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Alternate Work Location

Policy Title: Alternate Work Location
Type of Policy: Human Resources
Last Revised: July 2, 2020

1. Purpose
This policy establishes standards for remote work locations for employees of the University of Florida.

2. Scope
This policy applies to all faculty and staff of the University of Florida.

3. Policy Statement
The practice of working at an approved remote location instead of physically traveling to a central workplace is a work alternative that University of Florida supervisors may offer to employees when such requests meets the eligibility criteria established by the University of Florida’s Alternative Work Location Policy and when such working arrangements would benefit both the organization and employees, resources can accommodate the requests, and supervisory discretion allows for the employees to work at remote locations. Academic Personnel, TEAMS, USPS, and OPS employees are eligible to work at a remote location immediately upon hire. University of Florida supervisors are not obligated to provide this arrangement, and the University of Florida has the right to refuse to make working at a remote location available to any employee and/or to terminate the arrangement at any time—regardless of whether the request meets the established criteria. Assignment of a remote work location is not a benefit, term, or condition of employment. An employee who chooses to work at a remote alternate location has the right to return to his or her former in-office work patterns at any time upon providing 14 calendar days’ notice or to exercise his or her rights under applicable Family and Medical Leave Act or University of Florida leave policies. The Remote Work Location Agreement must be completed in its entirety, including all appropriate required approval signatures, prior to an employee beginning work at a remote location. The provisions of this agreement are made in compliance with applicable law and UF policies and without regards to race, sex, age, disability or any other protected status. See the Resources section for the Remote Work Location Agreement.

4. Procedures
When considering whether it is appropriate for an employee to work at a remote location, it is important to consider and answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • From a supervisory perspective, is the employee a good choice for working at a remote location given his or her ability to work autonomously, need for face-to-face communication, ability to control and schedule workflow, reliability concerning work hours, self-discipline regarding work, etc.?
    • University of Florida supervisors are not obligated to provide this arrangement, and the university has the right to refuse to assign a remote location to any employee and/or to terminate the arrangement at any time—regardless of whether the request meets the criteria established by the Alternate Work Location Policy.
    • Employees who choose to work at an approved remote location have the right to return to their former in-office work patterns at any time upon providing 14 calendar days’ notice, and they may exercise their rights under applicable Family and Medical Leave Act or University of Florida leave policies.
  • Will the working arrangement mutually benefit both the college/unit and the employee?
    • Eligibility is contingent upon the employee’s current position description and classification or assigned job duties. Working at an approved remote location cannot be permitted if the employee cannot perform all essential functions of their assigned duties, including their contact with customers, coworkers, or students, as determined by the employee’s supervisor in conjunction with the appropriate University of Florida Director—with final approval by the appropriate Dean or Vice President.
  • Has the supervisor and employee discussed if the request to work remotely is being made due to the employee’s medical hardship?
  • Will the employee work remotely within the state of Florida?
  • If the employee’s medical hardship is due to an ADA recognized disability, has the employee submitted a completed Reasonable Accommodation Request Form to the Office of ADA Compliance at least 30 calendar days in advance?
  • Is the employee unable to travel to and from work with or without reasonable accommodation but able to perform all assigned essential functions of the job from the remote work location?

If you answered “yes” to the applicable questions above and have decided to allow an employee to work at a remote location:

  • Have you agreed upon a work schedule—either full- or part-time—and desired outcomes that will be followed by the employee?
    • Any changes to the employee’s work schedule must be reviewed and approved by their supervisor in advance. If nonexempt, the employee also must understand that they are not allowed to work overtime without prior management approval in writing.
  • Does the employee have adequate dedicated space at the remote work location to allow and support privacy and confidentiality of work-related activities?
  • Has the employee agreed to practice the same safety habits in the designated remote work location as they would in their office on University of Florida premises and to report any changes that would affect their general health and safety?
  • From a supervisory perspective, are you able to describe key performance indicators or measurable deliverables by the employee?
  • Does the employee attest that the remote workplace is located at the address included in this request and agrees to maintain a working environment consistent with the University’s regulations and policies that are applicable to traditional campus workspaces?
  • Has the employee agreed to eliminate or manage distractions? Home can mean pets, children or a favorite hobby are only a few feet away. Depending on your living arrangement, you may need to hang a “do not disturb” sign so your family members don’t interrupt you. Pets often need a closed door to keep them away and you might need headphones to block the noise.
  • Have you discussed and decided whether the employee or the university will supply all necessary computer equipment, including software?
  • Does the employee have adequate internet service/access to complete job duties including video conferencing connectivity for meetings?
  • Does a request to work at home as a result of a medical hardship fulfill the following requirements?
    • Working at an approved remote location as a result of a medical hardship may be available to an employee with a disability or when the employee’s spouse, parent, or child has a serious health condition and the employee’s presence is required to provide basic medical assistance, transportation, basic personal assistance, psychological comfort, and/or safety—as reflected on appropriate medical certification completed by a health care provider.
    • In the case of an employee’s medical hardship, the employee’s health care provider must specify that working at an approved remote location is acceptable given the employee’s health condition and that the employee is able to perform all assigned essential functions of his or her position.
  • Have you and the employee completed a “Remote Work Location Agreement”?
  • Has final approval been received from the appropriate Director and Dean or Vice President?

5. Reporting Questions or Violations
The following is the department responsible for overseeing implementation of and assuring compliance with this policy. This is whom to contact with questions about the policy or to report suspected violations:Classification & Compensation
University of Florida Human Resources
PO Box 115009
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-2477
compensation@ufl.edu

6. Enforcement
Failure to comply with this policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Resources

Remote Work Location Agreement Form

Remote Work File Instruction Guide

Policy History

Revision Date Author Description
08-2001 Human Resources Policy Adopted
06-2016 Human Resources Revision to Policy Procedures
01-2020 Human Resources Revision to Policy Format