Working Flexibly

Learn what steps you need to take if you want to work flexibly or where to get help if you are managing others who are working flexibly.

Understanding Your Division’s Policy on Flexible Work

It is important to understand where your division stands with regards to working flexibly. Due to the diversity of jobs at Emory, divisional leaders are able establish flexible work policies for their own division based on what they deem to be appropriate. 

How to Request a Flexible Work Arrangement

If you are interested in working flexibly, you should start by reviewing your division’s policy on flexible work arrangements and following this up with a conversation with your manager. While not all jobs are suitable for all types of flexible work arrangements, many jobs at Emory can accommodate some kind of flexibility.

Job performance will also impact the approval of flexible work arrangements. Generally, the more flexibility one has, the stronger their work performance should be. This includes:

  • solid communication and transparency
  • strong and reliable accountability and work ethic
  • demonstrated ability to work independently with little supervision

You should also review our Steps for Setting Up and Ongoing Review of Flexible Work Arrangements. These steps outline the process for requesting/reviewing a flexible work arrangement for both employees and managers.

Prepare a Written Proposal

Divisions require that the details of flexible work arrangements be documented in writing and signed by the employee and supervisor. This may take a couple of drafts to work out all of the details. The Emory Work-Life Resource Center has a sample of a written proposal that may be helpful in preparing to speak with your supervisor.

Your proposal should:

  • Explain how, where and when you will accomplish your work without having a negative impact on the work of your department.
  • Address how your proposed arrangement can enhance your job and/or Emory.
  • Include how your work will be measured and performance will be evaluated.

You may also want to discuss your plan with others in your department to be sure that it will work before sharing it with your manager. Keep in mind that compromise and revision may be needed.

Work Life staff is available to help you develop a proposal or how to approach your manager. Contact us at 404-727-7613.

The decision of whether or not to approve a flexible work arrangement depends upon the policy set forth by your division and a combination of factors related to job suitability and work performance. Work Life staff does not make these decisions.

Note: If you are seeking a flexible work arrangement to care for your own health or the health of a family member, you should consult with your HR representative. In these cases, use of Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may be more appropriate.

View Sample Flexible Work Arrangement Proposal

International Remote Work

Requests to telecommute or work remotely are managed by individual departments and require supervisor approval.

Requests to work remotely from outside the U.S. require additional review given the multiple compliance considerations involved. These include but are not limited to:

  •     those related to tax liability
  •     immigration and work authorization
  •     cyber security
  •     export controls
  •     insurance
  •     sponsored funding requirements

International remote work requests must be considered on a case-by-case basis and may not be allowable.

Departments with requests for international remote work should reach out to Global Services (404-727-9127 or sarah.harlan@emory.edu) for review assistance.

Please note that requests to work outside of the State of Georgia also have compliance considerations. If an employee requests to telecommute or work remotely outside of the State of Georgia, and the work arrangement is not due to COVID-19, or is anticipated to be (or becomes) permanent, please contact the Payroll Office at eupayroll@emory.edu.

Telecommuting and remote work requests (domestic or international) involving international students and scholars must also be discussed with the department’s ISSS advisor. (ISSS has created FAQs and processes for handling such cases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic).

Managing a Flexible Work Team

If you are a manager and want to embrace a more flexible work culture in your department, it is important that you understand where your leadership stands on flexibility and should review your divisional policy on flexible work arrangements. Initiating a conversation with your HR leader or Dean may be helpful should you need any clarification.

You should review our Steps for Setting Up and Ongoing Review of Flexible Work Arrangements. These steps outline the process for requesting/reviewing a flexible work arrangement for both employees and managers.

You can also view our Tips for Assessing Job Suitability for Flexible Work Arrangements.

Consultation

Consultation, training and tips are available to help you learn more about how to support and manage a flexible work team. As a manager, you are encouraged to take advantage of these resources so that you hold the skills necessary to be successful at managing in a flexible work environment.