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Remote Work Policy
(formerly Telecommuting Policy)

Chapter 4045

Issued February 1, 2016; Revised May 19, 2020; February 4, 2021, July 2021

Table of Contents

.010 Introduction

.020 Remote Work Arrangements

.030 Policy Statement

.040 RemoteWork and the Employee Relationship

.050 Work Documentation, Timekeeping and Leave

.060 Training and Support Resources

.070 Supplies, Equipment and Software Usage

.080 Security

.090 Termination and Separation

.100 Questions

.010 Introduction

Kansas State University recognizes that Remote Work may be mutually beneficial to employees and the University in circumstances when the nature of an employee’s work, the University’s business needs, and the skills and abilities of the employee indicate that such an arrangement is in the best interest of the University. Remote work is a privilege granted by the University, not an entitlement or right of employees.

.020 Remote Work Categories

There are three categories of remote work arrangements:

  1. Regular, recurring remote work arrangements may be either 100% remote or partially remote (hybrid, such as one or two days per week and/or part of each workday). Such arrangements require the employee and their supervisor to complete the Remote Work Agreement.
  1. Periodic, intermittent remote work arrangements are permitted under this policy. Such arrangements require documentation but do not require the completion of the Remote Work Agreement. Documentation of these arrangements may be prospective or retrospective in the form of an email or other notation which indicates supervisor approval.
  1. Temporary or emergency remote work arrangements may be used during short-term illness, transportation emergency due to weather, natural disaster, or pandemic health crises. Supervisor approval—or directive from University administration is required. Such arrangements require documentation but do not require the completion of the Remote Work Agreement. Documentation of these arrangements may be prospective or retrospective in the form of an email or other notation.

.030 Policy Statement

Kansas State University (KSU) may permit Remote Work arrangements during all or some portion of the work week, when such arrangements are in the best interests of the University, enable operational efficiencies and enhance the productivity of the unit and the employee(s). Regular, recurring remote work arrangements must be pre-approved by the appropriate administrator as outlined in this policy and approval must be documented in a written agreement between the University and the employee or other documentation indicating supervisor approval, as provided in this policy.

This policy applies to all University employees, including faculty, staff (both University Support Staff and Unclassified) positions, graduate students (GAs, GTs, and GRAs) and student employees.

Definitions
  1. Campus or facility work location: The university campus and other University-occupied premises in Manhattan, Salina, and Olathe, and the Kansas State Regional Extension offices.
  1. Remote work: An authorized work arrangement, authorized in accordance with this policy, that involves an employee regularly, periodically, or temporarily working from a satellite work location other than a campus or facility work location by use of an electronic connection between the satellite work location and the employee’s main office at a campus or facility work location. 
  1. Satellite work location: A location where an employee is authorized to work that is not a campus or facility work location.

.040 Remote Work and the Employment Relationship

Remote work involves an authorized satellite work location arrangement for employees whose job duties are appropriate for such an arrangement and is in the best interest of the University. The decision to authorize these options is within the discretion of an employee’s supervisor and their respective cabinet- or dean-level administrator, in consultation with Human Capital Services, based on the nature of the University’s business needs, the position and employee suitability. 

A remote work arrangement does not alter an employee’s work relationship with the University, nor does it relieve an employee from the obligation to observe all applicable University rules, policies, and procedures. All existing terms and conditions of employment (including but not limited to the position description, salary, benefits, vacation, sick leave and overtime) remain the same as if the employee worked only at their campus or facility work location. The satellite work location for any employee or position being considered for remote work must be located within the United States in order to comply with all Federal, State, and local payroll withholding taxes and wage requirements. Out-of-state remote work is complex due to employment laws, taxation rules, data privacy and cybersecurity risks, and other compliance requirements in other states.

Please contact International Student & Scholar Services before approving a Remote Work Agreement for an H-1B employee.

Remote Work Suitability Assessment & Remote Work Agreement
  1. Supervisors must complete a Remote Work Suitability Assessment. This form documents suitability factors for remote work and is utilized to obtain appropriate approval from senior leadership at the cabinet or dean level as appropriate to proceed with establishing a remote work arrangement. The cabinet or dean level approval of a Remote Work Suitability Assessment, alone, is not sufficient to permit a remote work arrangement. The remote work arrangement is only authorized upon completion of a Remote Work Agreement.

