CNAS Remote Work Guidance

As we begin the Fall 2022 quarter and dive into the 2022-2023 academic year, we are entering an exciting time as CNAS students and faculty return to campus.  We expect to  re-engage with a fully in-person campus presence and begin to resume pre-pandemic campus life in support of our teaching & research missions.  That is not to say that all will be identical to operations before COVID.  Nearly everything in our world has changed since navigating the pandemic.  Nonetheless, a return to in-person mode is our opportunity to connect more significantly with our students, resume graduate student training in bustling labs and enjoy an active campus.  With all this change underway, it is a good time to revisit staff schedules, hybrid arrangements and alternate work modes to ensure that expectations are level set across the college.

CNAS Hybrid Schedules Guiding Principles:
Flexible work arrangements allow for alternative approaches to getting work done through non-traditional work schedules, locations, and modalities. This flexibility can help CNAS staff and faculty find greater balance between their professional and personal commitments, such as childcare and other caregiving responsibilities, in a way that also promotes a more positive, productive and fulfilling work environment.

The function of the job relative to the mission of a residential research university is the primary driver of our community and our decision-making on the future of work. Teaching and research activities are predominantly conducted in person, and it is essential that in-person collaboration and community building continue. 

Work schedules & determination of the best support structure for your unit are the responsibility of your unit’s FAO/Administrative Director and within academic units, this work is done in consultation with the Academic Leadership.  All work arrangements in CNAS are designed to support & advance our college mission, support our research engine and bolster CNAS’s growth & preeminence as a leader in science education and research.

All CNAS faculty, staff, and student should have regular and predictable access to in-person services, as needed. 

We recognize that unexpected external factors, such as health emergencies, etc., may impact the guidelines below. If the situations occur, we will provide updated guidelines in conjunction with UC, Campus, and Riverside County.  

CNAS In-Person Coverage Expectations:

  • All full-time CNAS permanent employees should be on campus a minimum of two days of each five-day work week. The supervisor may, in support of our students & research workload require a higher on-site frequency to meet the needs of each department. 
  • By exception & with agreement from both administrative and academic department leaders, CNAS can offer 100% remote arrangements or a lower than standard on-campus schedule for career employees.  Such approvals are rare and generally substantiated by a specific need.  All such arrangements should be reviewed with leadership annually.
  • CNAS administrative offices are required to provide on-campus, in-person hours five days per week. Staff may alternate their in-person days/schedules to accommodate this requirement.
  • Staff work schedules and open office hours are to be determined in such a way that in-person core services, especially those that have an urgent/emergency dimension, are available during University business hours. 
  • All employees should be available during their assigned work hours and telework agreements (in-person, remote, and/or hybrid), subject to normal discretion, breaks and scheduled and unscheduled leaves. 
  • The basic workweek — in-person, remote, and/or hybrid — should follow University business hours, unless otherwise posted. Some job responsibilities may require in-person work outside of University business hours including student events & support and some research activities.
  •  All offices should have easily accessible posted core hours for in-person functions and services. 
  • Remote work by the employee should not negatively impact the workload or productivity of coworkers either by shifting burdens or creating delays and additional steps in the workflow.
  •  All teams are asked to schedule on-site team meetings, at least three times each quarter.  Individual exceptions are possible (but not ideal) for those with full-time remote schedules.  The Supervisor shall decide if that frequency should be greater. 
  • Subject to collective bargaining, 4/10 or 9/80 workweeks, and other types of shortened work-week arrangements are permissible. 
  • Jobs that require physical presence or constant interaction with clients, coworkers, and students to perform effectively are normally not suitable for remote work such as facilities management, lab research, and events support. 
  • Employees and supervisors should have clear, regular, and documented conversations about the work arrangement(s) relative to performance assessment and professional development. These conversations should take place at least once per quarter. 
  • All remote work should be at a fixed location, determined in a telework agreement, and reliably suitable for conducting University business.
  • The employee shall be available to travel when their work requires, including to the primary worksite, when necessary, regardless of the remote work schedule.
  • Relative to the job function, long-term hybrid and remote work may prompt a modified use of space by the unit.  Unit Administrative Leaders, in conjunction with Chairs, are asked to optimize campus space utilization, define hoteling opportunities and the like to right-size on-campus office spaces relative to hybrid & remote scheduling.
  • An individual’s use of a flexible work arrangement should not be a factor in the review or assessment of their performance (other than to the extent the arrangement impacts performance), nor should it impact opportunities for professional development and career advancement. 

Exceptions to core hour availability:

  • Certain CNAS activities that take place outside of core University business days/hours and/or away from University property, may still be considered core functions for individual employees and teams. The normal work schedule/week and location should be adjusted accordingly, typically without additional compensation (travel and accommodations excepted). 
  • Certain CNAS activities may call for volunteer assistance outside of core functions for individual employees and teams. Comp time may be offered where appropriate and within policy. 

Some resources as you plan for Fall Scheduling & Beyond:

Links to Forms

Action for Managers to Take Now:

  • Ensure that remote work agreements in your unit are reviewed, updated and approved accordingly in consultation with academic leadership.  In general, approvals through June 30, 2023 are expected.  Those agreements specifically designed in support of the compassionate clause should only be approved through December 31, 2022.
  • Please remember to forward completed Telecommuting Agreements to Sarah Dillon.  These documents  are retained in the employee’s personnel records.
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