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FAQ

What is a flexible work arrangement?
A flexible work arrangement is an agreement that is established between an employee and a supervisor where any of the following occur:

  • a change to the customary arrival/departure time;
  • a change to the regular work location (e.g. home office) on a consistent basis;
  • a job share arrangement is entered with another employee; and/or
  • temporary changes to arrival/departure times or a location of work are made.

Who qualifies to request a flexible work arrangement?
Any regular Cornell University employee may submit a request for a flexible work arrangement to their supervisor. Unionized employees should consult with their union representative for specific guidance.

Employees should be meeting workplace expectations in order to be considered for a flexible work arrangement. In general, employees should demonstrate strong communication skills, an ability to perform work independently, and accomplish tasks as assigned in a timely manner. Other traits or skills may be necessary based on position responsibilities.

Why should I submit a Request Form?
It is important that you consider the impact on your position responsibilities, business needs, and the impact on your colleagues/customers.  The Request Form asks you specific questions and your answers will help inform your supervisor in reviewing your request.  Generally, the most successful flexible work arrangements are those that have been established with thoughtfulness and a plan to address concerns in advance.

While you may have a number of personal reasons for requesting flexibility and the university is very supportive of employees seeking help in navigating their work and personal lives, it is advised that you focus on workplace matters, performance, etc. in your proposal. This helps to ensure that flexible work is integrated in the workplace in a thoughtful and consistent manner.

If your request is related to a medical leave or disability accommodation, do not complete this form. Contact Medical Leaves Administration for guidance at 255-1177 or benefits@cornell.edu.

Is it required to submit a Request Form?
No. However, your supervisor or local human resource representative may ask you to complete it.

What happens after I submit the form?
You will receive a confirmation email of your submission. Your supervisor will receive an email notification that you are requesting a flexible work arrangement. The email will include your answers to the form questions. Your supervisor will be advised to review the information and discuss it further with you. In addition to your supervisor, your local HR representative will be sent your request.

If it is determined that your proposal is not feasible at this time, the decision is not grievable. Ask questions so that you understand the reason for the decision and what adjustments in terms of work or performance may be needed.

I’m a supervisor. What should I do if I receive a request?
Review the information supplied by the person who submitted the form.  Consider how the request aligns with the employee’s position responsibilities, their performance, and the business needs of the department. If you would like guidance, you may contact your local human resource representative or Michelle Artibee, Associate Director for Work/Life in Human Resource at worklife@cornell.edu for guidance.

If the arrangement is approved, you will work together with the employee to complete the Flexible Work Arrangement Form. The completed form should be sent to the local HR representative. After the arrangement is implemented, consistently check in with the employee to discuss how the arrangement is going for both the workplace and the individual and what alterations or support may be needed moving forward. If any changes are made to the arrangement, inform your local HR representative.

Note: If you have determined the arrangement is not feasible, you must consult with your local human resource representative first for guidance.

Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns?
Your supervisor and your local human resource representative are a good place to start. If you have questions about workplace flexibility in general, how to put together a proposal, how to manage employees on flexible work arrangements, etc. contact Work/Life in Human Resources at worklife@cornell.edu.

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