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Staff Flexible Work Program

Overview

Villanova University is committed to providing an environment that supports a healthy work/life integration and recognizes that flexible work arrangements offer creative approaches to meeting the university’s operational needs. Depending on the needs of the department, flexible work arrangements may be a beneficial alternative to a traditional work schedule. Though it is a priority of the University to support the vibrant on-campus community, Villanova University also recognizes that certain eligible jobs may have the ability to be performed remotely in whole or in part. In compliance with the Staff Flexible Work Policy, this resource page is designed to provide additional information and tools on how to navigate the flexible work program to support employee flexibility and department goals. 

Once the arrangement has been approved according to the Staff Flexible Work Policy, the Flexible Work Agreement should be completed, signed, and returned to Human Resources.

When managers/supervisors receive a request for a flexible work arrangement, they need to consider all of the implications of the arrangement and discuss them with the employees. The type of work, employee performance, and feasibility of the division/department to support the request should all be considered when deciding if specific flexible work arrangements are suitable.

Questions to consider:

  1. Is a flexible work arrangement right for this position?
    Not all positions are suitable for flexible work arrangements or remote work. Each position should be considered individually, per the responsibilities of the role, to determine if the work can be done effectively outside of the regular work hours and/or environment. The change in work location or hours should not impact productivity, customer service, operational efficiency, or team collaboration.

  2. Is a flexible work arrangement appropriate for this employee?
    After making the determination that all or some of the role responsibilities can be performed outside of the regular work environment, it must be identified if the employee in this role is compatible to flexible and/or remote work opportunities. This must be considered on a case-by-case basis for current employees and must also be considered when interviewing candidates for flexible or potential remote work positions.
    If the employee is not well suited for a flexible work arrangement/remote work or is denied based on a previously documented performance or corrective action issue, it is best practice to communicate that reasoning with the employee. In this instance, a discussion about job performance and growth opportunities should be had between the employee and their supervisor before the option for flexible work/remote work can be re-assessed in the future.
    As a manager, if you are unsure of how to approach the conversation with your employee, or unsure if their request can or should be supported, please contact Human Resources for guidance.

  3. Is a flexible work arrangement feasible for this department?
    Once a determination has been made that both the job and the employee are a good fit for a flexible work/remote work arrangement, the manager – in partnership with their college or department leadership team – must decide whether it is feasible to support the request. Supervisors should have a thorough conversation with the employee to understand the request, the benefits, and potential challenges. Managers should keep documentation of these conversations and any documentation provided throughout the process for each employee. It will be necessary to keep a pulse on success of the arrangement for each employee and for the team as a whole, so having documentation of the conversations will be critical for check-ins throughout the year.
    Flexible work arrangements can be effective tools to enable innovation and shape the future of work at Villanova University. Under optimal conditions, once approved and implemented, flexible work arrangements should have either a net-positive or net-neutral effect on business results and the work environment. In other words, the same work is getting accomplished at another time, in another place, or in another way, ideally having a positive effect. The arrangement should not have an overall negative impact on the team or on individual performance.  Managers should consider supporting a flexible work arrangement if they are confident that the department/college and University goals can still be met, without adverse impacts or sacrifice in collaboration or culture.

Tools for Success:

While flexible work arrangements and/or remote work can be an effective tool to support productivity, enable innovation, and strengthen work/life balance, not every position or employee is suitable for these types of arrangements. Working outside of the regular work environment and/or hours is likely to present challenges and it is important to consider what and how your work could be impacted as a result of these arrangements.

Employees seeking a flexible work arrangement will need to have a conversation with their manager/supervisor outlining the type of Flexible Work Arrangement being requested, the reason(s) for the request, their plan for meeting the responsibilities of their position, work schedule (hours, days, commitment) requested, and the proposed start date of the Flexible Work Arrangement. The employee should be prepared to discuss the request in detail with their manager and thoughtfully explain what the benefits would be – for themselves and the University – of the proposed arrangement, what the challenges might be, and how they will overcome those barriers. It is important to remember that flexible work arrangements, including remote work, do not change the responsibilities of the job itself. Employees approved for flexible work arrangements will still be expected to work during determined work hours, produce the same work, and perform as they would in the regular office environment. The same on-campus work standards apply, regardless of hours or location.

Flexible work arrangements are also not a guarantee; it is a privilege intended to support the convenience of the employee. However, operational needs will continue to be the priority and will ultimately dictate the ability to support flexible arrangement requests. A supervisor, after consulting with the department head, may terminate a Flexible Work Arrangement if the supervisor determines that the arrangement is no longer consistent with the department’s obligations or if the performance of the employee is not meeting performance expectations.

Tools for Success:

Remote Site Equipment:

Villanova University will provide equipment in accordance with each employee's responsibilities as if they were working onsite. This usually will consist of a laptop computer, a monitor, mouse, keyboard, headset, and university phone number. Printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, shredders, white boards, office chairs, and all other traditional office supplies will be located on-site. Employees that are requesting – and approved for – a remote work arrangement and that wish to have these items at their remote site will need to purchase them with their own resources (unless a special situation is approved by their manager or department).

Phone and Internet Access:

High speed internet access and telephone services are required to work remotely for Villanova University. The remote work employee must provide their own Wi-Fi connectivity at their expense. All employees are assigned a university phone number.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding this process, please call 610-519-7900 or email Human Resources.

The Human Resources Office is located at:

The Villanova Center
789 Lancaster Avenue, Suite 260,
Villanova PA, 19085