FLEXTIME AND TELEWORK POLICY
Georgia College allows teleworking and flextime, on a voluntary basis, to employees who fill job classifications/positions that have been designated as eligible for telework and/or flextime. The Telework and Flextime Program is an employer option, not an employee right, and is appropriate only when it results in a benefit to the institution. Telework and/or flextime may not be suitable for all employees and/or positions. Teleworking and/or flextime as a work option for certain eligible employees is based on specific criteria and procedures consistently applied throughout the department.
Guidelines Specific to Telework/Flextime
Conditions of Employment
The teleworker or flextime conditions of employment remain the same as for non-teleworking employees. Employee salary, benefits, and employer-sponsored insurance coverage will not change as a result of teleworking. The employee shall adhere to all policies, rules, and regulations of the institution, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and state while teleworking. Further, an employee must have the willingness of his or her supervisor to perform the necessary supervisory responsibilities required for teleworking. The employee agrees not to conduct personal business while in official duty status at the alternate work place.
A successful teleworker has particular traits, a job suitable for telework, and a telework site that is conducive to the work assigned. A self-assessment helps an employee interested in teleworking decide whether telework is right for him or her. A department may elect to provide the employee with a self-assessment as part of the application to telework.
Work Site and Work Hours
A defined work space and defined core work hours are necessary (1) to reduce GC's exposure to risk, (2) to facilitate proper management of teleworkers, and (3) to ensure work is conducted in a productive environment.
As a condition of permission to telework, the employee must verify that home facilities used for telework purposes are safe and suitable for purposes of the employee's work. The department may deny an employee the opportunity to telework if the alternate work site is not conducive to productive work. The department should provide the employee with a self-certification checklist as part of the application to telework. The checklist is necessary to reduce GC's exposure to risk and liability and helps the employee know if his or her alternate work place is conducive to productive work.
An employee approved to telework shall be responsible for setting up an appropriate work environment within his or her home. GC will not be responsible for any cost associated with the setup of a home office. Upon request, GC will consult with an employee on any modifications or requirements to operate GC-owned equipment at the home office. An employee will be required to provide GC with a statement within ten (10) working days of the request to telework confirming that he/she has met the reasonable standards to include health and safety requirements (including an ergonomically sound workstation) and promise to maintain it in the condition for the duration of the telecommuting period.
Equipment and Supplies
Office supplies (e.g. pens and paper) shall be provided by the department and should be obtained during the teleworker's in-office work period. The employee is expected to use his or her own furniture, telephone lines, and other equipment. Any use of private facilities of the employee will be at the employee's discretion and not at the behest or expense of Georgia College. This applies to all physical improvements and conveniences, as well as services. Under no circumstances, should the GC-owned equipment be installed in an employee's home. GC may give written permission for certain equipment, for example computers and pagers, to be checked out and used at the alternate work site. As GC's equipment is the property of the state, GC will retain the responsibility for the inventory and maintenance of state-owned property following state laws and procedures.
Each employee who teleworks shall develop a work schedule with the employee's supervisor, and the employee's supervisor must agree in advance to any changes to the employee's work schedule (a sample work schedule template is provided in Appendix D). Non-exempt employees subject to mandatory overtime must obtain approval from their supervisor before performing overtime. A non-exempt employee working overtime without such approval may cause the department to terminate the teleworking option and/or take other appropriate action. The employee must obtain approval in advance from his or her supervisor before taking leave during a designated telework day.
The employee must maintain contact with the office as specified in the work schedule, department policy, and telework agreement. An employee's activities outside the time of work or outside the place designated for work will be deemed to be in the employee's own personal time and place, unconnected with work activities.
Expenses and Compensable Time
Work-related long distance phone calls should be planned for in-office days. At the discretion of the supervisor, expenses for business-related long distance calls and cell phone calls, which must be made from a teleworker's home, may be reimbursed if the reasons and costs for the calls are documented. The teleworker is responsible for the cost of maintenance, repair, and operation of personal equipment.
The employee's home workspace when used for telework is an extension of the department workspace. GC's liability for job-related accidents will continue to exist during the approved work schedule and in the employee's designated work location. The teleworker is covered under the State's Workers' Compensation Law for injuries occurring in the course of the actual performance of official duties at the alternate work place.
If an injury occurs during teleworking hours, then the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor. The employee, supervisor, and agency should follow the institution's policies regarding the reporting of injuries for employees injured while at work.
The State of Georgia and GC are not responsible for any injuries to family members, visitors, and others in the employee's home. The teleworker may not have business guests at the alternate work place.
To the extent permitted by law, the employee will not attempt to hold GC or the state responsible or liable for any loss or liability in any way connected to the employee's non-work related use of his or her own home.
The teleworker is responsible for contacting the teleworker's insurance agent and a tax consultant and consulting local ordinances for information regarding home work places.
The Office of Human Resources and Employee Relations (HR) will ensure the appropriate coordination of the Telework/Flextime Program. HR will serve as a liaison to departments and the Statewide Telework Coordinator. HR representatives will provide guidance and clarification to departments on telework, act as a liaison regarding compliance with policies, procedures, and guidelines and will report the results of telework in the agency to the Statewide Teleworker Coordinator.
Security and Access to Information
The teleworker is responsible for maintaining confidentiality and security at the alternate work place, as the teleworker would at the primary work place. The employee must protect the security and integrity of data, information, paper files, and access to agency computer systems. All institutional policies on Information Technology and Internet and technology usage apply to teleworking, as they would in the primary work place.
Child and Dependent Care
Teleworking is not a substitute for childcare or dependent care. The teleworker shall continue to make arrangements for child or dependent care to the same extent as if the teleworker were working at the primary work place.
Program Reporting and Evaluation
The employee agrees to participate in studies, inquiries, reports or analyses relating to teleworking at GC's direction.
Employee Participation in Program
Offering the opportunity to work at home or according to a flextime schedule is a management option and is not an employee right. An employee's participation in the telework and/or flextime program is entirely voluntary. The employee, supervisor, or manager may terminate teleworking or flextime without cause. Teleworking and flextime are work arrangements between an individual employee and his or her supervisor. A supervisor has no authority to require an employee to telework or work flextime unless it was a condition of employment or a requirement of the job description.
- Flextime Supervisor Checklist
- Telework Agreement
- Flextime Agreement
- Telework Self-Assessment
- Work-Space Self-Certification Checklist
- Mobile worker Agreement
- USG Flextime and Telework Policy