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Human Capital Services

Remote Work Policy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Human Capital Services provides guidance below for some of the most common questions that supervisors and employees may have about remote work. Please continue to check back often as new FAQ will be added as needed.

 

GENERAL

1. Who is a good candidate for remote work? 

Good candidates for remote work may include employees who possess:

  • Demonstrated time management and organizational skills.
  • Successful performance history.
  • Initiative and dependability.
  • Tech-savvy skillset.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Strong understanding of role and expectations. 

Suitability for remote work is determined through a collaborative process which considers multiple factors. For more information, please reference the Evaluating Remote Work Opportunities.  

 

2. What positions at K-State qualify for a remote work arrangement? 

Each remote work arrangement is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Characteristics of positions that may be considered suitable for remote work include: 

  • Jobs that entail working independently.
  • Minimal interaction with internal and external contacts.
  • Limited need for access to equipment and/or materials. 

Suitability for remote work is determined through a collaborative process which considers multiple factors. For more information, please reference the Evaluating Remote Work Opportunities.  

 

3. What is the purpose of the Remote Work Suitability Assessment?

The purpose of the Remote Work Suitability Assessment is to assist supervisors, managers, and unit leaders in thinking through relevant considerations in order to ensure effective remote work decisions. 

 

4. What is the purpose of the Remote Work Agreement Form?

The agreement documents details about the remote work arrangement including work location, job duties and work schedule. In addition, it specifies operating parameters and acknowledgments unique to the working arrangement. Finally, it documents approvals and agreement of all parties including the employee, supervisor and other signatories as needed.

 

5. Who initiates a request or takes primary responsibility for exploring a remote work arrangement?

Either the employee or the supervisor may suggest a remote work arrangement. The employee and the supervisor are encouraged to discuss their needs and to work together to develop the best possible arrangements for their situation. Supervisors have the authority to request approval of a remote work arrangement, or to postpone consideration of a remote work arrangement to another time. 

  

6. Who is responsible for submitting the Remote Work Agreement form?

Supervisors are responsible for submitting the Remote Work Agreement form. 

 

7. If I have already been approved to work remotely through the telecommuting policy or some other formal process, will a Remote Work Agreement be necessary?

Yes. The Remote Work Agreement documents necessary aspects of the arrangement and must be completed regardless of when approval was given. Employees should work with their supervisors to complete a Remote Work Agreement form.

  

8. What is a hybrid work arrangement?

A hybrid remote work arrangement involves splitting time between university and non-university work locations. For example, a hybrid work arrangement could have an employee work on campus three days a week and remotely two days a week.

 

9. I am interested in working remotely.  How do I approach my supervisor about this opportunity?

It is helpful to consider some of the factors that are utilized when evaluating remote work opportunities. An interest in remote work is a great start and you may also find it helpful to think about:

  • Business need-How might a remote work arrangement enhance operations and productivity?
  • Position suitability-Do you require access to equipment, materials or files that can only be accessed on campus?  Do you require extensive face-to-face contact with students, other employees or the public?  
  • Employee suitability-Do you exhibit initiative and organizational skills with a positive performance history?  Do you have a strong grasp of your role and expectations of the position?
  • Supervisory approach-Do you have a solid communication history with your supervisor? And, if you supervise, do you have a strong relationship/communication history with your direct reports?
     

These are areas which you may find helpful to explore and assist in your framing when approaching your supervisor.

  

10. I would like to approach my supervisor about a hybrid working arrangement (ex: three working days on campus and two working days remotely). Is a Remote Work Agreement required?

Yes. A Remote Work Agreement is required to document work arrangements where an employee routinely or intermittently performs work through an electronic connection away from any university location. 

 

11.  I am completing a remote work agreement for a faculty member.  How do I go about filling out the work schedule portion, recognizing that faculty work hours often don’t fit a regular schedule and may vary with different terms?  

This portion of the agreement for an FLSA exempt employee, like a faculty member, is less about specific hours than it is about a recognition between employee and supervisor of expectations of performance of assigned courses or work. You may generally note the hours of work while providing any relevant detail about course scheduling or RSCAD, instruction, and service expectations in the "Notes" section below the "Work Hours."

