Hybrid, Remote, and Flexible Schedule Work Policy

Date: July 2022


Bowdoin College relies upon the daily collaboration of faculty, staff, and students and the employee interactions and professional relationships to successfully advance our mission. While in-person engagement remains a vital aspect of our campus culture, Bowdoin recognizes the important role hybrid, remote, and flexible schedule work arrangements can play in advancing the work of the College, supporting a positive work-life balance for our employees, and attracting and retaining great employees. This mindset is grounded in the lessons learned from two years of experimenting with hybrid and remote work across campus during the COVID-19 pandemic and from survey results collected by the Hybrid Working Group in 2021. These arrangements are new for virtually all places of work, and we approach them knowing that they will almost certainly be adjusted and changed as we learn about how they satisfy our goals and help us to deliver on our mission. 

The availability of these arrangements varies by department, division, and position based on the operational needs of the College. This policy is intended to create transparent and equitable processes for employees to request and for decision-makers to approve, deny, or end hybrid, remote, or flexible schedule work arrangements. Due to the nature of the work, many jobs can only be performed on campus but there may be opportunities for schedules to be shaped to benefit both the department and the employee. Most arrangements must be documented using the Hybrid, Remote, and Flexible Schedule Work Agreement Form in Workday, which requires approval of the department manager/chair, divisional senior officer, and human resources representative before implementation.


This policy applies to regular, benefits-eligible staff employees of the College.

Guiding Principles

The following principles guide our hybrid, remote, and flexible schedule work policy:

  • The College is intentionally designed to provide our students with intense personal learning and broadly defined educational experiences with substantial amounts of human contact across everything we do.
  • We value and depend on community, collegiality, collaboration, and engagement with the life of the College from every employee.
  • Alternative work arrangements can maintain or enhance productivity, be equitable (but not necessarily equal), and support overall employee well-being.
  • Alternative work decisions are made without bias or favoritism.
  • We will maintain a forward-thinking lens that is flexible and adaptable, understanding that policies and practices may change to respond to the needs of the College.
  • New employees may require a period on campus to complete an onboarding process before becoming eligible for hybrid, remote, or flexible work arrangements. Each case will be handled individually and will be at the discretion of the appropriate senior officer.

Types of Available Work Arrangements

Regular Hybrid

This arrangement is for employees in roles that can successfully be performed with a hybrid schedule and who have demonstrated the capability to perform their role successfully splitting time between set days working on campus and set days working remotely. Regular hybrid employees may have to share office space for days in the office, depending on space availability. Available spaces may be booked in advance through resources outlined at https://bowdo.in/hybridtech (please login to see the full list of resources). Regular hybrid employees will receive the standard IT setup outlined at https://bowdo.in/hybridtech for use at home. Travel expenses for commuting to and from campus are not eligible for reimbursement. Employees with a regular hybrid arrangement may need to be on campus on a day that they might have typically worked remotely and should not expect that they will be able to swap another day at home for the day they come to campus. 

Occasional/Seasonal/Situational Use Hybrid

This arrangement is for employees who must predominately be on campus to perform their job but can, on occasion, successfully work remotely. Opportunities for this type of arrangement might include time to focus on a project when working remotely provides fewer interruptions, academic breaks, inclement weather days, or an occasional day requested by the employee when they can successfully work remotely. Employees approved for this arrangement are not eligible to receive a standard IT setup for use at home or for reimbursement of travel expenses for traveling to and from campus. This arrangement does not require a formal work agreement but does require senior officer or a designee’s approval.

Flexible Schedule

Certain jobs that can be or are performed outside of regular business hours without supervision may be eligible for a flexible schedule. Examples of flexible schedules include a compressed work week (e.g., working four ten-hour days) or having flexible arrival and departure times. Flexible schedules will be evaluated based on the job duties and supervision requirements for work outside of regular business hours and will need review and approval by human resources and the appropriate senior officer. Please review the payroll policies associated with tracking time for a flexible work schedule.

Fully Remote

Remote work arrangements are available in limited circumstances for specific employees in roles that can be performed from a remote location on a daily basis without loss of productivity, quality of work, or disruption to department needs and for specialized skillsets or need. These employees do not require a designated office on campus and are expected to use a shared or temporary workspace for the limited occasions when their presence on campus is required. Remote employees will receive the standard IT workstation setup outlined at https://bowdo.in/hybridtech for use at home.

At the discretion of the appropriate senior officer, and depending on the nature of the work, fully remote employees may require a higher frequency and duration of visits to campus during their first six months of employment for orientation and acclimation purposes. After this initial period, reimbursable trips should be based on business imperative and should be limited. More than six trips per year will need approval from the senior officer and the senior vice president for finance and administration. Associated travel expenses for these visits are reimbursable for those living more than one hundred miles from campus and in accordance with the College’s travel policy.