  2. If approval of a Remote Work Suitability Assessment is granted, the supervisor will inform the employee and initiate steps to establish a Remote Work Agreement.  If approval is declined, the supervisor will inform the employee of the business reasons for not proceeding with the establishment of a remote work arrangement.   
  1. The Remote Work Agreement must be used to document work arrangements where either a 100% remote or hybrid work arrangement is agreed upon by the employee and their supervisor. At the discretion of the appropriate cabinet- or dean-level administrator, additional approval or review may be required.

  2. Prior to an employee beginning remote work from a satellite work location, the employee and supervisor must complete and sign the Remote Work Agreement and obtain appropriate required signatures of approval. The employee’s department should keep a copy of the agreement on file and must submit a copy to Human Capital Services where it will be retained in the employee’s personnel file. 

  3. The University may, in its discretion, discontinue a Remote Work Agreement at any time with advance notice of at least 10 working days, or as otherwise agreed upon in the Remote Work Agreement. Employees who refuse to return to their campus or facility work location may be subject to discipline and/or dismissal under applicable university policies.    
Remote Work Guidelines
  1. The employee's duties, obligations, responsibilities, and performance expectations remain the same under a Remote Work Agreement as if the employee were working at a campus or facility work location. The employee shall communicate with their supervisor to receive assignments, review work progress, and complete work as often as the supervisor determines to be necessary.

  2. Meetings with students, co-workers, or others conducting business with the University shall not be held in person in a remote employee’s home. 

  3. The Remote Work Agreement should reference the participating employee’s current position description which outlines the general nature of the work to be performed.  Furthermore, the agreement should specify other special projects or assignments as appropriate.
     
  4. An employee's work schedule may include remote work on either 100% or hybrid remote basis. The employee’s work assignments must be such that the employee is not required to be physically present to perform the work at a campus or facility work location, and
    1. the need for face-to-face interaction with other employees, students, or customers is minimal (in the case of 100% remote or hybrid arrangements); or

    2. the employee’s work that may require face-to-face interaction may be scheduled at certain times in order to permit remote work as deemed appropriate by the supervisor.
  5. Remote work may not be suitable for all employees and/or positions. Any employee who wants to work remotely should first discuss a remote work request with their supervisor. The employee's appropriate cabinet- or dean-level administrator will make the final decision about whether the employee’s job duties are appropriate for such an arrangement and is in the best interest of the University based on the nature of the University’s business needs, the position, and employee suitability. 

  6. 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. If an employee working at a satellite work location experiences inclement weather or another event, such as a natural disaster, which precludes the employee from performing work at the satellite work location, the employee may be granted inclement weather leave, administrative leave, or other appropriate type of leave on a temporary basis, as determined in the sole discretion of the University. See the PPM 3035, Inclement Weather General Policy and Procedure, for more information.

  7. Allowing remote work arrangements is solely within the discretion of the University. Remote work is a privilege granted by the University, not an entitlement or right of the employee, and a supervisor may not require an employee to work remotely. However, the University may approve specified departments to operate remotely, in which case, no standard campus or facility work location is available to the department and resulting in the need for all such department’s employees to perform their work remotely from satellite work locations pursuant to Remote Work Agreements.

  8. For regular, recurring 100% remote work arrangements, when a supervisor requires the employee’s presence at a campus or facility location, the University will reimburse employees for travel between the employee’s satellite work location and campus or facility work location if the distance exceeds a 60-mile radius and such reimbursement arrangement is specifically authorized within employee’s Remote Work Agreement. Departments are responsible for funding such reimbursement, and the University makes no representation to the employee as to the tax implication of such reimbursement. 

  9. The employee’s salary, benefits, workers’ compensation, and other employer insurance coverage shall not change due to a remote work arrangement. Reimbursements to attend work unit meetings held at a campus or facility work location to which they would ordinarily be assigned, must be agreed to in writing prior to such meetings, and stated in the Remote Work Agreement.

  10. The supervisor and employee will formulate objectives, expected results, and evaluation procedures for work completed while the employee is working remotely. The supervisor and employee will meet at pre-determined intervals to review the employee’s work performance.
  1. Remote work is not a replacement for responsibilities of personal life that would otherwise result in the employee being required to take leave. Employees should provide the same attention to work as if they were working on site. Any alteration in schedule for personal needs must be approved by the supervisor.

  2. The remote worker shall not perform personal business or activities during the agreed-upon regular workday schedule, except for approved outside activities (i.e., consulting), per conflict of interest. Refer to PPM 4090.

