Remote and Hybrid Work Policy for Staff
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
SUBJECT: REMOTE AND HYBRID WORK POLICY FOR STAFF
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 4, 2021
Remote and hybrid work arrangements may be used to allow staff members to fulfill some or all of their duties from an off-campus location. Enabling remote and hybrid work is a strategic business decision, in addition to being a benefit for staff members, and is consistent with Vanderbilt’s institutional goals, including:
- Creating a highly engaged, equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce.
- Attracting and retaining staff members by providing a work environment that is supportive, productive, and flexible.
- Sustaining a highly collaborative culture.
- Fostering an environment for continued productivity, improvement, and excellence.
- Empowering decisions that prioritize both business needs and staff member preferences.
- Reducing our environmental impact and aligning with the university’s sustainability goals.
For these reasons, the university encourages the use of remote and hybrid work arrangements and flexible scheduling when appropriate and when in alignment with the needs of the teams within business and work units. Approval for such arrangements is granted at the discretion of the business or work unit and is subject to ongoing and periodic review. The determination of staff member eligibility for remote and hybrid work will be made in accordance with this policy and the needs of the business or work unit.
THIS POLICY APPLIES TO
This policy applies only to staff from business and work units that participate in remote and hybrid work arrangements. It does not apply to staff from business or work units that do not participate in remote and hybrid work arrangements; nor does it apply to union members covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
When considering work location, there are several types of work at the university including:
- On-campus work: Job responsibilities that are performed on-campus.
- Hybrid work: Job responsibilities that are performed both on- and off-campus.
- Partial-year hybrid/remote work: Job responsibilities that are primarily performed on-campus for most of the year but could be performed off-campus for the rest of the year.
- Remote work: Job responsibilities that are performed entirely off-campus.
On-campus work can take place in several different types of workspaces including:
- Dedicated workspace: Workspace that is assigned to a specific staff member(s).
- Shared workspace: Unassigned workspace that is shared by staff members.
- Collaborative workspace: Workspace that is provided to teams for collaborative purposes.
Schedules for on-campus, hybrid, and remote work may vary depending on business needs and should be determined in consultation with the manager.
REMOTE AND HYBRID WORK – POSITION ELIGIBILITY
Business or work units are responsible for determining if positions are eligible to be remote or hybrid based on their operational and business needs.
Typically, if all of the duties can be accomplished at an equal or higher level at an off-campus location, the position may be appropriate for either remote or hybrid work. If a significant portion (but not all) of the duties can be accomplished at an equal or higher level at an off-campus location, the position may be appropriate for hybrid work. The frequency of required on-campus work for a particular position will be decided by the appropriate manager.
Expectations for timely completion of work, meeting attendance, responsiveness, and other performance criteria are the same for remote, hybrid, and on-campus staff members. Business or work units are expected to apply the same performance standards to staff members regardless of work location.
REMOTE AND HYBRID WORK – STAFF MEMBER ELIGIBILITY
Before determining if a staff member is eligible for remote and hybrid work, the business or work unit should first determine position eligibility (see Section II above). If a position is determined to be eligible, the business or work unit should next evaluate if a staff member can complete their job functions through a remote or hybrid work schedule. Consultation with HR is required when more than one staff member holds the same position but not all staff members have been determined to be eligible for remote and hybrid work.
When evaluating remote or hybrid work eligibility, business or work units should consider specific position requirements, needs of the team, any existing performance concerns, and whether a staff member can optimally perform the job duties of the position while working off-campus. Additionally, business or work units must ensure that any proposed off-campus work arrangements are conducted consistent with applicable regulations and policies.
Unless explicitly agreed to in writing, a remote or hybrid work staff member’s terms and conditions of employment are the same as those of on-campus staff, including required compliance with all university policies and applicable federal and state law while working off campus.
Regardless of hybrid or remote work arrangements, staff members may be required to work from campus at any time at the sole discretion of their manager and managers should discuss such instances (e.g., hands-on training) with the staff member in advance whenever possible. Decisions regarding scheduling and attending meetings in person or virtually should be based on optimizing outcomes and not on personal preferences for remote work.
REMOTE AND HYBRID WORK ARRANGEMENTS
Staff members may be considered for remote or hybrid work only if the following criteria are met: (1) their position is eligible for hybrid and remote work, as described in Section II above; (2) their manager agrees that hybrid and remote work is appropriate for the individual, as described in Section III above; and (3) they have completed an attestation of the business- or work unit-level policy via Oracle.