Policy Guidelines

The following guidelines will apply to all hybrid, remote, and flexible schedule work arrangements for benefits-eligible administrative and support staff.

  • Hybrid, remote, or flexible schedule work arrangements will be considered for all College administrative and support staff roles based on the following:
    • whether the nature of the work and job responsibilities are conducive to a hybrid, remote, or flexible schedule work arrangement without impacting performance or service;
    • the needs of the department to advance its core mission and the needs of the department to fulfill its role in that mission, including frequency of meetings, department goals and projects, and space constraints;
    • whether daily face-to-face in-person interaction is required of the position, including on-campus appointments or meetings with students, alumni, or coworkers;
    • whether the job requires on-site employee/student employee supervision;
    • whether an excellent level of service can be maintained;
    • the arrangement does not impose a burden on colleagues, students, internal constituents, and coworkers; and
    • the performance of the employee.
  • While working remotely (either hybrid or fully remote), employees are expected to be reachable and responsive during the business work hours that have been agreed upon with their supervisor. Department colleagues and others at the College with whom the employee works should be made aware of those hours and general service levels should be maintained. The College’s regular administrative operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. For more information on the College’s standard office hours, please refer to the policy on the College’s Defined Work Week, Paid Work-Time, Meals, and Breaks.
  • Given the degree of flexibility that Bowdoin’s working arrangements provide, there is an expectation that the employee will be flexible—this means that individuals may be required to be on campus on particular days at the request of their manager (e.g., for in-person training) and for meetings that the manager has determined are best conducted in person. 
  • Hybrid, remote, and flexible schedule work arrangements do not permit or provide staff with time to work at other jobs, provide dependent care for others during work hours, or run their own businesses. 
  • Hybrid, remote, and flexible schedule work arrangements may not be used to replace sick/medical leave or disability accommodations or family medical leaves of absence, and all exception time taken must continue to be recorded and approved in Workday. Employees requesting medical/family leave (under the Family and Medical Leave Act—FMLA) should contact human resources for guidance.
  • This policy is not to be used to address the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) or other workplace accommodation requests. All such requests must be sent immediately to human resources.
  • While working remotely, employees should record personal time via Workday in the same manner they would if they were working on campus (e.g., personal appointments, errands, etc.).
  • Supervisors will need to establish expectations and review arrangements, without bias, on the potential impact of an employee’s work arrangement on department operations, budgets, delivery of services, and workflow as it relates to the department, division, and other offices of the College.
  • When assessing performance, managers should focus on the quality and results of an employee’s work, not where it is being done. If there are issues that need to be addressed regarding an employee’s work, managers should attempt to work with the employee and human resources to effectively address problems before determining that an existing work arrangement is not feasible.
  • All hybrid, remote, and flexible schedule work arrangements will be reviewed by the supervisor on a regular basis—semiannually at a minimum. If operational needs change or an employee’s performance is not satisfactory and the existing work arrangement is no longer feasible, the employee will, in most cases, be given at least thirty days’ notice of the requirement to return to working full time on campus. Employees whose performance falls to “needs improvement” will receive notice within seven business days to return to working full time on campus. Communication between the manager and the employee on hybrid, remote, and flexible schedule work arrangements is a shared responsibility.
  • Employees must be able to perform work safely, professionally, and in an area that safeguards the confidentiality of information and files, including the ability to have private conversations. Paper files are not to be stored at an employee’s home and are to be returned to the office as soon as practicable.

Employees must comply with all IT policies, in particular information security policies and those that relate to the use of college-owned computers, while performing hybrid and remote work. All College proprietary information, personal identifiable information, and protected health information must be maintained in a manner consistent with College information security policies and standards

  • In-person meetings with students or in-person meetings to conduct Bowdoin business with vendors may not take place at an employee’s home. All other kinds of work-related meetings conducted in person at an employee’s home must be preapproved by the supervisor/senior officer. 
  • A hybrid, remote, or flexible schedule work arrangement does not in any way alter an employee’s work relationship with the College. Employees must continue to abide by all College rules, policies, and procedures. 
  • Remote work may only be performed in states where the College is established as an employer. There are significant tax, labor law, and worker’s compensation liability implications for the College and the employee performing work outside of Maine, and these arrangements must be carefully reviewed in advance by human resources. Approved states are limited to Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia. Regular international work is not allowed.
  • Bowdoin will not be responsible for out-of-pocket costs associated with the employee’s off-campus work location, including but not limited to furniture, home maintenance, cable, mobile phones, internet, utilities, any associated incidental costs (such as property or liability insurance), or other incidental expenses (e.g., cleaning services).