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Alternative work arrangements for university employees

It is the policy of VCU to support alternative work arrangements for employees as appropriate. Alternative work arrangements include such things as compressed, flex and staggered schedules; reduced schedules and job sharing; and telework. In reviewing requests for alternative work arrangements, management will evaluate and balance the needs of the employee and the needs of the university with specific focus on the particular job and its role within the work unit. The university recognizes that, in certain circumstances or with certain positions, alternative work arrangements can be an effective management tool and may create increased productivity, reduce costs, advance the university’s energy conservation goals and provide for a more vital work-life balance of its employees.

Requests for alternative work arrangements will be handled on a case-by-case basis and are granted at the university’s sole discretion. It is also recognized that circumstances arise in which a temporary alternative work arrangement may be appropriate to accommodate short-term assignments or other circumstances. These informal situations are determined on an as-needed basis between the employee and the manager and are not subject to the formal process for extended arrangements as outlined below. If the temporary arrangement becomes regular or recurring, the formal procedures described below apply.


Purpose of Guidelines

Theese guidelines are designed to provide guidance in establishing alternate work arrangements for staff whose responsibilities can be accomplished outside of a university office and/or traditional work schedule for part or all of the workweek. Such arrangements are encouraged when, in the opinion of the manager, the university's business needs can be efficiently and effectively met through establishment of an alternative work arrangement. The purpose of flexible work arrangements are to provide managers greater flexibility in establishing alternative working hours within the workweek for each employee without changing the number of hours to be worked. Note: A standard work schedule is determined by management. It is expected that employees will typically work 40 hours per week, with a daily unpaid meal break of at least ½ hour.

This arrangement should result in a demonstrable benefit to the university, such as  increased productivity, decreased distraction, improved customer service, expanded hours, enhanced employee morale, more efficient use of space or equipment, improved work-life balance, and/or lower operating costs.


Intended Audience

All University and Academic Professionals and managers. The role and responsibilities for the employee and manager utilizing the guidelines include:

  • The employee – following the policy and procedures for alternative work arrangements
  • The manager – analyzing work positions and responsibilities, determining the feasibility and appropriateness of alternative work arrangements, and following the policy and procedures for alternative work arrangements

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is the university’s standard hours of work?
    Answer: The standard hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  2. Does my department have the discretion to set their own core hours?
    Answer: Yes, the department can set core hours based on their business needs.
  3. What is the difference between informal and formal telework?
    Answer: If telework is consistent and on a regular basis then it is considered formal. Informal telework is something that happens infrequently under unique or special circumstances.
  4. Am I required to take a lunch break?
    Answer: Employees that work at least 6 hours per day should take a scheduled meal break of at least ½ hour. An employee can only forgo a scheduled meal break during their workday through a management approved alternative work arrangement. 

Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU Human Resources
Lindsey House | 600 West Franklin Street | Box 842511
Richmond, VA 23284-2511
Phone: (804) 828-0177

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