Issued February 1, 2016; Revised May 19, 2020
Table of Contents
.030 Policy Statement
Kansas State University recognizes that telecommuting may benefit the employee and the University when there is a good fit between the type of job and the skills and abilities of the employee. Telecommuting is defined as working from outside the University by use of an electronic connection with the main office.
One type of telecommuting is recurring formal arrangement of one or more days of telecommuting where the employee also works from the office on a regular basis. Another type of telecommuting is an alternate workplace where the primary workplace is the employee’s home or other remote location. Both recurring and alternate workplace telecommuting are covered by this policy and require a voluntary agreement between the employee and supervisor.
Temporary special and informal arrangements made for inclement weather or other special conditions are not covered by this policy or the agreement.
Telecommuting is a prerogative of the University, not an entitlement of employees. It is approved on a case-by-case basis consistent with the mission of the University and the respective department or unit. An agreement will be implemented only when it is in the University's best interests. Not all employees or positions are suitable for telecommuting and is limited to benefit eligible non-faculty positions and graduate assistant positions if the nature of the job does not require the employee’s physical presence, or regular face-to-face interaction with students, faculty, staff, visitors or the general public in accordance with the University Handbook, Appendix S, Section A.1.(b) Conflict of Time Commitment. Exceptions must be justified and shown to enhance the university's mission and must be approved in advance by the faculty or staff member’s supervisor, department head, Dean and Vice President or Provost. All graduate assistant telecommuting agreements are subject to prior approval of the graduate assistant's department head.
Telecommuters must comply with all policies, regulations and laws regarding their employment and generally have the same conditions for compensation, benefits, leave, privileges, rights and review procedures as non-telecommuting employees.
The supervisor must review the suitability of the position for telecommuting and refer any questions to Human Capital Services. Certain categories of positions such as information technology may lend themselves better to telecommuting, but it is not a given that any particular position will be approved for telecommuting. The supervisor must consider the skills, abilities, performance and characteristics of the employee. Refer to the Managers and Supervisor's Guide to Telecommuting (pdf) for more information.
Existing employees must have satisfactory performance that at least meets expectations of his/her current supervisor to enter into a telecommuting arrangement. New University Support Staff employees must have completed the probationary period successfully before entering into a telecommuting agreement unless their entire work is remote (alternate workplace). If the new employee is hired to work remotely for all days and hours of work, a probationary period shall be included in their telecommuting agreement. Employees must at least meet expectations of their supervisor at the end of the probationary period to continue working under the telecommuting agreement. Supervisors must be evaluating performance based upon clear goals and expectations.
Telecommuting is voluntary and the employer or employee may terminate the agreement at any time. All obligations, responsibilities and terms and conditions of employment with the University remain unchanged, except those specifically addressed in the telecommuting agreement. Any breach of the agreement by the employee may result in modification or withdrawal of telecommuting privileges under the agreement, termination of the agreement and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
The Telecommuting Agreement will include the following:
The agreement must include the employee information, the start date, end date or renewal date and performance review dates. Performance evaluations will follow the applicable university policy timelines.
Location for Telecommuting
The physical address for telecommuting and designated work location within will be included.
The employee is liable for any damage to University property arising from abuse. The agreement must include a statement that non-business people are not covered by the University and that business meetings at the employee's home worksite are prohibited. The employee is responsible for applicable zoning and tax laws related to his or her remote office.
Remote Office Setup
The agreement will cover the specific hardware, software, communication lines and tools to be used as well as who is procuring or providing for those, what area constitutes the employee’s workplace, and other pertinent information. Data security must be addressed in the agreement. The environment must be free of safety and fire hazard. Information regarding office set up best practices, such as ergonomics and security, will be made available to the employee by K-State, and will be the employee's responsibility to implement. Employee must agree to follow PPM 6510.030 Off Campus Use of University Property.
K-State employees are covered for work related accidents or occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of performing the duties of their employment, regardless of where the situation occurs. All on-the-job accidents and injuries must be reported by the employee to the Division of Human Capital Services within three working days of the accident/injury. The University reserves the right to inspect remote offices in the case of injuries.
Type of Telecommuting
The agreement must include the type of telecommuting, reoccurring or alternate workplace.
Hours of Work, Leave and Overtime
The agreement must include specific hours and days of work. Employee must be accessible during specified work hours. Employees who are non-exempt must accurately report time and leave. Overtime must previously be approved by the supervisor. Refer to PPM 4220 Hours of Work, Overtime, Overtime Pay and Compensatory Time.
The agreement will include a statement about whether the University provided supplies or whether the employee must provide them and be reimbursed. Normally the supplies are provided by the University and no home expenses for furniture, connections or renovations are reimbursable.
The agreement must include the employee's contact information and required availability for communications during business hours, including how and when the employee communicates with his/her supervisor, coworkers and others. The agreement must also state if the employee is expected to report to the office for specified meetings or events. Normally, any commuting costs to/from the University for office meetings or events will be the employee’s responsibility. If travel reimbursement is to be made, the agreement must specify the details.
Additional terms such as the duties, obligations, responsibilities and conditions of employment; agreement termination notice; and employee responsibilities for contacting Human Capital Services for determination of tax jurisdiction, zoning and tax liability for remote office will be included.
Dependent Care or Illness
Telecommuting is not intended for providing dependent care, convalescing, or for caring of an ill family member.
Signatures and Approvals
The employee, supervisor, department head and Dean and/or Vice President and Provost must sign the Telecommuting Agreement. Completed form is sent to the Division of Human Capital Services.
Human Capital Services (HCS) is responsible for this policy. The Vice President or designee must approve any exception to this policy or related procedures. Questions should be directed to Human Capital Services at 785-532-6277 or firstname.lastname@example.org.