Michigan Tech recognizes that supervisors are being asked about remote work options for staff as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic. The University has reviewed and streamlined its processes. There are three categories of remote work, each of which have different criteria and processes:
1) Remote work: Jobs that are exclusively or primarily done remotely, whether due to the demands of the job (e.g. regional recruiters), for talent acquisition and retention purposes, or as a result of developing a fully remote position description with Human Resources. Supervisors should contact Human Resources directly regarding this option;
2) Flexible work (more information below): Jobs that are primarily performed on-site, but that have a regular component of flexibility accommodating off-site work (e.g. working from home one day per week); and
3) Short-term reasonable accommodations: Situations in which supervisors retain the ability to address exceptional circumstances with their employees and allow short-term flexibility (in no event to exceed three weeks) without the completion of special paperwork.
Michigan Tech's brand relies on a strong residential face-to-face delivery model, however, some positions at Michigan Tech can be successfully completed remotely while still maintaining service excellence. Flex work is not one size fits all and may not be appropriate for all positions. Every supervisor must weigh and assess their employees and their positions to ensure flex work does not impact service or the ability to satisfactorily complete their job. This page should be used as a resource to help make informed decisions on the availability of flex work for employees. Any request for flex work must be discussed with the supervisor and will require approval from the supervisor and the appropriate Vice President with a final review by Human Resources. The employee must fill out the flex work request form below at least 30 days in advance of the desired start date.
Eligibility Criteria: For employees requesting Flex Work, employees with at least one year of in-person employment are eligible for no more than 20% flex work, and employees with at least 2 years of in-person employment are eligible for no more than 40% of flex work.
Important Flex Work Guidelines and Conditions
Michigan Tech always strives to provide equal opportunities to all employees when it comes to working situations. However, flex work is not appropriate for every employee or position. Keeping this in mind, Michigan Tech will review all reasonable employee requests to work remotely using the following criteria:
Is the employee a good candidate for telecommuting? Criteria include:
- Proven performance
- No record of disciplinary action
- Comprehensive knowledge of their position
- Minimum of one year experience in position
Can the duties of the position be successfully fulfilled through telecommuting? Criteria include:
- Measurable work activities
- Little need for face-to-face interaction with co-workers, students, or visitors
- Clearly established goals and objectives
- Duties that can be performed alone
- Equipment needs that are limited and can be easily managed at the off-site location
Note: Michigan Tech reserves the right to deny or revoke flex work privileges at their own discretion.
Checklists and Resources
- Have set guidelines for working hours
- Establish employee schedule for check-ins when they are working remotely.
- Do your flex work employees have access to all the technology they need to perform at least as well as they perform in the office?
- Do you have a plan in place for what employees should do if they have issues with their technology? (such as: if internet is unreliable, printer/scanner issues, telephone issues, software/hardware issues, and if issues occur and the employee has greater than 2 hours of work day remaining should they come in.)
Communication and Well-being:
- Make a plan for regular communications with flex work employees.
- Make a plan for connecting with employees daily or for team to do so.
- Do you plan on checking in with your team daily?
- Make a plan to foster team-wide communications.
- Make a plan for keeping flex work employees engaged to ensure the employee does not feel isolated, that others are comfortable contacting the remote team member, and to establish tone for team engagement with flex work employee.
- Make a plan to check-in with employees to see how they are doing with the new working arrangement - no less than bi-weekly for first 6 months and monthly there after. May be more frequent.
- Employee/Supervisor Flex Work Resources Checklist
- Michigan Tech Information Technology Flex Work Resources
Any questions related to this process can be directed to Human Resources Employment Services at 906-487-2280.