General

This policy change applies to all classified staff at George Mason University who utilize telework (which includes remote working, those teleworking as part of an approved Accommodation, Adjustment and Modification (AAM), and temporary telework of less than two weeks duration).  This policy will take precedence over and supersede all prior university classified staff telework policies and forms. This includes remote working, those teleworking as part of an approved Accommodation, Adjustment and Modification (AAM), and temporary telework of less than two weeks duration.  For more information, please review the University’s New Commonwealth Telework Policy and Next Steps message or email engagehr@gmu.edu.

The employee cannot launch this form. Employees should request their manger/ department head fill out the  Fulltime Teleworker/ Remote Work Request Form (for remote workers outside of VA or outside of the U.S.).

You can use this chart to determine which form to fill out.

Mason’s Flexible Work Agreement is designed to request Flextime, Compressed Work Schedule, Hybrid Telework, Fulltime Telework within the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a Combination of these flexible work types. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Standard Telework Agreement is for Classified staff and is designed to request hybrid telework or full-time telework.  Please note that out-of-state classified staff will need both the Standard Telework agreement and the Out-Of-State/International Full-Time Telework/Remote Worker Request Form on file. 

If you’re unsure which form to fill out email engagehr@gmu.edu.

 

Whether you are an employee or a supervisor, the first step is to review the policies, procedures, and agreements associated with Flexible Work. The next step is to develop a proposal and discuss it with your supervisor and/or department head.

During the discussion, ascertain whether the arrangement is feasible and how it would impact the department. Bear in mind that sometimes it may be best to start with a modest proposal and then move to a more significant change after assessing its impact.

Once an agreement has been reached between the employee and supervisor, all appropriate paperwork (including necessary signatures) needs to be complete.

(Please see How do I Initiate a Fulltime Telework/ Remote Work Agreement if you plan to fulltime telework outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia.)

You can access your pending, completed, or previous forms at any time on the Dynamic Forms site by clicking “Pending/Draft Forms” (for pending agreements) and “Forms History” (for completed and previous agreements) on the homepage.

Yes. All flexible work agreements are valid for a maximum of 12 months.  A flexible work agreement can be terminated at any time by a supervisor or the employee with reasonable notice. Three-month check-ins are encouraged to assess the status of the flexible work agreement. 

Yes. Supervisors and employees can change or terminate a Flexible Work arrangement. If the employee wishes to modify or end a Flexible Work Agreement, the employee must provide at least 5 business days’ notice. Management will provide at least 5 business days’ notice if the Flexible Work Agreement is to be terminated.

The first priority for both supervisors and employees is that their departments and offices have appropriate staffing. Should something unexpected happen, a supervisor may have to alter a Flexible Work arrangement on short notice. This is why everyone involved should be sensitive to the needs of their colleagues, department, and university.

Yes. Flexible Work is not mandatory, universal, nor an entitlement. The goal is to create a win-win situation that effectively balances the needs of the department and its employees. Flexible Work arrangements work best when they contribute positively to employees’ work/life balance, while not negatively impacting their productivity and availability. Supervisors need to assess the impact of Flexible Work arrangements on their department’s continuity of operations, customer service, and goals when making scheduling decisions.

In many cases, Flexible Work is a successful option but not always. The key to making it successful is flexibility on the part of both the employee and the department. Staffing, work flow, project demands, and the kind of position you have all impact Flexible Work arrangements.

Flexible Work is never going to allow everyone in a department to work a compressed schedule of four 10-hour days with every Friday off, but it may allow everyone a chance to take a day off with the right arrangement.

Compressed Schedule

Employees with compressed schedules receive 8 hours of holiday pay and/or compensatory leave, depending on the situation, regardless of their compressed schedule hours.

There are three possible scenarios. These examples are based on a full-time, schedule. Leave and pay are pro-rated for part-time employees. For non-exempt employees with a compressed schedule, they will record 8 hours of holiday leave on their timesheet on the day of the holiday:

  1. With supervisor approval, the employee can choose to temporarily work a traditional work schedule for the week

• The employee would work 8 hours each day of the week then receive 8 hours of holiday pay on the holiday

  1. If the employee chooses to continue their compressed schedule and the holiday falls on a day when the employee would normally work:

• The employee needs to account for their full compressed schedule work hours for the day that falls on the holiday

• The employee receives 8 hours of holiday pay

• For the remaining hours, the employee can either make up the hours during the week or take additional leave on the holiday

