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Remote Work - Criteria & Conditions - Extension Decision Making Factors

UW Remote Work Policy 5087 contains Policy Section III. Criteria and Conditions for Remote Work. Within this section it is specified that remote work arrangements are considered on a case-by-case basis and are evaluated for factors outlined in UW Remote Work Policy 5087 - III - 2. The Division of Extension Dean's Leadership Team reviewed these decision-making factors and identified elements that require additional clarity at the Division level. Please review this article for clarifications around factors used in evaluating remote work agreements for the Division of Extension.

Decision-Making Factors

A.    Job responsibilities 

(e.g. jobs that require physical presence for effective performance are not suitable for remote work)

  • Limits on Amount of Remote Work: Remote work should, in most cases, be limited to no more than 40% of an employee’s hours.  
    • This reflects the nature of the vast majority of our positions’ internal and/or external relationships. Requests for a higher percentage require a more thorough assessment against the criteria outlined in the campus policy as well as the criteria enumerated in this article. 
  • Availability During "Core" Business Hours: Employees – regardless of whether they are working remotely or in-person - must be generally available during “core” business hours (9 am – 3 pm, M‐F) unless their position requires a significant amount of non‐core hours for teaching or other Extension activities.
    • Note: Core hours do not reflect all hours worked; rather they reflect the hours within which most internal collaboration should be focused.
    • Note: Employees who work non-standard hours/days due to teaching or other job duties will in some circumstances only be available for a subset of the core hours.
  • Impact on Key Partners and Customers: The impact of remote work on key partners and customers should be negligible or positive. Many Extension positions are located in facilities of priority partners. In addition, presence is a high priority for some of our core customers. Employees with remote work agreements should take the responsibility for setting up the tools needed to engage virtually with partners and other colleagues when needed.

B. The effective functioning of the overall unit

(e.g., trainees may need in-person assistance; flow of information may be shared more quickly among those physically present; etc.);

  • County Team & Program Impact: Each applicable subset of Extension (e.g., county team, program) should outline how they will function effectively and efficiently with some/all members of team having some portion of their work remote.
  • Attending Meetings in Person: Employees are required to physically attend meetings and other functions when requested by their supervisor, remote schedule notwithstanding. 
  • Managing Staff Remotely: In the instance of a supervisor requesting remote work, they should outline in their remote work agreement how they will successfully manage their staff while working remotely.

C. Potential cost savings to the university, S/C/D, and department;

  • Cost Savings for County & Extension Partners: Consideration will also be given to cost savings for the applicable county or another Extension partner.

D. The needs and preferences of the employee;

E. Employee performance;

F. Equipment needs, workspace design considerations, office space, and scheduling issues; and

  • Note: The employee is responsible for providing all equipment needed to work remotely, except for a laptop computer.

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.

  • One additional clarification with respect to the application of this policy in Extension is that the policy applies to all employees. Given the unique relationship between Extension and our county partners, it is important that we assess all positions against the criteria.

Approval of 100% Remote Work Agreements

Employees can request 100% remote work agreements contingent upon the following factors:

  • Space is not available at an existing Extension office near the employee’s place of residence and within the service area for the position, and/or the decision to approve the remote work agreement allows the organization to best achieve its mission.
  • The position must be located within the geographic service area of the position (e.g., within the region of the position’s focus).
  • A home office location must be agreeable to any funding partners (e.g., county, agency, etc.).
  • The arrangement represents an overall cost savings or is cost neutral for Extension when all costs are considered (e.g., travel, space rental, technology, etc.). This is something that is the supervisor’s responsibility to assess.
  • Extension can require an individual to report to the closest available office location when consistent with UW-Madison and division policy and when there is a business rationale to do so.

Implementation of 100% Remote Work Agreements:

  • The employee’s supervisor and DLT representative must approve the arrangement (as with any remote work agreement).
  • The Dean will need to approve all 100% remote work agreement requests. The DLT representative will obtain this approval from the Dean before approving the arrangement. 
  • Extension will provide employees that have a full-time home office arrangement the following equipment: laptop, docking station: monitor(s), keyboard, and associated technology peripherals. Furniture and suitable internet access will be the responsibility of the employee.
  • Travel reimbursement, per guidance from UW-Madison Business Services, would be from their home address once the remote work agreement is approved. The Division of Extension Office of Financial Services will use the remote work agreement as the authorization for reimbursement.
  • Individuals with a 100% remote work agreement will be assigned an office location at the nearest Extension Office, as home addresses cannot be listed in HRS as a designated office location. However, the employee, due to space constraints, would not work from that office unless required when there is a business rationale. 
  • Individuals will submit a 100% remote work agreement using that Extension Office as their business address and their home address as the remote office location.
  • A new request will need to be submitted annually, as is the case with other remote work agreements.


Keywordscriteria core business hours amount key partners customers review process   Doc ID113536
OwnerNathaniel S.GroupExtension Handbook
Created2021-09-08 12:52:36Updated2022-12-19 12:22:28
SitesExtension Handbook
CleanURLhttps://kb.wisc.edu/extension/remote-work-decision-making-factors-extension-review-process
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