Employee needs organized work space at home and may incur some additional hidden expenses (increased heat and electric bills, etc.) while saving on commuting costs.
  • Not all employees may work as productively in this arrangement.
  • Not all jobs are performed easily off-site.
  • May be more difficult to supervise and evaluate.
  • May create difficulty in scheduling meetings, coordinating projects, etc.
  • Confidentiality and security of data.
  • Full-time teleworking out of state requires the purchase of Workers’ Compensation coverage for the state in which the employee works.
  • May require training on good computing practices and/or purchase of equipment and software to ensure safe remote computing and communication sessions.

Telecommuting proposals need to address:

  • How meetings and joint projects will be handled.
  • How communication with co-workers and supervisor/manager will continue uninterrupted.
  • What technical support is needed.
  • How university information and remote computing sessions will be protected.