The Flexible Work Program, Campus Resources
Welcome! Technology Services operates a Flexible Work Program, which promotes choice regarding when, where, and how its employees conduct their work. Resources from this program may be helpful to those who want to learn about and pursue flexibility in their own environment. Those resources have been generalized for the campus audience, and are collected here for your use. To read more about these resources in their context, please select the appropriate learning pathway below.
Please note: Flexible Work, in any form, is a voluntary alternative that may be appropriate for some employees and some jobs. It is not an entitlement or benefit, and it does not change the terms and conditions of employment with the University of Illinois. Whenever applicable, Illinois Human Resources (IHR) policy supersedes departmental policy.
I’m interested in learning more about Flexible Work
Flexibility allows an organization to adapt to new, different, or changing needs. Flexible Work is defined by those organizationally approved choices regarding when, where and how an employee conducts their work. It can also include mission-driven adaptability regarding the roles and responsibilities that employees hold.
IHR's position on Flexible Work is evolving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A campus-wide return-to-work protocol, including remote work agreements, are currently in development. Once available, they will be featured here. Presently, many decisions regarding Flexible Work are in the hands of departmental HR units, who are encouraged to balance the needs of their employees and customers.
Please see the 'I would like to promote Flexible Work within my environment' section below.
I would like to promote Flexible Work within my environment
- Research and document how Flexible Work is already being used within your environment. Establish where it may already be a good fit, and why.
- Engage with your local HR staff. Discuss:
- Any existing policies that may relate to flexible work - know where the organization is currently positioned from a policy perspective. Any development or expansion of Flexible Work Policy is likely to be administered by HR, so do your best to fully understand their perceptions of Flexible Work.
- Any barriers for expanding flexible work within the organization. Define them (cultural, political, financial) and ask who within the organization can best speak to those challenges. Follow up with those individuals to verify that HRs understanding of those challenges is up to date.
Policy is defined as a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A telecommuting policy, clearly written and equitably applied, is the foundation of any successful Flexible Work Program.
There must be a common understanding of what flexible work entails. Descriptions of flexible work should be specific to your working environment.
- Any categories of employee who are ineligible for flexible work.
- How employees apply to engage in flexible work.
- Clear expectations as to what will be done once an employee has applied.
Regardless of who authorizes your employees to make use of flexible work within your organization, those supervising participating employees face unique challenges. Consider partnering with your HR team to develop resources that would benefit supervisors within your unique working environment.
Technology Services supervisor-facing Flexible Work resources are available above. Please feel free to adopt them to your own use.
It’s recommended that those engaging in Flexible Work have a means of finding one another. Most beneficial is the development of a network of Flexible Work participants in order to develop best practices that are unique to your working environment. This can take the form of a mailing list, a regular virtual get-together, a project-based working group, or all of the above.
It is further recommended that representatives of this group meet with members of your department’s Leadership team on a semi-regular basis, as the needs of Flexible Work participants are unique, and the skills they often posess can be of benefit to the rest of the organization.
I would like to speak to someone about the material above
Technology Services Flexible Work Program was put together by a cross-departmental Taskforce. For Flexible Work development questions, please feel free to reach out to Taskforce Chair Michael Curtin: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology Services Flexible Work Program is administered by their Human Resources Team. Please feel free to reach out with questions: TechSvc-HR@illinois.edu