The University of Memphis

Alternative Work Arrangements


Issued: February 15, 2017
Responsible Official: Vice President for Business & Finance
Responsible Office: Human Resources

Policy Statement


The University of Memphis recognizes and supports the need for work-life balance opportunities. Alternative work arrangements are available to staff employees and will be approved based on the needs of the department. This policy establishes the guidelines for alternative work arrangements.



The purpose of this policy is to set the standards for a consistent process regarding alternative work arrangements. Availability of an alternative work arrangement is at the discretion of each department and subject to change with or without notice.


Standard Work Schedule

The standard work schedule is:

  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
  • 7.5 hours per day; 37.5 hours per week
  • 1 hour unpaid meal break each day
  • 1950 hours per fiscal year

The standard time/leave reporting period is Saturday through Friday.

Non-Standard Work Schedules

Schedules that vary from the 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. workday, the Monday through Friday workweek, and/or 37.5 hours per week are considered to be non-standard.

Flex Time

Non-traditional work scheduling which allows employees to choose their individual starting and ending times. Flex Time periods usually precede or follow a core time during which all employees must be present.


A work arrangement in which supervisors authorize employees to perform their job duties away from their central workplace in accordance with work agreements. This arrangement may require the employee to report to the central workplace periodically as deemed necessary by the department.

Compressed Work Week

Adjusted schedule where the employee works a 37.5 hour week in less than 5 days.

Central Workplace

The primary location where the employee normally performs his or her work.

Alternative Work Arrangement Agreement

The written agreement between the University and the employee that details the terms and conditions of an employee’s work schedule whether away from or at the central workplace. Work agreements are required for any alternative work arrangement.

Work Schedule

The employee’s hours of work in the central workplace and/or in the alternative work location. 


Flex Time

Employees request approval to alter his or her work schedule and the department agrees only if work flow permits. An example might include staff employees varying their arrival and/or departure times.

Request for Alternative Work Arrangement

Requests for alternative work arrangements should be initiated by the employee and approved by the supervisor and Human Resources. The request will be submitted to Human Resources and included in the employee’s personnel record.

Alternative work arrangements are not to be considered an employee benefit or right. Management is responsible for the continued successful operations of each department and supervision of staff employees on alternative work arrangements.

Conditions of Employment

Alternative work arrangements do not change the terms or conditions of employment. Employees approved for an alternative work arrangement are subject to the same policies, statutes, and procedures applicable to all employees including, but not limited to, time and attendance and leave policies. Employees will also be required to adhere to applicable break schedules, to include meal breaks. Management has the right to establish work schedules deemed necessary to better address the needs of the department.

Supervisors may require employees to report to a central workplace or participate by teleconference as needed for work-related meetings or other events. Supervisors and/or managers have the discretion to meet with employees in the alternative work location to discuss work progress or other work related issues.

If a holiday falls on an employee’s scheduled day off as a result of an alternative work arrangement, the employee’s supervisor may return the employee to a standard work schedule to accommodate the holiday during that same work week.

Work Agreement Expectations

Employees are expected to maintain appropriate levels of productivity and quality of work for the duration of the alternative work arrangement. If working from a home-based location, the employee will be expected to make arrangements which allow the work site to be a productive work environment during the agreed-upon work hours. The supervisor will use the University’s normal performance management system to clearly define and assess performance expectations. If there is a decline in performance the arrangement should be canceled.

Employees working at an alternative location should observe the same inclement weather and emergency closings as the central workplace.

Approved alternative work arrangements must be initiated through a formal work agreement. At a minimum, this agreement will establish:

  1. That the department may revoke this arrangement at any time without cause by written notification or upon request by the employee;
  2. That the agreement will remain in effect until employer and/or employee terminate the agreement;
  3. Employee’s work schedule;
  4. Employee’s work location(s);
  5. How communications between the employee, supervisors, colleagues and others will be maintained.


Anyone on an Alternative Work Agreement must be aware of the exclusions of liability for the University and the State related to injury or property damage to third persons at employee maintained home-based work locations.  The University has a right to inspect home-based work facilities upon request.  During emergency or inclement weather-related closing the employee will not be required to work.

Employees working from a location within their home are responsible for maintaining their work environment as a safe and productive work space. Work-related injuries occurring at the employee’s home-based work location are subject to Tennessee Worker’s Compensation laws.  Alternative work locations are considered extensions of the employee’s central work location during the time period outlined in the Alternative Work Arrangement Agreement.

Supervisor Checklist

The supervisor should consider material and equipment needs when drafting a proposal for an alternative work arrangement with the goal of making the arrangement cost-neutral, (i.e., no more equipment, supplies or expense should be necessary as a result of the alternative work arrangement than would be needed in the central work location).  However, at the University’s discretion, appropriated funds may be used to:

  1. Pay for leased telephone lines in employee’s alternative work location;
  2. Install and provide basic telephone service in employees’ alternative work location or;
  3. Provide cell phone allowances to employees for business use;
  4. If cell phone allowances are not provided, the University may reimburse employees for business-related long distance calls made from their personal telephones upon submission of appropriate documentation.

Employee Responsibility

The University will not be responsible for any additional costs associated with alternative work locations such as utilities, home maintenance, etc.  The employee will be responsible for any tax implications of a home-based work location.  For a home-based work location, the employee will be responsible for providing insurance coverage for equipment, supplies, etc. provided by the employee. The employee will be responsible for compliance with any local zoning ordinances or other restrictions related to maintaining a home-based work site. The University will not be liable for any fines, penalties, taxes or other expenses that may accrue as a result of any violation of applicable restrictions.

Employees must follow University-approved data security policies and procedures for protecting confidential information. The employee will be responsible for the security of materials and documents transported from and to the University.


Who do I contact for further information?

Contact the Office of Employee Relations and Engagement at  


Alternative Telecommuting Agreement Form

Alternative Telecommuting Agreement Safety Checklist and Employee Certification Form

Emergency Closings Policy

Flex Time (Alternative Work Schedule) Request Form

Revision Dates

 UM1807 -- February 15, 2017

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyResearchStudent Affairs