  3. While working remotely, the employee must be reachable and responsive via telephone, network access, or e-mail during agreed-upon work hours. The employee and supervisor will agree on how to handle work-related telephone messages, including the feasibility of having access to a cell phone.

  4. Remote workers and departments are responsible for costs incurred from damaged university-owned equipment and are subject to the university's insurance policies and deductibles that apply (i.e., a department is responsible for a broken laptop).  Remote workers are advised to contact their insurance company and tax consultant for information on coverage for homes and personally owned equipment.  https://www.k-state.edu/risk/insurance/index.html

Work Site
  1. An employee's satellite work location must be specified in the Remote Work Agreement.

  2. A designated workspace shall be maintained by the employee that is quiet, free of distractions, and kept in a clean, professional, and safe condition, with adequate lighting and ventilation.

  3. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) can assist with advice and referrals for assessing activities, work environments and equipment in various work settings. For more information, visit EHS ergonomics website or contact safety@ksu.edu for information.

  4. If the employee’s satellite work location is at home, the employee is required at the employee's expense, 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 reports can be found on Human Capital Services’ website.

  5. The University will not be responsible for operating costs associated with the employee’s satellite work location, including but not limited to home maintenance, digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, cell phone bills, Internet, utilities, any associated incidental costs (such as property or liability insurance), or other incidental expenses (utilities, cleaning services, etc.).  

  6. The University will not be responsible the installation of basic telephone service, internet access, or cable in employee’s satellite work location unless otherwise covered in the Remote Work Agreement.

  7. For a regular, recurring 100% remote work arrangement, the University may, in its sole discretion and only as set forth in an approved Remote Work Agreement, grant a one-time maximum $1,000.00 taxable stipend to an employee for expenses associated with the establishment of remote work if there is a business need (provided the department has necessary funding available).
  1. The University is not liable for damages to the employee's property that may result from participating in remote work. 

  2. Non work-related events and activities shall not disrupt or interfere with work at the satellite work location. 

.050 Work Documentation, Timekeeping and Leave

  1. Participating employees and supervisors should identify work documents for review and discussion on an ongoing basis to ensure that tasks are fully described and performed and/or completed in a timely manner.
  1. A consistent schedule of remote work hours and days is desirable to ensure regular and predictable contact with University staff and others. For some positions, more flexibility in work hours and days is feasible. A specific work schedule will be stated in the Remote Work Agreement. Exceptions will be made when an employee's presence is required for a function or activity that cannot reasonably be re-scheduled.
  1. Employees who are non-exempt must accurately report time and leave in the appropriate system of record in increments no greater than a quarter hour. Refer to PPM 4220.090 Record Keeping.
  1. A non-exempt employee (as outlined by Fair Labor Standards Act) shall not work overtime without prior supervisory approval. If the employee works overtime that has been approved in advance, compensation or compensatory time off will be provided in accordance with eligibility guidelines and applicable laws and policies. The employee understands that failure to obtain prior approval for overtime work may result in discontinuance of working remotely and other appropriate disciplinary action. Refer to PPM 4220.070 Hours of Work, Overtime, Overtime Pay and Compensatory Time.
  1. Leave must be requested and used pursuant with established University policies. Employees must obtain supervisory approval before taking accrued and available leave. Refer toPPM 4860.

.060 Training and Support Resources

Departments and colleges are encouraged to access remote work supporting resources on the Human Capital Services’ website.  

.070 Supplies, Equipment and Software Usage

  1. Supply needs must be preauthorized by the employee's supervisor. Out-of-pocket expenses for supplies will be reimbursed only if authorized prior to purchase.
  1. Unless otherwise specified, the University will not provide worksite furniture for regular, recurring 100% remote or hybrid remote employees.

