Flexible Work Arragement Guidance for Employees

Oregon State University considers remote, hybrid and/or irregular schedule, Flexible Work Arrangements that may be appropriate work modalities for some positions within the university. Employees participating in a  flexible work arrangement often learn that working remotely or an irregular schedule can present different challenges than working in person or on traditional days and hours. Flexible Work Arrangements can require different skills and habits. The following guidance is intended to help employees considering or participating in a Flexible Work Arrangement to be successful.

Consider your workspace. If working fully remote or hybrid, establishing a designated workspace within your remote work location provides a separation of work and personal space. By creating a space for yourself to complete work tasks, even if it is your kitchen table, gives your brain a cue that it is time for work.

Advance your technology skills.

  • Know how to access the OSU network and other tools you regularly use.
  • Use a university provided instant messaging system to stay connected to colleagues.
  • Plan for regular video calls/meetings by making sure you know how to turn on your computer’s camera and microphone, and being aware that your colleagues may be able to see the background behind you.

Set daily goals, track them, and share your progress. You may be surprised by how different the workday passes without the comings and goings of an office to break things up or influence what you do next. Start each day by writing down what you need to achieve and then track your progress. Pay attention to how long tasks take you and start adjusting your daily goals to match your current rhythm. Communicate with your supervisor and/or colleagues if you think your flexible work arrangement needs to be adjusted.

Eliminate distractions. Working remotely, fully or hybrid, can mean pets, roommates, children, or a favorite hobby are only a few feet away. Depending on your work location, you may need to hang a “do not disturb” sign so that others at your work location don’t interrupt you. Pets often need a closed door to keep them away and you might need headphones to block noise.

Prioritize privacy. Wherever the location of your remote work environment, take five minutes to assess the privacy of your workspace. Can someone standing behind you read your computer screen? Can others hear your phone call? What information do you need to secure before grabbing a cup of coffee or heading to the restroom? Your personal privacy matters too, so see if there is anything in your work space that you would not want visible during a video conference with your supervisor or colleagues.

Stay connected. Whether your working arrangement is on site, hybrid or remote, it is important to stay connected with other team members, campus partners, and colleagues. Many employees working on site say they do not call or instant message colleagues who are working remotely because they don’t want to bother them. Equally, many employees working remotely say they do not want to call or instant message colleagues who are working on site because they don’t want to bother them. You should feel confident about calling or messaging a team member, campus partner and/or colleague regardless of whether their work arrangement is on site or remote.

Attire Considerations: Dress in a way that helps you feel prepared for work and separates leisure from work. It is important that while working remotely an employee’s attire is in alignment with that of colleagues who are working on site, particularly when participating in video conference meetings. Dress is an important part of productivity, and attire should align with position responsibilities for the day.

Flexible Work Arrangement FAQs

Flexible Work Arrangement Agreements are required to document a flexible work arrangement that allows an employee to work either fully remote, hybrid, or an irregular/flex schedule.  Flexible Work Arrangement Agreements are intended for situations in which an employee is performing assigned duties that would normally be carried out on site during the university’s standard work week of Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard time.

No. Flexible Work Arrangement Agreements are not required for occasional and intermittent worksite flexibility and/or work schedules considered mutually beneficial between an employee and their supervisor.

No. Flexible Work Arrangement Agreements are not required for approved leaves of absence, including sabbatical.

Leave utilization does not change when an employee works fully remote or hybrid. Please refer to the Leave Administration guide for additional detail. Employees who utilize timesheets are still expected to complete and submit the timesheets as usual.

Please use the Request Accommodations online tool provided by Equal Opportunity & Access (EOA). EOA will work with you and your supervisor to determine the appropriate course of action.

Maybe. Start by having a conversation with your new supervisor about the current agreement to make sure there is mutual understanding of what’s already in place. Your new supervisor will let you know if it becomes necessary to terminate or revise your current Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement.

Yes. A supervisor can revoke a Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement at any time with three (3) working day notice, though more notice is recommended. A longer notice period may be necessary if there is also a change to your work schedule.

Any time the situation recorded in a Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement  changes, a new agreement should be completed. It’s recommended that you and your supervisor first have a discussion about whether fully remote work is possible and appropriate.  If the change in your situation involves an accommodation for a disability or medical condition, be sure to also initiate a request with EOA.  (See question 4.) Any changes that are agreed on between you, your supervisor, and your unit leadership should then be recorded with a new Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement.

Employees working fully remote, hybrid or an irregular schedule are encouraged to enroll in direct deposit for payroll and reimbursements. For those who receive a paper paycheck, the check will be mailed to your  current mailing address listed within MyOregonState.edu. It is your obligation  as an employee to make sure this  address is accurate.

The language used in this page should not be constructed as creating a contract of employment between Oregon State University and employee.