This new series has been designed to answer some of the common questions we hear from employees and managers about workplace flexibility. Submit a question to email@example.com and we will consider it for a future article in the series.
Is it acceptable to say that when taking time off or during the week of a holiday, work from home days should not occur during that same week? For example, if a person who has a flexible work arrangement in which they work 4 days at the office and 1 day from home, but they only work 4 days during a certain week, should it be required that they are in the office all 4 days? Similarly, if the University is closed for a particular holiday, is it recommended that the person cancel his/her telecommuting arrangement for that week and work in the office for 4 days?
It is important to remember that when an employee is working from home, they are working and the time spent away from the office is neither vacation nor a day off. The expectations and job requirements should be the same as if employees are in the office. Our perspective is that a telecommuting arrangement is nothing more than a change in work location. For example, if an employee is scheduled to work in the office Mon-Thurs and works from home on Fridays and takes off on a Monday to enjoy a 3 day weekend, they are expected to work the same way they would normally when they return from their day off. This would mean Tues-Thurs in the office and Fri from home. Of course, there are exceptions if a business reason requires an employee’s presence on a scheduled telecommuting day such as requiring onsite coverage to meet the needs of the department or customers, onsite team meetings with co-workers, vendors or colleagues, special events that required onsite presence, etc.
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