  2. The need for specialized materials or equipment must either be minimal or flexible.

  3. The following conditions shall apply to use of computers, software, other University equipment, and internet access:
    1. Normally, the University will provide equipment and materials needed by employees to effectively perform their duties. Remote employees may use university-owned equipment only for legitimate University purposes. Remote employees are responsible for protecting university-owned equipment from theft, damage, and unauthorized use.
    2. The University will maintain, service and repair university-owned equipment used in the normal course of employment. The University will stipulate who is responsible for transporting and installing equipment, and for returning it to the central workplace for repairs or service.
    3. Under the Remote Work Agreement, employees are prohibited from using their own personal laptop or desktop while performing university business. If the employee is authorized to use other personal equipment, the University is not responsible for the cost, repair, or service of the employee’s personal equipment, unless otherwise expressly agreed to in advance in the Remote Work Agreement made between the supervisor and the employee for purposes of working remotely under this policy. See the PPM 3420, Information Technology Use Policy and Procedure for more information.
    4. Should an employee be provided University equipment or software by the University to work remotely, these University resources may not be used for personal purposes.
    5. The employee agrees not to duplicate university-owned software. The employee also agrees to abide by the licensing regulations and restrictions for all software under license to Kansas State University.
    6. A computer used for University business must be plugged into a surge protector and have current virus protection maintained. The University is not responsible for damaged or lost information due to power outages.
    7. The employee 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.
    8. The University may pursue recovery from the employee for University property that is damaged, destroyed, or stolen while in the employee's care, custody, or control.
    9. The employee and supervisor agree to submit a Department Equipment Inventory Form and Agreement completed prior to moving or installing any university-owned equipment/items at the satellite work location. Any university-owned equipment/items allocated in order to perform job responsibilities must be returned to the University in the event the Remote Work Agreement ends or in the event of voluntary or involuntary termination from the University.
    10. Restricted-access materials shall not be removed from the University campus or facility work location or accessed through the computer unless approved in advance by the supervisor and the appropriate security access administrator.

.080 Security

  1. The employee will protect University information from unauthorized disclosure or damage and will comply with federal, state, and university rules, policies, and procedures regarding disclosure of public and official records. Work done at the employee's satellite work location is regarded as official University business. All records, documents, and correspondence, either in paper or electronic form must be safeguarded for return to the University. Release or destruction of records should be done only in accordance with statute and University policy and procedure, and with the knowledge of the employee's supervisor. Electronic/computer files are considered University records and shall be protected as such.

  2. The employee shall surrender all University and state-owned equipment and/or data documents immediately upon request.

  3. The employee will utilize VPN when applicable, for additional detail please see: https://www.k-state.edu/it/security/secure-data/vpn/

  4. Per the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019, Pub. L. No. 115-232 (NDAA).
    1. Employees are prohibited from using certain covered telecommunications equipment or services in the performance of official business. Covered telecommunications equipment or services is defined in Section 889 to include:
      1. Telecommunications equipment produced by: 
        1. Huawei Technologies Company,
        2. ZTE Corporation, or
        3. Any subsidiary or affiliate listed of either company.
      2. Video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by: 
        1. Hytera Communications Corporation,
        2. Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company,
        3. Dahua Technology Company,
        4. or any subsidiary or affiliate; and
        5. Telecommunications or video surveillance services provided by such entities or using such equipment.

The above prohibition does not include personal equipment that an employee is authorized to use pursuant to the Remote Work Agreement. The University may deny the employee’s use of any personal device that poses a risk to University information technology systems.

Export Controls and Sensitive Information

If you are working with export controlled or other sensitive information, including controlled unclassified information, certain federal restrictions may prohibit the employee from working with this information and data at a satellite work location. Please contact cdoerr@ksu.edu or exportcontrols@ksu.edu if you work with such information and material before you remove it from K-State or access it from a satellite work location. 

.090 Termination and Separation

  1. University departments are responsible for ensuring that separating employees return all University property such as computer equipment, books, apparatus, keys, and other materials, and ensure that any KSU Foundation travel or accommodation loans have been repaid. Faculty members in the departments of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, geology, physics, extension, or any department in the colleges of agriculture, engineering, or veterinary medicine must dispose of or account for all radioisotopes.
    1. With the exception of retiring employees, the department should collect the University identification card and forward the card to the I.D. Center, K-State Student Union, if the employee will remain in the area after separation.
    2. If the employee is leaving the area and does not intend to return to the University campus, the I.D. card may be destroyed.
    3. If the employee was issued a UMB VISA Business Procurement Card, it should be cut in half and returned to the Division of Financial Services at 2323 Anderson Ave., Suite 500, Manhattan, KS 66506.
    4. If the employee would like to authorize the release of information identified on the form to prospective employers for an employment reference, they should complete the Authorization to Release Information form. The form should be retained in departmental files. Please refer to KSU PPM Chapter 4010, Employment Verifications and References

.100 Questions

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 hr@ksu.edu.