 

12. Faculty work schedules are often flexible with varied times of work and time on and off campus throughout the day. Does this require a remote work agreement?

No. The flexible course of work for a faculty member that includes varied times of work during a day/evening and coming on and off campus does not necessitate a remote work agreement. A remote work agreement is needed for a faculty member who would be 100% remote or in a hybrid arrangement as described in policy. A remote work agreement is also not necessary for sabbaticals.

 

13. Do temporary changes to the remote work location warrant a change in the remote work agreement?

No. Temporary changes in location such as travel to a conference or a short duration summer trip do not warrant a change in the agreement. Only regular recurring changes will require adjustments to the remote work agreement. 

 

14. Can two locations be listed for the remote work location on a Remote Work Agreement form?

No. For payroll tax purposes, the employee must choose one location.

 

15. I have an irregular work schedule. Do I need to specify these hours in the remote work agreement?

A Remote Work Agreement specifies an employee’s typical work schedule with an understanding that variations may occur.  

 

16. Do remote work arrangements expire?

When a Remote Work Agreements is completed, the form does require an end date. It is recommended that supervisors review the remote work arrangements on an annual basis to evaluate the success of the arrangement.

 

17. Under what circumstances can a supervisor change or terminate a remote work arrangement?

The supervisor can terminate or amend the agreement based on a number or reasons, including operational changes, staffing changes, leadership changes, performance, etc. If the termination or change to the arrangement is involuntary, the supervisor must provide notice in writing to the employee within ten working days.

 

18. Can the denial of a request for a remote work arrangement be grieved or appealed?

The grievance or appeal procedures do not apply to decisions regarding remote work requests.

 

19. Can a request for a remote work arrangement for a similar position in different colleges and units be handled differently? Can one be approved and the other denied?

Yes. Remote work arrangements are handled on a case-by-case basis. Since every job, employee and situation are different; it cannot be assumed that the same decision is appropriate for two similar positions. Supervisors know the operations of their department/unit(s) best and are responsible for final decisions on how to get the work accomplished. Supervisors have the authority to request approval of a remote work arrangement, or to postpone consideration of a remote work arrangement to another time.

 

20. Is base compensation impacted by work location for remote employees?

Kansas State University has a compensation structure in place for staff employees. The compensation structure and pay grade assignments are not impacted by work location. Departments and supervisors are encouraged to reference the Human Capital Services website for guidance on managing pay within the applicable pay grades for each position. 

 

21. What happens if an employee who is working remotely wants to return to his or her on-site role?

The employee should discuss this with his or her supervisor. All employee-proposed changes to an existing agreement are subject to department and/or university approval. 

 

22. What happens if an employee with a remote work arrangement transfers to another department?

An established remote work arrangement exists between the employee and supervisor within their respective college/unit. An employee who transfers to another college/unit would need to go through the remote work approval process in their new college/unit. A new Remote Work Suitability Assessment and Remote Work Agreement form would need to be completed. 

 

23. Is a request for a disability accommodation determined under the remote work policy?  

No. All requests for disability accommodations are processed through the interactive process discussion involving the employee, supervisor, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator. For questions regarding the accommodation process, contact the ADA Coordinator.  

 

24. While working remotely, on occasion, I may need to return to K-State (campus or facility work location) to conduct business. Can I be reimbursed for mileage between the satellite work and campus locations?

It depends on if you are working 100% remotely or partially-remote (hybrid). As per the policy, for a 100% remote work arrangement that is considered a regular, recurring remote work arrangement, the university will reimburse employees for travel to and from their identified campus or facility location if the distance exceeds a 60-mile radius and is authorized within the remote work agreement. Mileage reimbursement will not be considered for hybrid, periodic, intermittent, or temporary remote work arrangements.

 

25. My satellite work location is my home. What happens if I have an accident while working remotely?

If the employee’s satellite work location is at home, the employee is required to maintain safe conditions in the work area and maintain adequate homeowners, renters, or commercial general liability insurance.  Any work-related incidents or injuries should be reported in the normal manner. Incidents will be reviewed by the State Self Insurance Fund to determine if they are compensable under workers compensation. Information regarding incident reporting can be found on the Environmental Health and Safety website.  

