Approved: October 4, 2022
Date Established: October 1, 2022
Responsible Office: Human Resources Department
Date Last Revised: n/a
Responsible Administrator: Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Mount Holyoke College is committed to providing its students an in-person teaching, learning and living experience. As a result, most student support services and related activities are offered in-person and on campus. With appropriate use of technology and managerial oversight, staff whose roles allow for work to be performed at an alternate location that is not a Mount Holyoke location may be eligible for a remote work arrangement.
This policy shall apply to all ongoing remote work arrangements. This also applies to hybrid work arrangements or the infrequent work-from-home that may be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Eligibility and Exclusions
Existing employees in good performance standing may be considered for remote work arrangements. Decisions about the suitability of such arrangements are discretionary and require approval from the department head and/or division leader.
Employees identified as essential or covered by collective bargaining agreements, faculty, instructors, and clinicians are not eligible for remote work arrangements.
Department heads are encouraged to consider individual employee needs and preferences, so long as the work arrangement does not diminish employee performance, college operations, or requirements. Requests will be considered on an individual basis considering, but not limited to, the following factors:
- Flexible/Adaptive and Remote Work Philosophy: flexible and adaptive work decisions should align with the philosophy principles.
- Evaluating the business need: remote and hybrid work should have either a net positive or net- neutral effect on business results and the work environment.
- Position suitability: the employee and supervisor will discuss job responsibilities to determine if duties are appropriate for a remote work arrangement. If a position has a mix of tasks, the department may consider approving a remote work arrangement but limit it to only the tasks that can be successfully accomplished remotely.
- Employee suitability: the supervisor will utilize the Flexible and Adaptive Checklist tool to determine the employee’s compatibility for remote or hybrid work.
- Supervisory approach: supervisors should consider the compatibility of their own management philosophy and determine an approach suitable for remote and hybrid work arrangements.
- Team effectiveness: supervisors are encouraged to individualize plans that reasonably honor the needs of their employees while also supporting efficiencies to ensure work is completed effectively.
Remote and hybrid arrangements shall be agreed to by the staff member and their department head in the Flexible and Adaptive Work agreement or as set forth in the terms and conditions of employment. When considering whether a remote work arrangement is appropriate, in addition to the factors identified in the Eligibility and Exclusions section, department heads should take into consideration, the nature of the work, costs, whether the department can maintain the quality and effectiveness of their services to members of the college community with an employee working in a remote role, and whether the work should or must be performed remotely.
When an existing employee wishes to transition to work remotely, the department head should take into consideration the factors listed above, the performance and productivity of the employee, and the ability of the employee to work independently. All employees working remotely are expected to adhere to all rules and policies outlined in the Staff Handbook.
- Remote Work Outside of Massachusetts
Remote work arrangements for employees residing outside Massachusetts require additional considerations and approvals because of complexities (including but not limited to labor laws, tax issues, unemployment insurance, payroll, state registration issues, etc) associated with operating in each state. Department heads shall consult with Human Resources, complete an Out-of-State Employee Approval form and obtain approval from the division leader and the Vice President for Finance and Administration for any remote arrangements outside of Massachusetts.
- Duration of Remote Work Agreements
The duration of any remote work arrangement shall be for up to one (1) year. In some circumstances, a permanent remote work arrangement may be established as a condition of employment. This must also include an initial review with the employee within three to six months after the arrangement begins. Remote work arrangements may be extended annually provided evidence that performance goals are met and there is no decrease in the productivity and/or efficiency of the departmental team.
Remote or hybrid work arrangements can be amended or terminated by the department head, with or without cause, with 30 days' written notice. All remote work arrangements are subject to immediate termination if the employee is determined to be out of compliance with the Flexible and Adaptive Work agreement and/or this policy.
- The remote work arrangement aligns with the Flexible/Adaptive and Remote Work Principles.
- The employee’s job responsibilities can be performed remotely with no loss of functionality or production.
- Productivity and job performance can be readily demonstrated and assessed.
- The employee can demonstrate adequate and reliable internet service at the remote location.
- The department head and employee mutually sign the Flexible and Adaptive Work agreement.
- Human Resources - Employee Relations approves the agreement.
- The department head completes the Out-of-State Employee Approval form (if applicable) and gains approval from the division leader and the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
- The employee participates in Remote Work Readiness Training.
- Nature of Employment
Nothing in this policy alters the at-will nature of employment for any employee.
- Campus Delays or Closure
During an announced delay or closure due to weather, remote employees are expected to continue to work remotely. Non-essential employees with a hybrid or alternate work arrangement may, at their discretion, work remotely for all, part or none of the day. Staff shall communicate their plans to their supervisor and discuss any questions or concerns with their supervisor.
- Teamwork and Collaboration
Use of appropriate collaboration tools to keep the supervisor and team members informed of any days or times not available and out-of-office notifications shall be required. Hybrid and remote employees are responsible for reporting all time worked and for adhering to all of the College’s leave policies.
- Tax and other Legal Implications
Remote and hybrid employees should consult a tax advisor to determine if there are any tax, or legal implications under IRS, state, or local government laws, and/or restrictions of working out of a home-based office. Responsibility for fulfilling all tax and legal obligations rests solely with the employee when requesting either remote or hybrid work arrangements.
- Equipment and Other Expenses:
- Remote and hybrid workers must maintain reliable internet and phone service at their own expense.
- The College will provide the equipment it deems necessary in accordance with each hybrid or remote employee’s job responsibilities including office furniture for one location.
- In general, printers, copiers, scanners, shredders, and whiteboards for example will need to be purchased by the hybrid or remote employee unless approved by their division head.
- It is recommended that staff who work remotely or hybrid choose a laptop as their primary Mount Holyoke College computer for ease of use both on and off-campus.
- Any equipment provided by Mount Holyoke College is intended for college business only. Upon termination, the remote or hybrid worker must return all college property on or immediately after their last day of work.
- The College is not responsible for operating costs (such as electric bills), home maintenance, or other costs incurred by employees in the use of their homes as alternate work locations. For hybrid workers, travel between an employee's work location and their alternate work location is considered a normal commute and thus not reimbursable – including mileage, parking, tolls, and other normal commute-related expenses. Employees who work remotely on a regular basis from a non-Mount Holyoke location for college business shall be paid or reimbursed for approved travel in accordance with the College’s travel policy.
- The department shall bear the costs for expenses associated with remote and hybrid worker arrangements. This includes but is not limited to equipment and travel expenditures.
- Safety and Liability:
- The employee must have a suitable place at their alternate worksite to ensure that a safe, confidential, and appropriate work environment is maintained.
- Injuries sustained by a staff member in a home office and in conjunction with their regular work duties are covered by the College’s workers’ compensation policy and must be reported within 7 days.
- Mount Holyoke College does not provide assistance with the set-up of a remote office.
These definitions apply to terms as they are used in this policy.
The execution of all an employee’s job responsibilities at an alternate worksite that is not a Mount Holyoke location, such as their home. A remote work arrangement may exist on a regular basis, intermittently, or for a defined period.
A work arrangement where an employee works from an approved alternative worksite that is not a Mount Holyoke location, such as their home for an approved number of days each pay week with the remainder of the work being performed on campus or another Mount Holyoke location.
- Flexible/Adaptive and Remote Work Philosophy
- Guidelines for Flexible and Adaptive Work Arrangements
- Flexible and Adaptive Work Checklist
- Flexible and Adaptive Work Agreement
- Out-of-State Employee Approval form