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Flexible Work FAQ

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Updated May 5, 2022

General Framework

How do I know which type of Flexible Work arrangements are allowed at Stanford? (added 5/5/22)

Visit the Work Arrangements and Policies page to see an overview of the different types of flex-place arrangements available for consideration by you and your manager.

Flexible Work Systems

Who needs to have a work agreement on file in Axess? (updated 2/28/22)

All employees* in a hybrid or remote work arrangement must have an agreement in place by March 18 , 2022.  School/unit deadlines may be sooner; consult with your manager or school/unit HR Manager for process details.

*Applies to all employees, including regular employees, Academic Staff-Research, Academic Staff-Libraries, and contingent (casual or temporary) employees as defined in guide memo 2.2.1.  

This policy does not apply to employees covered by collective bargaining agreements; Faculty, Academic Staff-Teaching, Academic Staff-Other Teaching Titles/Staff, Instructors, or Clinician Educators; or Student employees.

Why do hybrid and remote work agreements need to be entered into Axess? (updated 2/28/22)

Axess serves as the centralized system for tracking and aggregating all hybrid and remote work agreements. Having work agreement data centrally provides the university high-level information on the flexible work landscape and visibility into our distributed workforce. This data will inform decisions around related programs and support, equity in process, benefits and compensation.

Additionally, recording hybrid and remote work agreements in Axess will:

  • Streamline the work agreement process and record approved agreements in Stanford’s system of record
  • Provide reporting for school/VP areas and central units
  • Reduce the administrative burden for school/unit HR managers, HR administrators and managers

Visit the Using Axess for Hybrid/Remote Work Agreements page for more information.

What is the process for recording hybrid and remote agreements in Axess? (updated 2/28/22)

All employees, managers and HR have access to the work agreement functionality in Axess. Managers can enter agreements under the “Manager Center” tab and employees can enter agreements under the “Employee Center” tab. View the how-to user guides for step-by-step instructions.

Each school and unit will have a different process for entering agreements. Please contact your school/unit HR Manager for more information.

Where do I go if I have more questions about the work agreement process? (added 1/18/22)
  • If you have questions about the work agreement process specific to your school/unit, please contact your HR Manager.

  • If you have a technical issue about the work agreement functionality,  please submit a help ticket

  • For staff compensation inquiries, please contact UHR Staff Compensation at staffcompensation@stanford.edu

If you have questions about hybrid or remote work policies, please contact flexwork@stanford.edu and your question will be shared with the policy workstream.

Policies

I am a remote employee located in the Bay Area, will I receive travel reimbursement when I’m asked to work on-site? (New 2/8/22)

Employees whose residence is within 10 defined counties* in/near the Bay Area will not receive reimbursement for travel to and from a Stanford work location. For more details and a list of the counties, see Flexible Work Equipment & Expense Guidelines

* The 10-county area includes all of the following counties: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, Sonoma County, Solano County, or Santa Cruz County.

Does a hybrid work arrangement require a weekly on-site presence? (New 2/8/22)

Many hybrid arrangements will require a regular weekly presence at the individual’s primary Stanford work location.  Specific expectations will be established by the manager, within the guidelines established by that school or unit.  Each school/unit leader will determine the appropriate degree of flexibility, balanced with operational requirements and the importance of in-person interactions. 

Compensation

I moved out of the Bay area during the pandemic. If I stay fully remote, will my compensation change? (updated 3/4/22)

Before your remote work arrangement is approved, UHR Compensation will provide your school/unit HR with an approved remote pay range for your compensation review at that time. To learn more about the process workflow, view the Work Arrangement to Work Agreement Process infographic

If you have concerns about your specific situation, please reach out to your local HR manager to discuss, or contact the UHR Compensation team at staffcompensation@stanford.edu.

Should a manager approve a remote agreement before it goes to UHR Staff Compensation? (updated 2/28/22)

No, managers must coordinate with school/unit HR to have the employees’ compensation reviewed and approved by UHR Staff Compensation in accordance with AGM policy 2.1.21 before a remote work arrangement decision is made. 

For consistent application of the policy, this applies to any remote agreement (e.g., existing remote, newly remote, changing remote locations, newly hired as remote, or changing from remote to hybrid or on-site).

Managers and employees should discuss arrangements first; when an employee in a non-academic job is considering relocating to a region outside of the 10-county perimeter*, school/unit HR must contact UHR Staff Compensation and request a remote compensation assessment. The assessment will require the city and state where the remote employee will reside. UHR Staff Compensation will provide school/unit HR with an approved remote pay range. School/unit HR should inform the manager of the approved remote salary range before a remote work arrangement decision is made. 

Once there is agreement to proceed, the manager should discuss the remote pay with the employee and encourage the employee to review the medical plan benefit options and costs in their remote work location before formal agreements are executed. Once the formal agreement is approved by HR in Axess, the agreement will be routed to UHR Staff Compensation who will ensure the remote pay is consistent with their recommendation and approve the salary action, if any, to be taken. 

