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Human Resources

University of Mississippi

Telecommuting

Work From Home Temporary Ad Hoc Arrangements

Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be approved for circumstances such as inclement weather, special projects or business travel. These arrangements are approved on an as-needed basis only, with no expectation of ongoing continuance.

If appropriate, other informal, short-term arrangements may be made for employees on family or medical leave to the extent practical for the employee and the university and with the consent of the employee’s health care provider.

Temporary telecommuting arrangements are strongly encouraged when possible amidst COVID-19 concerns. These arrangements are approved with no expectation of ongoing continuance. Supervisors may approve a request from an employee to telecommute or recommend a telecommuting option for an employee.  A formal written agreement is not required at this time amidst COVID-19.

Time Worked – Fair Labor Standards Act Requirements
for Non-Exempt (not exempt for overtime) Employees

If the business need arises (e.g., pandemic) and permission is granted to a non-exempt employee, the employee who is not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to accurately record all hours worked using the University of Mississippi’s time-keeping system.

Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per workweek require the advance approval of the telecommuter’s supervisor.

Under Normal Operating Situations

Telecommuting allows employees to work at home, on the road or in a satellite location for all or part of their workweek. The University of Mississippi considers telecommuting to be a viable, flexible work option when both the employee and the job are suited to such an arrangement. Telecommuting may be appropriate for some employees and jobs but not for others. Telecommuting is not an entitlement, it is not a University wide benefit, and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with the University of Mississippi.

Procedures

Telecommuting can be informal and occasional, such as working from home for a short-term project or on the road during business travel, or a formal and regular arrangement that includes a set schedule of working away from the office as described below. Either an employee or a supervisor can suggest telecommuting as a possible work arrangement.

If the employee and manager agree, and the human resource department concurs, a draft memo outlining expectations and responsibilities will be prepared and signed by all parties. A sample can be provided and may be adapted as necessary to fit the specific needs of the department.

An appropriate level of communication between the telecommuter and supervisor will be agreed to as part of the discussion process.  The manager and telecommuter will communicate at a level consistent with employees working at the office or in a manner and frequency that is appropriate for the job and the individuals involved.

Eligibility

Individuals requesting formal telecommuting arrangements must be must have a satisfactory performance record and must have completed the initial probationary period.

Before entering into any telecommuting arrangement, the employee and manager, with the assistance of the human resource department, will evaluate the suitability of such an arrangement, reviewing the following areas:

  • Employee suitability. The employee and manager will assess the needs, skills, and work habits of the employee. Strong and proven communication skills and effective time management skills are required.
  • Job responsibilities. The employee and manager will discuss the job responsibilities and determine if the job is appropriate for a telecommuting arrangement.
  • Equipment needs, workspace design considerations and scheduling issues. The employee and manager will review the physical workspace needs and the appropriate location for the remote work.
  • Tax and other legal implications. The employee must determine any tax or legal implications under IRS, state and local government laws, and/or restrictions of working out of a home-based office. Responsibility for fulfilling all obligations in this area rests solely with the employee.

 

Long Term Arrangements

More considerations for Long Term Telecommuting Arrangements