Telecommuting/Hybrid Work Schedules Policy

Policy number09-01
Responsible officeHuman Resources
Enforcement officialChief Human Resources Officer
ClassificationBoard of Trustees-delegated Policy
Category09. Employment: Faculty and Staff

Statement of policy

This Policy provides uniform guidance for non-represented, benefits eligible staff regarding telecommuting and hybrid work schedules on a regular and/or recurring basis. 

Summary of contents/major changes

This policy has been revised to provide new guidelines for effectuating Telecommuting and Hybrid Work Schedules.


    The purpose of this Policy is to provide uniform guidance for non-represented, Eligible Employees regarding Telecommuting and Hybrid Work Schedules on a regular and/or recurring basis. 


    Non-represented, benefits eligible staff members whose job duties may be performed in whole or in part from a remote, off-campus site.


    1. Ad Hoc Telecommuting:  an unplanned day or set of hours of Telecommuting for infrequent circumstances (snow day; temporary, bona fide inability to work on campus) of limited duration (not greater than four (4) month duration and not to be continuously offered) that results in the need to Telecommute. 

    2. Administrative Unit:  each member of the President’s Cabinet will define what constitutes an administrative unit in their division for purposes of this Policy

    3. Eligible Employee (Employee):   a non-represented, full-time or part-time employee who has a position equivalent to or greater than a .69 appointment who has consistently had an overall satisfactory or exceeds satisfactory performance rating and whose work may be performed in a remote off-campus site routinely and regularly.  Eligible Employees must have successfully completed probation while working at a WMU on-campus location.

    4. Expanded (Full) Telecommuting Schedule:  an Eligible Employee may work remotely in approved positions with no expectation for in-person work

    5. Flextime: within a work-day, varying work-day start/end hours between 7 am and 5:30 pm, while maintaining core hours of 9 am – 3:30 pm (must include a scheduled lunch period of at least 30 minutes)

    6. Hybrid Work Schedule: a schedule approved by the immediate supervisor/manager as well as the next higher level of supervision to work remotely up to one day per week.

    7. Geographic Position Assignments: Position assignment at a particular geographic location (in state/out state) required to support specific, defined work/position duties and responsibilities.  These positions will also be required on occasion to work/meet on WMU’s main campus.  These assignments are limited to positions in Michigan and other states in which WMU is registered as an employer.

    8. Schedule: a prearranged schedule that specifies when an Employee will be onsite, Ad Hoc Telecommuting, or working a Hybrid Work Schedule

    9. Telecommuting:  the remote performance of University work at an off-campus site on a regular or recurring basis which includes working a Hybrid Work Schedule


    1. Telecommuting is a cooperative arrangement between WMU, an Eligible Employee, and their supervisor/manager and may not be appropriate for some positions. The University’s decision regarding whether to allow Telecommuting is based on specific job requirements and work assignments as well as the University mission. Supervisors/managers should carefully review both the advantages and the disadvantages of allowing an employee to begin Telecommuting.

    2. Nothing in this Policy is intended to contradict state or federal legislation, rules or guidance.  

    3. Telecommuting is not an organization-wide benefit that is available to all Eligible Employees and in no way changes the standard employment policies and other terms/conditions of employment.  If there is a scheduling conflict, departmental requirements take precedence over Telecommuting. The supervisor/manager reserves the right to temporarily or permanently rescind Telecommuting if there are changes in job responsibilities that might conflict with the work arrangement or if there are job performance concerns.  Supervisors/managers will make every effort to provide reasonable advance notice if changes to Telecommuting are warranted.

    4. Hybrid work schedules define the working schedule that an Eligible Employee will be required to work on campus and approved to work remotely.  (Note that “Geographic Position Assignments” do not fall into this category.) 

      1. With appropriate approval, an Employee may have the option of remote work for up to one day per week.

      2. University business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, during which time offices will be open and maintain a consistent physical presence.  Flex-time is available.

      3. To aid cohesion and collegiality, administrative leaders will identify two days on which all non-bargaining staff and administrators within an Administrative Unit will be expected to be working in person.

      4. A minimum of 50% of non-bargaining staff and administrators in the Administrative Unit must be working in person each business day.

      5. If in-person obligations fall on a remote working day, an Eligible Employee will report to campus on that day to fulfill those obligations. In these situations, supervisors are encouraged to offer alternatives that are consistent with these guidelines and University policies.

      6. The Hybrid Work Schedule for each Eligible Employee will be approved by the immediate supervisor/manager as well as the next higher level of supervision as determined by the Administrative Unit to provide coordination and oversight of overall administrative unit staffing levels.  All Hybrid Work Schedules will be documented and kept current by the Administrative Unit.

      7. Understanding that we deliver our mission in a dynamic environment, Hybrid Work Schedules may be suspended in response to new or unexpected needs.

    5. We provide an in-person, residential experience for our students.  There are some job categories where remote-only options are so plentiful in the hiring market, that the university is at a severe recruiting disadvantage if it does not offer parity on this dimension.  On a limited basis, the President’s Cabinet may approve a new or existing position for an Expanded (Full) Telecommuting Schedule.  The Vice President of an associated unit with such a Telecommuting request for a particular position(s) may bring that request to the President’s Cabinet for consideration and approval.  If approved, these Eligible Employees will work exclusively remote.  President’s Cabinet approval must be received prior to implementing an Expanded (Full) Telecommuting Schedule and must be provided to Human Resources in writing in advance of the hire or position change.  Hiring of employees offered an Expanded (Full) Telecommuting Schedule is limited to residents of Michigan and other states in which WMU is registered as an employer.

