FWA Sample Scenarios
1. A supervisor receives or anticipates multiple FWA requests from staff and wants to be as fair as possible. What are some suggestions for this scenario?
- The supervisor calls a departmental meeting. If the supervisor, or employees, have not watched the training video, we first suggest starting there. All supervisors and requestors MUST have completed the training either in person or watching the recorded version.
- Assuming all have watched or participated in the training, the supervisor can acknowledge that they have received a multitude of similar requests and if anyone else is considering an FWA, please turn in by____________. This provides everyone an equal chance for consideration and also gives the supervisor an opportunity to look at the “big picture” for the department.
- Once all FWAs are received, supervisor is now in a better position to consider requests in conjunction with business needs.
2. The supervisor can also inquire if anyone is “flexible” on their request. For instance, perhaps someone indicated they wanted compressed scheduling with Monday off each week. Through conversation, that supervisor might learn that the individual is quite flexible on the “off day.” Same may be true about arrival or departure times. The “middle” step between the original request and the employee/supervisor meeting is crucial to the process. This is where we can learn the most and look for that common ground where employee and workplace needs can be best met.
- With steps 1 and 2 being complete, you may find the department has thought through many of your “supervisory” concerns already as well as additional advantages to the department, such as extended office hours, etc. Is this the case? Are your concerns already resolved?
- Trust your staff members insight as they are often on the front lines and know the ebb and flow of the department and the students and other stakeholders they serve. Ask for their input on possible solutions.
Below you will see an example of a creative solution that provides parity among staff members, meets the needs of the department and their stakeholders, and provides job flexibility to the staff:
This solution could easily be applied to 2 or 4 individuals or groups of individuals for various types of requests ranging from compressed work schedule to early arrival/departure.
- A new mother just returned to work from being on maternity leave. Her retired parents have agreed to care for the baby on weekdays but are only available until 4:00 pm. The employee requests an alternative arrival/departure FWA to work from 6:30 am to 3:30 pm.
- An employee is an active member of a community organization that meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month. The meetings run late, and the employee has a long commute to work the next morning. The employee works with their supervisor to establish an arrangement to arrive and depart later than their typical hours on the first and third Thursday each month. The numbers of hours worked for the day does not change, just arrival/departure times. If the department schedules an important meeting for a Thursday morning, the employee is still required to be there.
Extended Lunch Duration
- An employee leaves the office at 12:00 pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday and returns at 1:30 pm. During that time, the employee travels to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, changes, participates in a 45-minute group exercise class from 12:15-1:00 pm, changes, and returns to the office. The employee then has a quick lunch and starts working again at 1:30 pm. One hour was the employee’s lunch break, and the remaining 30 minutes was flex time. To compensate, the employee adjusts their schedule to make up for the extended lunch breaks (e.g. arrives at work earlier, leaves later, and/or shortens duration of their lunch break on other days of the week. If classified, the employee clocks in and out accordingly).
- Employee is interested in a special lunch and learn program offered as a four-part series that meets every Monday from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm for four weeks. Employee requests an extended lunch duration FWA for a four-week duration. Employee uses 1-hour lunch plus 30 min extended lunchtime each week for the duration of the four-week program. After four weeks, the employee and supervisor end the arrangement with the Flexible Work Arrangement Termination Form.
- An employee and supervisor establish an extended lunch arrangement for the employee to participate in physical activity up to three days per week. The employee uses flex time responsibly and maintains work performance. Leading up to the department’s busy season, the supervisor notifies the employee that the arrangement needs to be temporarily discontinued to meet business needs. The supervisor and employee terminate the flexible work arrangement using the FWA Termination Form. Once the unit’s busy season concludes, the employee may request a new flexible work arrangement and work with their supervisor to establish a new agreement per the Flexible Work Arrangement Request Form.
- An employee is interested in a four-week training series that is not affiliated with the university. The trainings take place from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm one day per week. While the supervisor cannot allow the employee to participate in the training during paid time, they believe it is a beneficial professional development opportunity for the employee. The supervisor and employee work together to establish an arrangement for the employee to work 9-hour shifts the other four days of the week to accommodate the half days being missed for the training series. Once the training series concludes, the FWA Termination Form is used to show that the employee is returning to their customary work schedule.
- A divorced parent cares for their child on weekends. They work with their supervisor to establish a continuing Compressed FWA in which the employee works four 9-hour shifts Monday through Thursday and a half-day on Friday every week so they can leave in time to pick up their child from school on Friday.
- A department has a busy season in the fall. All staff in the unit may request flex time; however, it is only granted between January and August to meet the business needs of this unit. A similar department is typically swamped with calls first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. Employees in this unit may only request to participate in wellness activities between 10 am and 3 pm to meet business needs.
- A busy office has several employees wishing to take advantage of flex time for wellness. They are sensitive to the office needs and work together to come up with a schedule that the supervisor approves. One employee takes a spinning class from 7-7:45 am and arrives at the office by 8:15 am. Two employees are already at work by 8:00 am, when the office opens. At 11:00 am, another employee leaves for a 45-minute yoga class. Another employee schedules her lunch and workouts so that they do not interfere with anyone else’s lunch/exercise schedule. In this environment, all staff encourage each other to stay active and support a healthy and productive work team.