Rutgers encourages telecommuting from alternate work locations to create a supportive work environment and to encourage sustainability efforts. Telecommuting is a voluntary work arrangement in which an eligible employee with approval works one or more days each workweek from an alternate work locale instead of commuting to the campus work place.
Exempt (NL) Managerial, Professional, Supervisory, and Confidential (MPSC) staff employees who have completed their probationary periods are eligible to be considered for telecommuting. Aligned employees should consult their respective collective negotiations agreements regarding telecommuting eligibility.
Is Telecommuting Right for You?
Before initiating a request to telecommute, eligible employees should consider whether telecommuting is right for them. Certainly a home work environment with no distractions from others gives individuals more freedom and control over their work, making them more productive. However, not every job or individual is well-suited for telecommuting. The best telecommuters possess the following traits:
- Ability to work independently
- Don’t need continuous feedback and support from colleagues or supervisor
- Strong organizational skills
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- Strong problem solving capabilities
- Can work in a socially isolated situation
Before pursuing a telecommuting arrangement, employees should consider these traits as well as other issues that may affect their success as a telecommuter. Additionally, the alternate work location will need to be assessed for safety and security purposes, and employees will need to review the acceptable uses of University information technology resources.
The employee’s supervisor will determine if a position is appropriate for telecommuting arrangement. Positions that require an employee to work frequently with specific equipment or interact in person with the public may not be well-suited for telecommuting.
Is Telecommuting Right for the Department?
Supervisors should give all eligible employees the opportunity to know about the ability to telecommute. However, as a supervisor there is much to consider before discussing a telecommuting arrangement with an employee. Supervisors need to consider the feasibility of the individual in a particular position telecommuting. The telecommuting guidelines can serve as tool for managers wishing to explore telecommuting arrangements with their staff.
If a supervisor decides to pursue a telecommuting arrangement with a staff member, he or she needs to review performance standards and expectations for working in an alternate location, and a telecommuting agreement form must be completed. Additionally, the supervisor needs to discuss with the employee how work is to be completed and reviewed as well as how communication will occur between the employee and his or her supervisor and coworkers.
Departments that need advice and guidance on establishing a telecommuting arrangement should consult with their appropriate campus human resources office or contact the Office of Labor Relations.