• For example: If the employee normally works 9 hours on the day of the holiday, they will receive 8 hours of holiday pay and either work an additional hour during the week or take one hour of leave on the day of the holiday

3. If the employee chooses to continue their compressed schedule and the holiday falls on a day when the employee would not normally work:

• The employee will enter 8 hours under compensatory leave earned when they complete their timesheet

• The employee will then have 8 hours of compensatory leave they can use, with supervisor approval, within one year from the pay period in which the hours are accrued (State Policy 3.10)

Employees working a Compressed schedule must account for all required hours worked and leave taken. If an employee working a 10-hour day is out sick, he/she will need to record 10 hours of sick leave. If they wish to apply Holiday, University, or Compensatory Leave to their 10-hour day, they will have to work and account for an additional 2 hours because leave that is not accrued or awarded annually is limited to up to 8 hours per day. The employee must account for the difference in their Flexible Work day by working the relevant number of additional hours during the pay period or by using appropriate leave (e.g. Annual, Recognition, Compensatory, etc.).

Perhaps. Employees and supervisors should discuss this question during the development of the Flexible Work agreement. It is important to remember that the work of the university and the department must not suffer as a result of Flexible Work arrangements. Flexibility is a two-way street. There will be events, meetings, etc. that cannot be scheduled around your Flexible Work schedule. The employee may have to attend meetings, etc. on days when they would customarily be off.

If an employee is working a Compressed schedule and the university has an unscheduled closing on his/her non-work day, the employee does not receive university leave for that day.

No. Non-exempt employees (overtime eligible) do not have quite as many options as exempt employees (non-overtime eligible) because they may not use a Compressed schedule that will result in working over 40 hours without incurring overtime. Click here for examples of Compressed schedules.

Flextime

Yes. One of the great things about Flexible Work is that it is indeed flexible. With supervisor and department head permission, you can utilize multiple Flexible Work options in one agreement. It is important to remember, however, that Flexible Work is contingent on ensuring that the work gets done and that office coverage is maintained. Those just starting a Flexible Work option may want to keep their agreement modest to ensure that the department work flow can be maintained.

A Flexible Work Agreement needs to be completed if the employee’s Flextime start time begins more than 1 hour before or after his/her regular start time. For example, if an employee’s customary start time is 8:30 a.m., a Flexible Work Agreement only needs to be completed if the Flextime start time is before 7:30 a.m. or after 9:30 a.m.

Job Sharing

As with any classified employee, a supervisor may change the job responsibilities of a position at any time. In the case of Job Sharing, should your partner leave his/her position, you will still be at the FTE level you were before your colleague left. You may discuss with your supervisor and your department whether or not the agreement will continue.

A classified employee at .5 FTE or greater will earn service credit for each month of service at the salary and rate of a .5 classified employee.

When considering a Job Sharing arrangement, it is important to understand the full and complete impact it may have on your benefits. It is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with a Benefits Administrator in Human Resources & Payroll before you initiate any discussion with your supervisor about a Job Sharing Flexible Work option.

Maybe. In order for two classified employees to remain classified and share a position, they each must work 50% because a position cannot remain classified if it is less than .5 FTE.

Remote Work

This policy change applies to all classified staff at George Mason University who utilize telework (which includes remote working, those teleworking as part of an approved Accommodation, Adjustment and Modification (AAM), and temporary telework of less than two weeks duration). 

This policy will take precedence over and supersede all prior university classified staff telework policies and forms. This includes remote working, those teleworking as part of an approved Accommodation, Adjustment and Modification (AAM), and temporary telework of less than two weeks duration. 

For more information, please review the University’s New Commonwealth Telework Policy and Next Steps message or email engagehr@gmu.edu.

Managers or department heads who need to submit the Fulltime Teleworker (Remote Worker) Request Form in Dynamic Forms will need to enter the following information:

    • – Work Location Address (this is often the employee’s home address). The work location entered should be where the work is physically performed by the employee, not the campus address for the department.
    • – Employee name, G#, email, and phone number
    • – Employment information including type of appointment, hours per week, salary, travel required, and any additional compensation offered.
    • An employee position description or employee work profile to be uploaded
    • – The start date for fulltime telework and whether it is permanent of temporary (lasting less than 15 months).
    • – Department Information including executive level, unit. department, and fund/ org

No.

Full-time Teleworkers may be work at 100% FTE or less.

The fulltime in Fulltime Telework does not refer to the number of hours an employee works. It is to differentiate it from Hybrid Telework where an employee completes their work at both a university campus or site and at an approved alternate work site.

Any employee who spends most or all of their working hours outside of the traditional place of work would be classified as a Fulltime Teleworker, regardless of the number of hours they are employed to work per week.

 

The employee cannot launch this form. Employees should request their manger/ department head fill out the  Fulltime Teleworker/ Remote Work Request Form (for remote workers outside of VA or outside of the U.S.).

You can use this chart to determine which form to fill out.

Mason’s Flexible Work Agreement is designed to request Flextime, Compressed Work Schedule, Hybrid Telework, Fulltime Telework within the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a Combination of these flexible work types. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Standard Telework Agreement is for Classified staff and is designed to request hybrid telework or full-time telework.  Please note that out-of-state classified staff will need both the Standard Telework agreement and the Out-Of-State/International Full-Time Telework/Remote Worker Request Form on file. 

If you’re unsure which form to fill out email engagehr@gmu.edu.

 

Yes. Once an agreement is approved, you may view and save it in PDF form by clicking “Forms History” on the Dynamic Forms homepage (shown below).

Hybrid Telework is an arrangement where an employee completes their work at both a university campus/ site and at an approved alternate site for an agreed upon period of time.
Fulltime Telework (formerly known as remote work) is an arrangement where an employee spends most, or all, of their working hours outside the traditional place of work. Visits to the campus are infrequent or the position is designed specifically for off-site work.
There are two types of fulltime telework, in-state and out-of-state.
  • A) In-state Fulltime Telework: Whereas the approved telework location is within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • B) Out-of-state Fulltime Telework: Whereas this approved telework location is outside the Commonwleath of Virginia (including international worksites).

Employees frequently choose Remote Work to retain their positions with the university; however, if the arrangement is not efficacious for the university and/or the employee, the agreement may not be extended.

Steps on completing an I-9 form remotely are available on the MasonOnBoard page.

Telework

Supervisor

All flexible work forms are located in Dynamic Forms which allows you, the supervisor or department head, to review your employees’ agreement(s) and either approve or reject the form. Rejecting the form allows the employee to make changes. Learn how to review an agreement using Dynamic Forms. 

Yes. Once an agreement is approved, you may view and save it in PDF form by clicking “Forms History” on the Dynamic Forms homepage (shown below).

A supervisor is not obligated to approve every Flexible Work or Remote Work request. If there is a business need for an employee to be physically in the office, you can reasonably deny the request. Use the information on this site to help you make appropriate decisions. It is hoped that supervisors will take into consideration all options when determining whether or not to approve Flexible Work and Remote Work requests.

The following questions will help assess whether the positions in your area are conducive to Flexible Work and will help you make a well-informed decision:

• Will the department/office workflow be either neutrally or positively impacted by Flexible Work? Can instant messaging, e-mail, telephone, and videoconferencing be used to adequately manage and fulfill the responsibilities of the Flexible Worker?

• Can the positions under consideration be managed on an outcome-based assessment by setting clear expectations, goals, and frequent measurements?

• Are the positions under consideration currently held by people who are solid performers?

• Could the work/life balance of these individuals be improved through Flexible Work?

• Could the flexibility offered be a management tool to retain a valued employee?

• Can Flexible Work contribute to the overall effectiveness of your department and/or its workflow (e.g., could Flextime arrangements extend your office’s availability to customers)?

As a supervisor, you are the ultimate arbiter of whether a Flexible Work option is appropriate for your staff. It is important that you fairly and consistently consider each employee’s request, but you are not obligated to approve every proposal. Flexible Work policies, procedures, and agreements provide guidelines that must be taken into account when making Flexible Work decisions. The Resources section of this site includes useful information to help you manage Flexible Work employees to successfully meet your department’s goals and obligations.

Outcome-based management is effective with employees who are not physically in the office. Discussing goals, assignments and due dates, and then reviewing projects on an ongoing basis can keep the employee and the supervisor stay on track. For some tips on how to manage employees on a Flexible Work schedule, see the Resources section of this site.

Interaction with an employee who you may not always see can be accomplished successfully through e-mail, telephone, MS Teams, and Zoom. Open, regular communication is very important, as are clearly laid out work assignments and due dates.

No. Some positions may not be well suited to Flexible or Remote Work. Use the information in this web site to help you determine a position’s suitability for Flexible or Remote Work.