All remote and hybrid work arrangements should be evaluated on an ongoing and periodic basis. At minimum, these arrangements should be assessed at six-month intervals to ensure that the individual’s quality of work, efficiency, and productivity are not compromised by work location. These assessments should be saved as part of the employee’s personnel file. In addition, the employee should continue to receive regular performance evaluations in accordance with business or work unit policies, when present, and institutional policy, regardless of work location.
CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE
Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
ON-CAMPUS SPACE REQUIREMENTS
To accommodate on-campus work, business or work units should:
- Approach office and workstation design in a strategic manner, with a thoughtful mix of designated and flexible space.
- Provide team members with dedicated or shared workspace depending on business needs and individual staff members’ work arrangements.
- Provide collaborative work space for project teams.
- Allow space for individual and shared work items (e.g., secure storage for personal belongings, workspace for physical network equipment, shared office supplies, special project supplies, etc.).
- Provide information on sustainable commuting and parking options.
REMOTE WORKSPACE ARRANGEMENTS
All remote and hybrid staff members are responsible for having their own designated off-campus workspace. Staff members are responsible for identifying a workspace that is conducive to performing their job duties, which may require a quiet and/or private workspace. Staff members are also responsible for maintaining safe conditions in the workspace, including proper ergonomics, and to practice the same safety habits as those followed on campus. The university assumes no responsibility for injuries that occur as a result of activities that do not arise primarily out of and in the course and scope of employment. Managers should be notified of any workspace injuries immediately and staff must complete the online first report of injury.
Unless required by law, staff members are typically responsible for costs related to the setup of the designated workspace. Staff members are also responsible for compliance with any tax implications of a remote workspace.
Consistent with Vanderbilt’s policies and expectations of information security for staff working on campus, staff working off-campus will be expected to ensure the protection of university information accessible remotely.
- Internet:Internet connectivity is the responsibility of staff members working off-campus. Bandwidth requirements may vary depending on job function and assignment.
- Standard IT services: IT Services are the responsibility of the university. These services include central management of the laptop or other computer workstation, patching, anti-malware, firewall, and host-based security features. Services that require in-person assistance from IT Service Delivery must take place on campus.
- Equipment: The university will provide a computer and other necessary equipment required to perform essential job functions. Business or work units are not required to purchase multiple sets of equipment for hybrid work staff members.
- Hybrid meetings: The university will explore and implement technology solutions to allow staff members to meaningfully participate in meetings regardless of location.
- Data security:Staff members are responsible for maintaining the security of data while working off-campus. Types of data include, but are not limited to, confidential university information, employee personal information, or student information. Staff members should protect such data through appropriate physical and electronic methods, such as the use of locked file cabinets/desks, use of password-protection, and other measures appropriate for the job duties and workspace.
Additional information on working remotely can be found on the VUIT website.
OUT-OF-STATE AND INTERNATIONAL REMOTE WORK
Staff members working out-of-state, including internationally, may be subject to additional wage, employment, reporting, and taxation requirements. Business or work units may incur additional costs related to the employment of out-of-state and international staff and must work proactively with HR when considering hiring someone who lives outside of Tennessee or permitting a staff member to move outside of Tennessee and work remotely. Whether to permit a staff member to move outside of Tennessee and work remotely is at the discretion of the business or work unit.
Unless otherwise required by law, responsibility for travel costs associated with travel to or from campus (airfare, mileage, lodging, meals) for staff members working out-of-state will be agreed upon in writing in advance (at the time of hire or at the initiation of a remote or hybrid work arrangement) between the individual staff member and the business or work unit.
Business or work units must consult with Employee Immigration Services on issues related to current or prospective international staff members to ensure compliance with all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of State (DOS), and Department of Labor (DOL) regulations.
WORK SCHEDULES AND TIMEKEEPING
Regardless of work location, staff members are required to comply with Vanderbilt’s Hours of Work policy.
WORKING WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AT HOME
Staff members should not use hybrid and remote work as a substitute for dependent care.
DISABILITY AND OTHER ACCOMODATIONS
Staff member requests for remote and hybrid work arrangements as an accommodation related to their own medical condition or sincerely held religious beliefs are handled through the accommodation process, which is managed by Equal Opportunity Access Office. Staff members should discuss concerns about accommodation-related questions with the EOA office or their HR Consultant.