Managing Flexible Work Arrangements
Guiding Principles: Commitment to a campus community that fosters inclusion and collaboration among students, faculty, and staff, where employee interactions and professional relationships enhance the learning environment.
- Determine if position is suitable for flexible, hybrid, or remote work.
- Review data security and confidentiality.
- Verify what technology is required.
- Is the manager a candidate to supervise remote employees?
- Can the employee work safely?
- Consider benefits and challenges for employee/coworkers/ supervisor, department, and other stakeholders.
- Set clear expectations—be transparent and direct.
- Check in regularly—(daily, weekly, monthly).
- Set professional expectations.
- Be intentional about established routines and desired outcomes.
- Establish communications platforms (Teams, email, phone).
- Create a shared understanding of what flexibility looks like for the role.
Establish Structured, Frequent Check-Ins
- While this will vary by team, this could include either daily one-on-one calls with individuals or entire teams. Feel free to change up the format; phone calls, Zoom meetings, or daily email briefings all help to keep team members connected and engaged.
Leading Effective Meetings
- Meetings should be scheduled in advance.
- Leave time at the end of meetings for informal connections when possible.
- Create flexibility and space for changes as the need arises.
Create a Space for Social Interactions
- Social connection can get overlooked, but is important to sustain camaraderie and culture. Think about creating virtual coffee breaks or book clubs where colleagues can come together socially through Zoom or Teams meetings. Think outside the box for ways your team can connect in different ways and ask team members for their input.
Establish Your Team Norms
- Set team norms for the frequency, means, and preferred timing of communication; e.g., videoconferencing might be best for daily check-in meetings, but we use Teams when something is urgent.
- Help team members share their preferred way and time to be reached in the workday (e.g., “I tend to be more available late in the day for ad hoc phone or video conversations, but if there’s an emergency earlier in the day, send me a text.”)
- Communicate, communicate, communicate!
- Remote work requires that we be more intentional, more thoughtful, and more frequent in our communication. We won't bump into employees or colleagues in the hallways or casually walk into our teammates' offices, so we have to reach out even more by email, chat, or call.
Acknowledge the Challenges, Be Flexible
- Create a safe space for teams to acknowledge challenges they are facing. This requires adjustments from everyone on the team. This could be a Q & A session once a week or just a call where the team discusses what is and isn't working for them and asks for help to solve their problem.
Support the Well-Being of Your People and Yourself
Pay attention to changes in productivity or behavior that could signal that someone is in need of additional resources. Be sure to periodically share information about the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with all staff.