Hybrid Work FAQs

The supervisors must submit new proposals. So long as the number of days out of the office per week does not exceed two, the new proposal can closely mimic—or be an exact duplicate—of the pilot.

The number of proposals submitted depends on the preference of the supervisor of the overall unit or department. For example, some of the schools within the university include several large departments, while others have no departments—but several centers. The deans of the schools can decide whether they want to submit one proposal for the entire school, or permit each area to submit a separate proposal. For administrative units, the supervisor may choose to submit different proposals for areas that perform distinct duties (e.g., academic areas versus student ones versus financial ones).

Regardless of whether the supervisor opts for one large or several separate proposals, the dean or vice president still must sign each proposal before submission.

If at least some of the part-time employee’s duties can be completed off campus, then the supervisor has the option to permit the part-time employee to work off campus. For consistency with the university’s approach to full-time employees participating in the hybrid work program (i.e., no more than two days per five-day week, or 40 percent of weekly work time), up to 40 percent of the part-time employee’s weekly work time may be conducted remotely.

Contractors and temporary employees complete duties for the university, but are not Case Western Reserve employees. As a result, their work location depends on the preferences of the employer of record (if an outside entity). For example, Kelly Services would determine the amount of remote work permitted for those individuals working for the university through Kelly.

Yes. Roles where duties can only be completed on campus are not eligible for the hybrid work model, but will receive up to three flexible days per fiscal year.

With the support of the relevant supervisors, postdoctoral fellows or scholars may participate in the hybrid work program. Supervisors should list the schedules for postdoctoral fellows or scholars on the same form as used for staff.

 

As with the hybrid pilot programs, all other alternative work arrangements must be submitted for approval. Such pre-existing arrangements can be included within the same proposal as the overall hybrid request.

If the responsibilities of an office during certain times of year merit having everyone working on campus during those weeks, then yes, the plan’s provisions can require it. At the same time, all campus offices must have some staff presence during normal working hours whenever the university is open. In other words, offices can have reduced on-campus staffing during certain weeks to “balance out” the weeks when everyone has to work on campus the entire week. 

Supervisors are expected to provide their employees ample advance notice of such schedule variations. 

So long as their dean or vice president concurs, supervisors have discretion regarding whether to submit a hybrid work proposal—and, if submitting one, the structure of the proposal itself. In a circumstance like the one described in this question, however, Human Resources would recommend that the supervisor discuss all options and implications with the dean or vice president before (a) deciding whether to submit a proposal and (b) if submitting one, how to approach the distinctions in responsibilities among employees within that unit.

The answer to this question depends largely on the rationale for the differential treatment. In the situation described in the fifth question above (Are certain positions ineligible for inclusion in hybrid work models?), some people in a unit have duties that must be completed entirely on campus, while others’ responsibilities may allow for greater flexibility. In such instances, a supervisor could justify allowing the latter group to fulfill some of their responsibilities at home. 

Conversely, if all employees within a unit have responsibilities that can be completed off campus, but the hybrid work proposal only allows some of them to participate, the supervisor will be expected to provide specific operational reasons for the disparate approach.

Ultimately the supervisor, in consultation with the respective dean or vice president, makes the final determination regarding whether to apply for a hybrid work model. If employees in such a department strongly prefer a hybrid work arrangement, they can ask the supervisor to consider an alternative work arrangement or seek employment in another unit within the university that does provide the hybrid option.

Such work arrangements are at the discretion of the supervisor and the appropriate vice president or dean. They should be submitted for approval as part of a hybrid work proposal.

Only employees ineligible for hybrid work may participate in the flexible-day option. 

New employees must work full-time on campus during their probationary period, which typically lasts 90 days.

Employees new to the university must complete their first 90 days working fully on campus. If they successfully complete their probationary period, the supervisor then can incorporate hybrid work options that align with the existing approved proposal.

With the supervisor’s approval, an employee can work from home on different days within different weeks—so long as the employee continues to work on campus at least three days a week. 

The limit for hybrid work days per five-day work week is two, which translates to 40 percent of the week. Supervisors preparing to submit hybrid work plan proposals should first determine whether that employee’s work includes duties that could be completed off campus—and, if so, what proportion of the work falls into that category. From there, the supervisor should discuss hybrid work options with that employee, and determine what approach works best for the unit and the employee (e.g., the employee may prefer to transition to a five-day week, or to have two eight-hour days working from home and two 12-hour days working on campus, etc.). The final decision rests with the supervisor, but must include consultation with the staff member(s).

Employees working from home as part of a hybrid work plan should fulfill the responsibilities of their role. As part of developing the hybrid work proposal, supervisors and employees should discuss expectations. 

In some instances, an employee will concentrate on the specific duties of their position that are best completed without interruption during at-home days, while a colleague on campus answers telephone inquiries to the office. 

In others, the nature of a person’s role is such that they need to be available to answer the phone at all times—whether on- or off-campus. In the latter instance, the supervisor likely will direct that calls to the employee’s work phone be forwarded to a line that the individual can answer directly (e.g., home or mobile phone).

The employee does not have to be working at home when working off campus, but does need to be working in a setting that meets all of the university’s requirements for security and privacy of information.

As when they are working on campus, non-exempt employees working off campus may not work overtime without express written approval from their supervisors.

The employee’s direct supervisor knows the specific requirements of the of the position better than someone within another unit or department. As a result, the supervisor would be the first person to determine whether the individual’s online access is sufficient for the duties the individual is completing off campus. 

Working occasionally outside Ohio—for example, while traveling on university business—is permissible. Working part- or full-time outside Ohio can raise significant tax and regulatory issues depending on the state in which the employee lives when working off campus. In some instances, the requirements of the university to accommodate such work are too complex and/or resource-intensive to be feasible. 

If supervisors have employees who live outside Ohio and work primarily from those other states, they should include those employees’ circumstances as a request included in the overall hybrid work proposal. 

Please note that such requests will only be granted for exceptional circumstances. The  department will be responsible for implementing and funding a compliance plan to meet the other states' regulatory requirements.

Those with additional questions about these employees may email AskHR@case.edu with the subject line “Out-of-State Employee,” and pose them within that email. The supervisor should describe the specific circumstances of that individual, including the following information: 

  • Employee name and title
  • Employee’s actual (or proposed) division of on- and off-campus work in a given month
  • Official state of residence
  • Proportion off-campus work completed while out of Ohio in a typical month
  • Rationale for request for exception—e.g., why does the supervisor want to be able to provide this option to this employee