*The 10-county area includes all of the following counties: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, Sonoma County, Solano County, or Santa Cruz County.

Benefits

I am planning to resume my commute to Stanford's main campus or Redwood City. Will parking permits change based on how often an employee comes on campus?

Stanford Transportation is listening to employee questions and concerns regarding sustainable commute programs and other resources. They are identifying solutions based on the number of people working on-site each day and the transportation needs of the Stanford community, among other factors. To find out which permit is most cost effective based on your commute pattern, view this chart.

Additionally, please visit the Stanford Transportation website for options and suggestions to support your commute, including a new Return-To-Your-Commute Toolkit. For parking questions, please contact transportation@stanford.edu. For help planning a sustainable commute, Transportation offers one-on-one commute consultations or you can contact them at commuteclub@stanford.edu

Do remote agreements affect benefits? (added 2/28/22)

If an employee who currently works in the Bay Area is considering a remote work arrangement in which they will move outside of California, or move outside the service area of their Kaiser, Trio or SHCA medical plan,  they may need to change medical plans.

Stanford offers two medical plans with nationwide networks for remote employees living outside of California:

  1. Health Care + Savings (High Deductible Plan) also called “Out of Area Plan”; and 
  2. ACA Basic (High Deductible Plan) 

Please see the Medical Plan Overview on Cardinal at Work or call the University HR Service team at 877-905-2985 for more information (Mon- Fri, 8am to 5pm Pacific time, except holidays). 

What benefits will be offered or created to better support fully remote workers?

University Human Resources, together with the Flexible Work Committee, is actively reviewing current university benefits and policies to identify changes and/or introduce new benefits to support flexible work at Stanford. This process is complex and will take additional time and analysis to reach good decisions. It is important that we continue to practice resilience, creativity and patience in this time and a recognition that benefits and policies will continue to evolve as new ways of working evolve.

Manager-related Questions

How will the university train and empower managers to make the best decisions for their teams?

The Flexible Work Committee designed a framework that includes a variety of tools and resources to foster consistency in how flexible work decisions are made at the school/unit level. Ultimately, school/unit leaders set the parameters based on organizational goals, expectations and desired culture, and managers have the critical role of synthesizing the school/unit direction with the requirements for work performed in their area, as well as with employee needs/preferences. While having flexible work arrangements is a goal, it may not be possible to meet each employee’s individual expectations. With a unified framework we strive for equity in the process for determining work flexibility; outcomes may differ.

Manager tools are provided to support managers throughout the process, including use of Manager Forums to discuss tools and resources. Schools and units will provide additional manager tools. 

How should faculty who manage staff apply the Flexible Work framework?

Faculty who are managers will need to work with school/unit leaders and employees to determine flexible work arrangements that meet the business needs of the organization. For additional guidance, please contact your school/unit HR team.

Engagement

As a remote/hybrid worker, how can I ensure that I’m not missing out on opportunities by not being on-site all the time?

There are several ways remote employees can stay connected with colleagues and the university. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Be intentional about sharing your career goals/aspirations with your manager

  • Block off time on your calendar to schedule social connections with your teammates

  • Bookmark key resources to help you stay informed about the Stanford community such as Stanford TodayThe Stanford DailyStanford Events and Cardinal at Work

  • Identify and join a staff groupCommunity of Practice (CoP) or Slack workspace to build your network

  • Make asking for and giving feedback a priority

  • Over communicate with your team, and know how to manage your presence and accessibility

I struggle to disconnect when I work from home. What resources exist to support better work-life integration?

Struggling to disconnect when working from home is a commonly expressed concern. Learning and implementing strategies, such as better physical boundary setting, setting ‘end of workday’ rituals, and scheduling a lunchtime and intermediate short breaks can all support better work-life integration. Visit WorkLife to learn more about work-life integration resources and support

How do I communicate to my manager that I would like to continue telecommuting as part of a hybrid work arrangement a few days out of the week?

All employees play a role in the flexible work planning process. It’s important that you start by having an open conversation with your manager about your individual needs and preferences. Managers are being asked to consider the school/unit culture, organization and team goals, along with each employee’s unique needs when making flexible work recommendations. While having flexible work arrangements is a goal, it may not be possible to meet each employee’s individual expectations. With a unified framework we strive for equity in the process, but outcomes may differ.

Space and Facilities

Will alternative workplaces such as WeWork be available, or will space at Stanford Redwood City open up to support flexible work?

In fall 2021, the Stanford Hub in Newark launched as flexible hoteling or touchdown space. We will continue to explore potential long-term opportunities to offer hoteling/touchdown spaces on the Stanford Redwood City campus for individuals who ordinarily work on the main campus.