Principles & Criteria

What is Flexible Work?

Penn State defines flexible work as an overarching term that encompasses work arrangements best suited to the needs of the University with consideration for the employee in their effort to balance the demands of work and life.

Flexible work can lead to many positive outcomes, including increased retention and engagement of staff, broader and more diverse candidate pools, reduced costs, and decreased environmental impact.

Guiding Principles

All flexible work decisions for staff at Penn State are framed by several foundational principles:

  • All flexible work arrangements must be appropriate for the position and contribute to the University’s mission. Key aspects of the position include the nature of the work, customers served, and the unit, college, or campus’ standards. Flexible work may not be suited to all staff positions.
  • An individual’s flexible work arrangement must be neutral or beneficial in its effect on customers and colleagues.
  • The standards for evaluating flexible work requests are established at the level of the unit/college/campus and carried out equitably.
  • Parameters on flexible work arrangements are set by unit/college/campus leaders, and individual requests are reviewed by supervisors, HR, and a designated unit approver. Staff members must receive approval to begin a new flexible work arrangement.
  • Flexible work arrangements must be documented in Workday.
  • A flexible work arrangement can be changed or discontinued by a supervisor or unit/college/campus leader at any time.

Individuals with flexible work arrangements must still participate in the performance management cycle and are subject to the same rules and regulations as individuals without such arrangements (FLSA requirements, confidentiality, data security, etc.)

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Types of Flexible Work
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Considerations & Decision Guides