Fielding Flexibility: Emory WorkLife Reponds to your Common Questions about Workplace Flexibility

 

March, 2015

 

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 worklife@emory.edu and we will consider it for a future article in the series.

 

Question:

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?

 

Answer:

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.

View Past Flex Questions