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Telecommuting Policy and Procedures

University of Central Missouri Policy

Policy Name:  Telecommuting Policy and Procedure

Date Approved:  August 6, 2020

Policy Category:  Operational

Date Effective:  August 17, 2020

Policy Number:  

Date Last Revised:  

Approval Authority:  University President

Review Cycle

Responsible Department:  Human Resources


I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance and oversight on when and how telecommuting is a viable option for certain staff  to work at home or in a satellite location for all or part of their workweek.

II. Scope

This policy applies to staff who have worked in their current role at the University for at least 12 months. It does not apply to faculty. This policy applies to the analysis of work that is typically performed on campus and is being considered to be performed remotely. It does not apply to work that by its nature happens in other locations, such as recruitment events at area high schools or solicitation of donations at a potential donor’s physical location.

III. Policy

University of Central Missouri (UCM) is a comprehensive regional institution whose campuses located in  Warrensburg and Lee’s Summit, Missouri are the standard worksites. Most of our work is best done onsite at one of these two locations. UCM considers telecommuting to be a viable, flexible work option under rare and limited instances when both the employee and the job are suited to such an arrangement and telework does not undermine the University’s intention to maintain home operations and presence at our campuses.

Telecommuting may be appropriate for some employees and jobs but not for others. Entire departments may not telecommute. 

Telecommuting is not an entitlement, it is not a University- or department-wide benefit, and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with UCM. All decisions under this policy are in the President’s authority, unless delegated herein or on future notice, and any provisions herein may be waived only by the President.

IV. Procedures

Telecommuting can be informal, such as working from home for a short-term project, or a formal, set schedule of working away from the office as described below. Either an employee or a supervisor may suggest telecommuting as a possible work arrangement.

Any telecommuting arrangement made will be on a trial basis for up to 90 days and may be discontinued at will and at any time at the request of either the telecommuter or the organization. Every effort will be made to provide 2 weeks’ notice of such changes to the telecommuting agreement.  There may be instances, however, when no advance notice is possible or appropriate.

  1. Eligibility

Individuals requesting formal telecommuting arrangements must be employed with UCM for a minimum of 12 months of regular employment in the position for which telecommuting is being considered, and must have and maintain a satisfactory performance and attendance record. 

Before entering into any telecommuting agreement, the employee and direct supervisor, with input from the Office of Human Resources, will evaluate the suitability of such an arrangement, reviewing the following areas:

  • Employee suitability. The employee and supervisor will assess the needs and work habits of the employee, compared to traits customarily recognized as appropriate for successful telecommuters.

  • Job responsibilities. The employee and supervisor 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 supervisor will review the physical and technological workspace needs and the appropriate location for the telework.

  • Tax and other legal implications. The employee must determine any tax or legal implications under IRS, state and local government laws, lease agreements or Homeowners Associations Agreements, and/or any other applicable legal restrictions or practical considerations of working out of a home-based office. Responsibility for fulfilling all obligations in this area rests solely with the employee.

If the employee and supervisor agree, a draft telecommuting proposal will be prepared in consultation with human resources and sent through the applicable supervisory chain for consideration of approval at each level, ending with the area Vice President for consideration and approval. For positions which report directly to an area Vice President, final approval shall rest with the university president.  If any level denies, it shall not move further, and may not be resubmitted for at least 12 months. The proposal must include details of the work to be performed, where, and for how long, as well as detail the mechanism for ongoing evaluation of both the work and the telecommuting arrangement. If approved and signed by all parties, including the employee at issue, a trial period will commence.

Vice Presidents must notify the University President each month of any new telecommuting arrangements approved and must include a listing of each person/position in their area telecommuting in their annual report. The President may reverse or override any approvals.

Evaluation of telecommuter performance during the trial period will include regular interaction by phone and e-mail between the employee and the supervisor, as well as weekly face-to-face meetings to discuss work progress and problems. At the end of the trial period, the employee and supervisor will each complete an evaluation of the arrangement and make recommendations for continuance or modifications. Evaluation of telecommuter performance beyond the trial period will be consistent with that received by employees working at one of the campus locations in both content and frequency but may include greater focus on work output and completion of telecommuting objectives.

An appropriate level of communication between the telecommuter and supervisor will be agreed to as part of the discussion process and will be more formal during the trial period. After conclusion of the trial period, the supervisor 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.

V. Equipment

On a case-by-case basis, UCM will determine, with information supplied by the employee and the supervisor, the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, modems, phone and data lines and other office equipment) for each telecommuting arrangement. The Office of Human Resources and the Office of Technology will serve as resources in this matter, and purchase decisions shall be made using the same process as for on campus equipment. Telecommuting does not entitle an employee to duplicate equipment. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis. Equipment supplied by the organization will be maintained by the organization. Equipment supplied by the employee, if deemed appropriate by the organization, will be maintained by the employee. UCM accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment. UCM reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time. Equipment supplied by the organization is to be used for business purposes, with only incidental personal use. The telecommuter must sign an inventory of all UCM property received and agree to take appropriate action to protect the items from damage or theft. Upon termination of employment or the telecommuting arrangement, all UCM property will be returned to the University.

UCM will reimburse the employee for business-related expenses, such as phone calls and shipping costs that are reasonably incurred in carrying out the employee’s job only where such expenses would not otherwise be incurred by the individual absent the telecommuting arrangement.  Proper approvals must granted prior to incurring such expenses.

The employee will establish an appropriate work environment within his or her home or otherwise comparable and appropriate remote location for work purposes. UCM will not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of the employee’s home office, such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space.

VI. Security

Consistent with the organization’s expectations of information security for employees working at the office, telecommuting employees will be expected to ensure the protection of proprietary or confidential University and student/customer information accessible from their home office. Steps include the use of locked file cabinets and desks, regular password maintenance, and any other measures appropriate for the job and the environment.

VII. Safety

Employees are expected to maintain their home workspace in a safe manner, free from safety hazards. UCM will provide each telecommuter with a safety checklist that must be completed at least twice per year. Injuries sustained by the employee in a home office location and in conjunction with his or her regular work duties are generally not covered by the University’s workers’ compensation coverage and employees should keep that in mind when considering whether to telecommute. Telecommuting employees are responsible for notifying the employer of any workplace injuries as soon as practicable. The employee is always liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to his or her home worksite.

Telecommuting is not a replacement for childcare, eldercare, or other family or personal needs. Although an individual employee’s schedule may be modified to accommodate individual needs, the focus of the arrangement must remain on job performance and meeting business demands, whether on campus or telecommuting. Prospective telecommuters are encouraged to discuss expectations of telecommuting with household members prior to entering a trial period.

VIII. Time Worked

Telecommuting employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to accurately record all hours worked using UCM’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. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, in addition to the immediate termination of the telecommuting agreement.

IX. Ad Hoc Arrangements

Temporary telecommuting arrangements of one to a few days may be approved at the supervisor’s discretion if authorized by their Vice President in consultation with human resources. These temporary arrangements should be minimal, unusual, limited in scope and duration, and are approved on an as-needed basis only, with no expectation of ongoing continuance.

Informal, short-term arrangements may be made for employees through the medical or disability accommodation process as administered and determined by Human Resources in consultation with the impacted employee and supervisor.

All informal telecommuting arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis, focusing first on the business needs of the organization.


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