Telecommuting arrangements often enhance the productivity of employees and the work unit. The University of Texas at Austin allows telecommuting under specific circumstances.
Telecommuting Program Overview
The university permits telecommuting when you and your employee agree to the arrangement. Participation in telecommuting is voluntary, and no employee is required to participate as a condition of employment.
As a manager, you have several responsibilities if an employee requests a telecommuting arrangement. You should do all of the following:
- Determine whether telecommuting is an appropriate work arrangement for the employee
- Ensure the employee turns in weekly time reports and any other work hour records you request
- Approve overtime work (if the employee is non-exempt) and leave requests
All telecommuting must be performed under a Telecommuting Agreement [PDF] between you and the employee. The agreement must comply with policy requirements, be completed and signed by you and your employee, and have the approval of your employee's unit head, dean, director or vice president, before it can be implemented. The agreement will describe the general nature of the work to be performed by the telecommuting employee, as well as an example of a typical work project or assignment.
Telecommuting employees should maintain healthy and safe environments at their remote worksites. Your employees should attach floor plans of their worksites to their telecommuting agreements, showing the location of furniture, equipment and electrical outlets. Employees may not permit non-work-related events and activities, such as providing dependent or elder care, to disrupt or interfere with scheduled work time.
Your department should maintain all time records for telecommuting employees based on time reports and other documentation submitted by employees.
Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, a non-exempt employee will be compensated for overtime that you approve. However, a telecommuting employee will not receive state (equivalent) compensatory time while working at his/her residence. Texas Government Code, Chapter 659, states that an employee may accumulate compensatory time off for hours worked during any calendar week at the employee's personal residence if the employee obtains the advance approval of the administrative head of the agency for which the employee works or that person's designee.