 

26. If office equipment becomes damaged (water damage from flooding, fire, tornado/wind damage, etc.) at the satellite work location, am I responsible for equipment replacement costs?

Departments are responsible for damaged equipment expenses when the equipment isn't covered by the university’s inland marine insurance policy or when damages are under the $5,000 deductible.  This includes damages to university equipment when used at home or when traveling.  If a department wants to have equipment covered under the policy, they need to provide information to the Risk & Compliance Office including, description, replacement value, purchase date and purchase price.   

 

27. Where do I direct further questions regarding remote work?

Please visit Human Capital Services’ website to learn more about remote work resources.  Additional questions may be directed to your department HCS liaison or sent to HCS at hr@ksu.edu.  

 

MANAGERS

 

1. How do I know if an employee is a good candidate for remote work? 

There are many factors to consider when exploring the possibility of remote work. Human Capital Services has developed a guide entitled, Evaluating Remote Work Opportunities, that assists supervisors, managers, and unit leaders in thinking through these factors. 

 

2. Can a supervisor mandate a remote work arrangement for an entire unit or department? 

Perhaps. If a department is considering a remote work arrangement for their entire workforce, the department head should engage with HCS as soon as possible. 

 

3. How do supervisors evaluate multiple remote work arrangement requests?

It is essential that supervisors work with individual employees and consider the whole team objectively when evaluating remote work arrangements. When possible, supervisors should consider a group of proposals together which ensures a process that is consistent and transparent. Remote work should have either a net-positive or net-neutral effect on business results and the work environment. 

 

4. How should a supervisor handle a situation where it may be appropriate to approve one person's request for remote work and deny the request of another?

It is essential that supervisors work with individual employees and consider the whole team objectively when evaluating remote work arrangements. When possible, supervisors should consider a group of proposals together which ensures a process that is consistent and transparent. Remote work should have either a net-positive or net-neutral effect on business results and the work environment. Supervisors are encouraged to be transparent in their decision-making process and point to business reasons for considering a remote work arrangement. 

 

5. Are supervisors eligible for a remote work arrangement? 

Yes. Suitability for remote work arrangement is based on multiple factors. Characteristics of positions that may be considered suitable for remote work include:

  • Jobs that entail working independently.
  • Minimal interaction with internal and external contacts.
  • Limited need for access to equipment and/or materials.

Suitability for remote work is determined through a collaborative process which considers multiple factors. For more information, please reference the Evaluating Remote Work Opportunities.  

 

6. Are there any remote work resources for the employee and supervisor?

Employees and supervisors are encouraged to access  resources on the Human Capital Services’ website around specific resources that support remote employees.  

 

7. Are employees in non-exempt positions eligible for remote work arrangements? 

Perhaps. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) status is not a determining factor for remote work suitability. Regardless of FLSA status, characteristics of positions that may be considered suitable for remote work include:

  • Jobs that entail working independently.
  • Minimal interaction with internal and external contacts. 
  • Limited need for access to equipment and/or materials. 

It may be helpful to remember that non-exempt employees, regardless of work location, must record hours worked through the department’s official timekeeping system.   

 

8. What resources exist for onboarding remote employees?

HCS has crafted a thorough onboarding guide that can be found on the HCS website
Furthermore, it is important to share K-State policies that all employees are expected to abide by regardless of their employment location. In addition, all employees are encouraged to register for K-State New Employee Welcome (KSNEW). 

 

9. What is the process for a supervisor to advertise for a vacant position which offers the possibility for remote work?

If a department would like to hire for a remote work position, the supervisor should complete the Remote Work Suitability Assessment. Once appropriate approval is obtained, the supervisor is encouraged to engage with their Talent Acquisition Strategic Partner to discuss the hiring process for remote work employees. 

