A work schedule is the normal hours of work on specific days within a 40-hour work week. Work hours for employees, including salaried and hourly employees, are based on a schedule determined by you. Scheduling work hours includes work days, starting and stopping time, lunches, and breaks. When you are establishing work hours:
- Make sure they comply with policies and contracts.
- Schedule and control them. If you make a change you should consult with the appropriate policy or contract for notice procedures.
- Authorize overtime and keep accurate records. Process payment of overtime promptly.
Flexible Work Arrangements
See also: Flexible Work Arrangements
A variety of flexible work arrangements are permitted under personnel policies and collective bargaining agreements. Many departments have successfully incorporated variations on the traditional 8:00 to 5:00 with lunch from noon to 1:00 schedule. Alternative possibilities are wide-ranging, and include:
- fixed full-time schedules, such as arriving at 7:30 a.m. and leaving at 4:00 p.m., with a half-hour for lunch
- flexible schedules centering on a fixed core, such as varying arrival time between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and departure time between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- compressed work weeks of fewer than five days, such as working
- four 10-hour days
- part-time work
- job shares (a form of part-time work)
- part-year work, such as 9-, 10-, and 11-month career appointments with corresponding 3-, 2- or 1-month periods of furlough each year
- telecommuting, in which the employee works at home or at an alternate work site part of each week and communicates by phone or by other electronic means
Advantages of Flexible Work Arrangements
The Chancellor encourages you to give serious consideration to employee requests for alternative work arrangements, because flexibility can enable employees to resolve conflicts between their responsibilities at work and at home. By helping employees integrate their personal concerns with their work concerns, you can benefit in the following ways:
- Improved productivity and morale
- Stronger ability to recruit and retain the best employees
- Better economy and efficiency of operations (as when staffing varies based on peaks and valleys of activity, or space is freed up as a result of telecommuting)
- A more creative and motivating work environment
Although flexible arrangements are encouraged, they are not an employee right. You have the approval authority, and should only approve requests that will not be detrimental to your departmental operations. Many times, however, a request that may at first seem unworkable turns out to be quite feasible after careful study and perhaps some minor adjustments. For example, an employee may want to arrive at 7:00 and leave at 4:00, yet you know the services which the employee provides must continue to be available until 5:00. Perhaps another employee in the unit prefers to work a late schedule, arriving at 9:00 and leaving at 6:00. By approving both schedules in tandem, you may actually be able to extend the department's hours from 7:00 to 6:00, and thus improve service.
Your Employee Relations Consultant can help you review employee requests to look for ways to maintain departmental operations and minimize liability. For example, you will need to assure that employees who are eligible for premium overtime do not actually work more than 40 hours in a week. Telecommuting arrangements in particular present a number of liability issues, which your Employee Relations Specialist can help you minimize.