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Topics Map > Employee Handbook > 1.14 Workplace & Conduct > 1.14.1 Remote Work & Flexible Scheduling
Remote Work - Request a Remote Work Agreement
This article explains the process for Extension employees to request a remote work agreement as well as the review of remote work arrangements (modifications, denials, revocations).
Extension supports the use of appropriate flexible and remote work options for employees. We anticipate the use of different work arrangements (on-site, hybrid, and fully-remote) going forward. Some job responsibilities in Extension are conducive to remote work, and many are most effectively performed in-person. Work arrangements must comply with and align with university policy. Under the policy, hybrid and fully remote work arrangements require the approval of a remote work agreement, which is a formal, detailed document that remains on file in the employee’s personnel record. The decision about whether to enter a formal remote work agreement involves consensus between an employee and their supervisor, with agreement by their Dean's Leadership Team member (e.g. Assistant Dean, Associate Dean) and the Dean’s office, with review by Extension HR. This is to ensure that the proposed work arrangement is feasible, secure, reliable, effective, and meets the needs of the Division of Extension.
Short term needs (e.g. quarantine due to exposure, surgery that temporary limits mobility) should be handled using flexible work guidelines or leave. A remote work agreement is only applicable if a work site change will exceed 30 days in length.
Instructions to Request a Remote Work Agreement
1) Review the UW-Madison Remote Work Policy
Supervisors and employees should thoroughly review the UW-Madison Remote Work Policy prior to beginning the evaluation and approval process for remote work agreements.
2) Review Division of Extension Decision-Making Factors
(e.g. jobs that require physical presence for effective performance are not suitable for remote work) (e.g., trainees may need in-person assistance; flow of information may be shared more quickly among those physically present; etc.); Employees can request 100% remote work agreements contingent upon the following factors:
A. Job responsibilities
B. The effective functioning of the overall unit
C. Potential cost savings to the university, S/C/D, and department;
D. The needs and preferences of the employee;
E. Employee performance;
F. Equipment needs, workspace design considerations, office space, and scheduling issues; and
G. Adverse impact between employees with similar job responsibilities in the work unit (prevent inequities).
Additional factors that S/C/Ds wish to consider should be discussed with divisional HR.
Approval of 100% Remote Work Agreements
Implementation of 100% Remote Work Agreements:
(e.g. jobs that require physical presence for effective performance are not suitable for remote work)
(e.g., trainees may need in-person assistance; flow of information may be shared more quickly among those physically present; etc.);
Employees can request 100% remote work agreements contingent upon the following factors:
3) Employee/Supervisor Discussion of Proposed Remote Work Arrangement
The supervisor and employee should discuss the following items:
- Employee remote work location
- Work hours/schedule
- Frequency of remote work (e.g., three days on-site, two days remote)
- Presence in virtual and on-site meetings
- Work and performance expectations
- Metrics of monitoring work performance
- Remote work environment
- Remote work environments should simulate office-like conditions where an individual can ensure productivity levels similar to working on campus. Employees working in a remote environment should be free from regular distractions to their work responsibilities. An employee must ensure that their remote workspace has the privacy, physical and technical security, appropriate equipment, software, and internet access to adequately perform their work responsibilities.
- Equipment needs
- Unit/department plan for remote work
- Employee and supervisor responsibilities outlined in UW–Madison Remote Work Policy
4) Download & Review the Employee Checklist for Completing a Remote Work Agreement
The employee checklist can be used for the completion and approval of the remote work agreement submission. The employee and supervisor can use this checklist to track relevant information.
Download & Review the Employee Checklist for Completing a Remote Work Agreement
5) Complete & Submit Remote Work Agreement for Approval
Taking the information decided during the supervisor/employee discussion, the employee will initiate the remote work agreement approval process. Remote work agreements will be approved by an employee’s supervisor, Dean's Leadership Team Member, the Dean's Office (for any requests over 40%), and Extension Human Resources. The employee and supervisor will receive e-mail notifications at each step of the process when an action is taken.
- Employees will create and submit a Remote Work Agreement in MyUW under Personal Information > Update My Personal Information > Remote Work Agreement.
- Complete step-by-step instructions on how to complete and submit the agreement are found in Employee Access to Remote Work Agreement.
- The employee should use the unlabeled comment box at the end of the document to write a justification for the request, speaking to the decision-making factors in Remote Work - Criteria & Conditions - Extension Decision Making Factors.
- The request will be routed to the employee's supervisor for the initial recommendation.
- The supervisor will take one of three actions:
- Recommend approval of the request;
- "Push back" the form for modification or further explanation by the employee to ensure it aligns with Extension Decision Making Factors for Remote Work;
- or deny the request if it is unaligned with Extension Decision Making Factors for Remote Work .
- The supervisor should address in their comment box how remote work will be managed at the team/program level to ensure maintenance or enhancement of unit effectiveness.
- If recommended for approval, either initially or after modification, it will go to the employee’s DLT representative for review and approval. If the request is for more than 40% remote work, the DLT representative will consult with the Dean for review and approval;
- Human Resources is the final reviewer/approver of all requests within the Division.
6) Implement Remote Work Agreement
Once a remote work agreement has been implemented, it is important to ensure the arrangements stay on track. This includes:
- Regular check points (e.g., bi-weekly employee/supervisor one-on-one meetings)
- Performance evaluation meetings (e.g., mid-point conversation, summary evaluation)
- Remote work agreements should be reviewed and updated at a minimum annually.
- Remote work agreements must designate the employee’s onsite and remote work locations effective throughout the remote work period. Any changes in remote work location during a remote work agreement require the approval of a new remote work agreement.
- Remote work agreements can be updated or canceled as warranted due to changes in factors such as evolving work responsibilities, availability of equipment, and business needs. Some updates may require the approval of a new remote work agreement.
Review of Denial, Modification, or Revocation of Remote Work Arrangements
A remote work agreement may be denied, modified, or revoked. The supervisor must discuss the reasons for the denial, modification or revocation with the employee and provide a reasonable notice period before the revocation or modification goes into effect. Denials, modifications, and revocations of remote work agreements may be reviewed. (See sections III.6 and X of the UW–Madison Remote Work Policy).
If an Extension employee requests a remote work arrangement and the request is denied at any level of the approval process, or if a supervisor modifies or revokes an established remote work agreement, the employee may request a review of the decision by the Extension Dean’s Office using the following process:
- Requests for review should be sent to email@example.com.
- Components of review requests:
- The employee should outline the details of the denial, modification, or revocation decision, including the supervisor’s stated reasons for the denial, modification, or revocation
- In cases of revocation or modification of an approved remote work agreement, the employee should cite the notice period provided before the revocation or modification goes into effect.
- The employee should submit their request after being notified of the denial, modification, or revocation.
- The Extension Dean’s Office will issue a decision prior to the revocation or modification effective date.
- The timelines outlined here may be extended by mutual agreement.
- The decision from the Extension Dean’s Office is final and cannot be appealed.
Remote Work Resources
- UW-Madison Remote Work Policy
- UW-Madison Guidance and Resources for Employees
- Flexible Scheduling and Remote Work Agreement Operational Guidelines
- [Link for document 109721 is unavailable at this time]
- An outline of the remote work agreement workflow can be found in Remote Work Agreement Employee Workflow.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.