Flexible work arrangements, including remote and hybrid work, may be granted to qualifying employees when circumstances and conditions allow for success. It is an option exercised at Rutgers University’s sole discretion and is not an employee right.
Professionalism and Performance Expectations
- Employees must maintain a professional decorum even when working remotely.
- Employees must dress as if they are working from an on-site university location.
- Employees are not permitted to attend virtual meetings while dressed in a non-professional manner and should not consume food during virtual meetings.
- Employees working remotely may not allow nonwork-related events, activities, persons (e.g., a spouse, partner, children, or nonwork-related visitors) or pets or other animals who share the remote work location to disrupt or interfere with their workday or job performance. The responsibility to focus on and productively accomplish the University’s business is the same whether working at a university assigned work location or when working remotely.
- Employees working remotely may be required to attend in-person meetings, trainings, or events at the university or other locations as directed by their supervisor or as necessary for the performance of their job duties.
- Employees shall not perform personal business during hours agreed upon as work hours.
- Absent an approved flex workday schedule or compressed workweek, employees are required to work normal business hours.
- During agreed upon work hours, other than reasonable break periods, remote employees must generally be present in their workspace and reachable by telephone, chat, e-mail or other established methods for their supervisor, team members, colleagues, or service population(s).
- Remote work is not a substitute for childcare or other dependent care. The employee shall make or maintain childcare arrangements to permit concentration on work assignments.
- Out-of-pocket expenses for supplies normally available in the office will not be reimbursed.
- Agreed upon work schedule shall comply with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations and timekeeping requirements.
- Overtime work for a non-exempt employee must be pre-approved by the supervisor.
- Work product produced by Rutgers employees at an alternate work location remains subject to New Jersey’s public records laws.
- In accordance with Rutgers Intellectual Property Policy, works of intellectual property developed while working remotely are owned by Rutgers when either of the following applies:
- the intellectual property was developed within the scope of employment; or
- the intellectual property was developed with the significant use of funds or other resources administered by Rutgers.
- Rutgers’ policies, rules and practices shall apply at the alternate work location, including those governing communicating internally and with the public, employee rights and responsibilities, facilities and equipment management, financial management, information resource management, purchasing of property and services, and safety. Failure to follow policy, rules and procedures may result in termination of the flexible work arrangement and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination.
- Employees must arrange an appropriate and safe workspace at their alternate work location that ensures their productivity and the security of university information. For example, employees must be able to take telephone calls and participate in online video meetings, on-camera, with minimal distraction and while maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
- The employee will not hold in-person business visits or meetings with professional colleagues, customers, or the public at their alternate work location.
- Alternate work location furniture and equipment shall be provided by the employee. In the event that equipment and software is provided by Rutgers at the alternate work location, such equipment and software shall be used exclusively by the Rutgers remote employee and for the purposes of conducting official University business.
- Software shall not be unlawfully duplicated. If Rutgers provides equipment, the employee is responsible for safe transportation and set-up of such equipment.
- A home office is not an automatic tax deduction. Remote employees should consult with a tax expert to examine the tax implications of a home office.
- The employee will not be paid for time or mileage involved in travel between the alternate work location and the university assigned work location.
- Alternate work locations that are not in New Jersey must be reported in the FlexWork@RU System, as there may be tax withholding implications.
University Equipment and Data Security
- Employees working remotely remain subject to and must comply with all University policies while working from the alternate work location, including those that pertain to information and device security.
- All equipment and services necessary for the employee to meet their job duties must be present and in good working order in their alternate work location. This might include, but is not limited to, a properly protected or secured computer with standard productivity software and video capability, a headset, Internet access with necessary bandwidth, VPN and meeting software (i.e., Zoom, WebEx, MS Teams, etc.), and/or any other job or department specific tools.
- Remote employees should use MS Teams, Zoom, or other appropriate secure virtual conferencing means to conduct virtual meetings and use department shared drives to maintain secure access to necessary computer files from all work locations.
- Remote employees are responsible for providing and paying for their own internet and phone service at their alternate work location.
- Products, documents, and records that are used, developed, or revised while working remotely shall be copied or restored to Rutgers’ computerized record system. Whenever possible, all remote work-related information shall be stored in a directory designated for remote work and this information shall be backed up on university-supported file storage systems, such as your university Box or OneDrive account.
- Security and confidentiality shall be maintained by the remote employee at the same level as expected at all worksites. Restricted access or confidential material shall not be taken out of the primary worksite or accessed through a computer unless approved in advance by the supervisor.
- All remote access to university data must be in accordance with the Office of Information Technology polices.
- All remote work must adhere to the university’s requirements for data security. In particular, all remote workers must agree to:
- At no time provide their password to anyone, including family members.
- Lock your workstation before leaving your workstation unattended, even if you expect your time away to be brief.
- Abide by data handling guidelines/policies for protecting and controlling sensitive or restricted information in hardcopy and electronic format.
- Follow the data management procedures and authentication and access control standards and any additional guidelines issued by the remote employee’s department or the Office of Information Technology.
- Employees are responsible for any university-owned equipment and software used at their alternate work location and are personally responsible for any such equipment that is lost, stolen, or damaged due to the employee's negligence, misuse, or abuse.
- Rutgers will repair and maintain any loaned equipment. Surge protectors must be used with any Rutgers computer. The employee will be responsible for:
- any intentional damage to the equipment;
- damage resulting from negligence by the employee or any member or guest of the employee's household;
- damage resulting from a power surge if no surge protector is used; and
- maintaining the current virus protection for software.
Rutgers may pursue recovery from the employee for Rutgers property that is deliberately, or through negligence, damaged, destroyed, or lost while in the employee's care, custody or control. Damage or theft of Rutgers equipment that occurs outside the employee's control will be covered by Rutgers. Remote employees should check their homeowner's/renter's insurance policy for incidental office coverage. Rutgers does not assume liability for loss, damage, or wear of employee-owned equipment.
- If Rutgers is closed due to an emergency or inclement weather, the employee may continue to work at the alternate work location with prior approval of the employee’s supervisor.
- If there is an emergency at the alternate work location, such as a power outage, the employee will notify the supervisor as soon as possible. The remote employee may be reassigned to a university assigned work location.
- Work-related injuries incurred at the alternate work location during the defined work period shall immediately be reported to Rutgers Office of Occupational Health or Risk Management.