 

10. What should I do if position updates are needed as a result of a remote work agreement?

The essential functions of a position are not expected to change as a result of a remote work agreement. Remote work arrangements should not negatively impact operations or service delivery for a given position/unit. If position updates are necessary, changes can be submitted using the standard position update process in PageUp. Please work with your departmental HCS Liaison as appropriate. 

 

11. How do I modify an existing remote work arrangement?

Modifications to a remote work arrangement should be documented and initialed by the original signatories on the existing form OR captured on a new Remote Work Agreement form.

 

12. How do I end a remote work arrangement early?

If there is a desire to end a remote work arrangement early, an employee or a supervisor may begin the process.  For further information, please visit the guidance for ending a remote work arrangement.

 

COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE

 

1. What do I do if my internet service is disrupted while I am working at a satellite work location? 

As per the policy, employees shall promptly notify their supervisor when unable to perform work assignments due to equipment failure or other unforeseen circumstances. The employee may be assigned to another project and/or work location that may necessitate termination of the remote work agreement. 

 

2. If I am working remotely, am I expected to use my personal phone for university business? 

No. K-State has resources available to route your K-State phone to your remote location through the Avaya remote phone software.

 

3. How do I forward my K-State phone to another phone number? 

Instructions are available through K-State’s IT Service Portal to forward your desktop phone to another phone.

 

4. How do I check my voicemail remotely? 

If you do not have call forwarding set up or voicemail to email, instructions are available to  check your voicemail remotely.  

 

5. How do I send my work voicemail to email? 

Instructions are available through K-State’s IT Service Portal to send  voicemail to email.

 

6. How can I access my desktop at K-State from home? 

Learn how to  set up your work computer for remote access from home through remote desktop. 

 

 

Inclement Weather and Remote Work

1. I have a regular, recurring 100% remote work agreement and inclement weather has been declared on my campus. Am I eligible for inclement weather leave?

No. In PPM 4045 if inclement weather is declared at a campus or facility work location, an employee who is working remotely at a satellite work location generally is not eligible for inclement weather leave.

 

2. I have a regular, recurring hybrid remote work agreement and inclement weather has been declared on my campus. Am I eligible for inclement weather leave?

If you are scheduled to be on campus the day inclement weather is declared, you would be eligible for inclement weather leave.  If you are scheduled to work remotely on the day inclement weather is declared, you are generally not eligible for inclement weather leave. 

 

3. If I am scheduled to work remotely either under a 100% or hybrid remote work agreement and lose power or internet service due to inclement weather, am I eligible for inclement weather leave?

If an employee working at a satellite work location experiences inclement weather leading to an inability to perform remote work, loss of power or internet service, the employee may be granted inclement weather leave.  Employees should notify their supervisor as is practical. 

 

4. I have a periodic, intermittent remote work arrangement and my remote workdays vary as agreed upon with my supervisor. I can work remotely but am not scheduled to do so on a day inclement weather has been declared.  Am I eligible for inclement weather leave?

Yes. You are eligible for inclement weather leave. Supervisors should not require non-essential employees to work remotely who are not regularly scheduled to work remotely on a day inclement weather is declared.

 

5. I do not have a 100% or hybrid remote work agreement in place; however, my position allows me to work remotely on a day where inclement weather has been declared. If I do so, will I earn comp time?

Only employees deemed essential who work during inclement weather receive comp time. 

 

6. I have a 100% or hybrid remote work agreement and am scheduled to work remotely on the day inclement weather is declared. All my childcare options have also closed due to weather, and I am unable to work remotely.  How do I report my time?

Employees must use appropriate accrued leave. 

 

7. I have a hybrid remote work agreement to work from home on Fridays. This week I previously agreed with my supervisor to shift my remote workday to Thursday.   Inclement weather has been declared for Thursday.  Am I eligible for inclement weather leave?

No. You have agreed with your supervisor to shift your regular hybrid schedule for that day and you should work remotely.  If you are unable to work remotely that day you have the option to use accrued leave. 

 

 

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Related PPM Chapters

Checklist for Establishing a Remote Work Arrangement

 

To establish a successful remote work arrangement (including hybrid remote work), the following steps should be completed: