UCAR FLEXIBLE WORK ALTERNATIVE GUIDELINES
There are certain circumstances under which it is of benefit
to UCAR for employees to work on a regular basis from that employee's home,
or from some other location that is not a UCAR site. These guidelines are
to describe those conditions and how supervisors, directors and employees
should go about determining the appropriateness of such arrangements and
gaining the requisite approvals. The overriding consideration in all cases
is that the arrangement makes good sense for UCAR; "the flexiplace" opportunity
is not intended to be solely for the convenience of the staff member.
UCAR's Flexible Work Alternatives policy, 2-4-8, provides for the ability
to establish working arrangements in which staff work from their homes,
and anyone considering such arrangements should consult the policy. These
arrangements require the written approval of the supervisor and division
or program director.
Flexible Work Alternative Definitions
The alternatives defined in these guidelines may be in effect from time
to time, on an occasional basis, with the prior written approval of the
supervisor and division or program director. Flexible work arrangements
for a limited duration are excluded from these guidelines.
Flextime: a regular arrangement under which an employee
works during hours other than the "normal" working hours. Employees working
in this mode must work the number of hours per week as dictated by their
FTE status. Flextime must be agreed to by the supervisor, who determines
any "core" hours during which the employee must be on site.
Flexiplace: this refers to the circumstances under which
an employee has received approval to work on a regular basis from a site
remote from a UCAR site, such as the home. Field deployments are not flexiplace
Job Sharing: the arrangement under which a position is
filled by two individuals, each working an established part of the position,
consistent with relevant UCAR policy.
Consideration for Flexiplace
UCAR strives to provide a positive environment for all of its employees,
and the appropriate use of flexiplace arrangements is a part of that commitment.
However, such arrangements are not the right of the employee, and it is
expected that only a small fraction of UCAR positions are suitable for
In determining what positions are suited for this type of arrangement,
supervisors and employees should consider the following:
In determining which individuals are most capable to function effectively
under a flexiplace arrangement, supervisors and employees should consider
the extent to which the job requires face-to-face, or in person interaction
with other people, both internal and external to UCAR
the nature and extent of supervisory or security requirements relevant
to the position
the need for access to resources that are only available on site
safety and/or emergency response needs for the position
How to Request and Implement Flexiplace Arrangements
the degree of self motivation of the individual
the ability of the individual to operate effectively in an isolated mode
the individual's level of job knowledge
the individual's organizational and time management skills
the nature of the at-home dependent care requirements that might interfere
with effective job performance
In the spirit of open communications that UCAR strives to foster, the
interest of an employee in making a flexiplace arrangement is discussed
normally between the employee and supervisor, or between the employee and
Human Resources Department representative. Normally, these discussions
are initiated by the employee and should lead to a determination of whether
flexiplace arrangements are feasible.
After such initial discussions, the employee should present a written
request to the supervisor who will determine the appropriateness of such
arrangements and forward it to the division or program director for approval.
Flexiplace arrangements should be made initially on a trial basis (three
months) in order for all parties to test whether the arrangement is working
effectively. A copy of the request and approval should be provided to the
division or program director, Human Resources Department, and Health, Environment
and Safety Services.
Considerations Regarding Flexiplace Arrangements and Their Documentation
Work regime: this should be specified explicitly, including
the precise start and end dates of the trial period. The mix of days/hours
worked in flexiplace mode and at the UCAR site should be identified specifically,
in order to establish employee-supervisor-colleague contact points and
hours that will be maintained.
Performance appraisals: It is especially important in
flexiplace arrangements that the job requirements and the performance standards
and accomplishments are clear and well understood by all parties.
Work location: document the actual address and phone number
of the flexiplace location.
Work space: employees should establish a particular work
space to provide for privacy and freedom from interruptions.
Communication and personal interactions: any requirements
for attendance at staff or other regularly-scheduled meetings should be
specified. The frequency and means of regular communications with the supervisor
and other colleagues should also be specified, including explicit arrangements
for absence from the flexiplace location.
Special issues: any special issue that pertains to the
flexiplace arrangement should be described explicitly in the documentation.
For example, notification procedures for emergency situations, how overtime
is handled (if applicable), travel arrangements between the home (remote
site) and UCAR sites; dependent care situations, communication mechanisms
for transferring work products, assignments and general interactions. A
regular communication system should be established and followed to provide
both the supervisor and the employee (and his/her colleagues) with needed
Equipment and resource needs: these should be spelled
out completely and carefully. Such needs may include but are not necessarily
limited to: computers, fax machines, printers, furniture, modems, telephone
lines, three-way calling, ISDN, Internet access, call forwarding, caller
ID, answering machine, pager and special software. Care should be taken
to ensure the need and proper use of any equipment required. In those cases
where UCAR funds are used to purchase equipment, this equipment is subject
to UCAR Government Property Control policy, 3-1-4. Equipment provided by
the employee does not fall within these guidelines. UCAR is required to
provide all necessary safety equipment, for example, ergonomic furniture.
Safety: both general and special safety requirements are
the responsibility of the employee, and the employee should be counseled
on home safety issues, such as electrical situations. Such counseling,
including site visits, may be conducted by the Health, Environment and
Safety Services Department. Costs for special safety equipment (fire extinguishers,
smoke alarms ergonomic chairs, etc.) are borne by the employee's division
September 22, 1997