Flexible Work Arrangements

Per Columbia policy, managers must review all requests for schedules that differ from normal business hours (usually 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and assess department work needs and resources before approving a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), including telecommutes. 

FWA Process

FWAs include:

For more details on FWA types and to see how employee should make proposals, visit the FWA section of Manage Work Time.

In order to request a FWA, employees must complete an Employee FWA Proposal form and submit it to their manager for consideration. Each employee-initiated FWA proposal should be evaluated on its own merits.

FWA Policy

Employee FWA Proposal form

Employees request FWAs for diverse and compelling personal reasons. Managerial focus must be on how a schedule change affects the organization, and on the potential value added by working differently.

  1. Review FWA request. Consult with department HR representative, HR Client Manager and/or the Office of Work/Life to prepare for meeting with the employee.
  2. Meet with the employee to discuss.
  3. Evaluate the FWA request. If considering denying, consult with department; HR representative, HR Client Manager and/or the Office of Work/Life.
  4. Accept or deny the request. Inform the employee as soon as possible.
  5. If request is denied, schedule a meeting with employee to explain the Business-based Decision.
  6. If request is accepted, schedule a meeting with employee to develop an implementation plan and discuss timekeeping. Review and confirm expectations and deliverables.
  7. Communicate the change to the department and any relevant business partners.
  8. Monitor the employee’s progress and remain supportive.

Meeting business and operational goals under a proposed FWA arrangement is primary criteria for approving a FWA request.

Managers use the FWA request, conversations with the employee and consultations with department HR representatives, HR Client Managers and/or the Office of Work/Life to make sound, value-based, organizational decisions.

Objective criteria is considered to determine the viability of a specific arrangement:

  •     Business and department needs
  •     Job requirements
  •     The employee’s skills and performance history

When business needs and operational goals require a staffing review, FWAs initiated by managers can be considered.

Managers are required to consult with their HR client manager when considering implementing FWA as part of business planning. Manager-initiated FWA should not be used as a method for changing an employee's hours or salary.