    6. Equipment

      1. As part of Telecommuting, the Employee must verify that they have appropriate equipment, software, and connectivity at their alternate work site to adequately complete their duties. WMU does not reimburse or provide additional funds for the establishment of an off-site office, including funds for furniture, additional telephone lines, telephone use charges, Internet Service Provider charges, etc.  WMU equipment is for university-related projects only.  WMU equipment may not be used for unlawful purposes or for work for other employers.  Eligible employees should not allow family members or others to use WMU equipment for other purposes.

      2. WMU will not be responsible for the cost, repair, or service of the Employee’s personal equipment.

      3. Any hardware or software purchased by WMU remains the property of WMU and will be returned to WMU on request; products developed while Telecommuting are the property of WMU.

      4. The University will maintain equipment it has provided. Any University property used by the Employee remains the sole property of the University. WMU is not responsible for the temporary loss of Telecommuting days due to equipment maintenance or repair.  If the hiring department has alternate equipment that can be used to maintain Telecommuting, the department may elect to provide it to the Employee.  If unable to telecommute due to equipment issues, the Employee is expected to report to the office or obtain approved leave for time they are unable to work due to equipment or connectivity downtime.

      5. Equipment no longer used by an Employee must be returned on their next day in the office.

      6. Software used by the Employee is subject to the same WMU restrictions on duplication and unauthorized use as, software used in the office. The Employee is responsible for software and configuration for work at home on non-University-owned equipment. WMU computing support staff will provide general documentation but will not troubleshoot connectivity issues on non-University equipment.

    7. Employee Requirements and Responsibilities

      1. Eligible Employees whose job duties may be fulfilled from an off-campus site may request Telecommuting.  

      2. The Employee and supervisor/manager agree to the number of hours and the time of day that the Employee will work remotely.  By accepting Telecommuting, the Eligible Employee is confirming that the alternate location provides a workspace that is ergonomically correct, safe, and free from hazards.   The supervisor/manager will obtain the required approval before Telecommuting becomes effective. If the Employee’s schedule reflects a Telecommuting day, except those working under an Expanded (Full) Telecommuting Schedule, the Employee may need to come on-site for periodic meetings and interactions with the manager/supervisor or other WMU meetings or events that require physical attendance.

      3. Telecommuting employees must maintain the confidentiality and security of University information. The Employee must comply with the policies and guidelines of proper use of information technology found on the WMU Information Technology website and any other University policies or guidelines and work with their unit’s IT support to set up proper safeguards. Breaches of information security, whether intentional or unintentional, must be reported promptly.

      4. Existing University policy must be followed for the requesting and reporting of approved leaves of absence, including annual leave, sick leave, FMLA and other leave categories.

      5. During established Telecommuting work hours, the Employee agrees that non-work responsibilities shall not compete with work responsibilities except in the case of an emergency. The Employee must be available for all agreed-upon hours. In case of an emergency that persists more than a day, the Employee should consult with their supervisor/manager regarding the circumstances and resolution.  If an emergency prevents the Employee from performing work while Telecommuting, the employee should follow Human Resources policy to take available leave.

      6. The Employee’s compensation, benefits (including Workers’ Compensation coverage), work status and work responsibilities will not change due to participation in Telecommuting. Worker’s compensation liability will be limited to work related injuries at a designated work space at the offsite location as opposed to applying to all areas of the remote site.

      7. Employees are responsible for all data, internet, or telephone charges, and they must have a secure and pre-approved method to access WMU’s networks remotely. 

      8. The Employee is responsible for maintaining availability, levels of production, and quality of work at the same standard while Telecommuting as they would be on-site. Inadequate availability, reduced work production, and/or poor or reduced work quality may be cause for modifications or termination of Telecommuting. In such instances, the University may require the Employee to immediately return to onsite work.

    8. University Supervisor/Manager Requirements and Responsibilities

      1. The supervisor/manager shall communicate in advance what assignments or tasks are appropriate to be performed at the Telecommuting site, and what assessment techniques will be used to measure success in meeting performance standards. 

      2. Supervisors must maintain operations in accordance with WMU Human Resources Policies and Procedures including having offices staffed as required.  

      3. Supervisors/managers must approve any changes to the Employee’s work schedule and follow the approval process before implementing changes to Telecommuting. Each supervisor/manager retains the right to require an Employee, unless approved for an Expanded (Full) Telecommuting Schedule, to return to the University work site should the work situation or the Employee’s performance warrant such an action or the job duties/responsibilities change in a manner that would not allow continuation of the existing Telecommuting.

      4. Supervisors/managers may require Employees, unless approved for an Expanded (Full) Telecommuting Schedule, to be on campus certain hours/days and may require Eligible Employees to perform job duties during specific hours.

      5. Supervisors/managers will review Telecommuting requests on a case-¬by-¬case basis. The length of assignment for each request will be individually assessed. 

    9. Implementation

      Except as otherwise stated, this Policy will be effective as stated.  

    10. Communication:  The Office of Marketing and Strategic Communication will publicize and communicate this Policy.

    11. Exceptions: 

      1. Work from home outside of normal business hours does not need prior written approval as described in this Policy.  

      2. Non-exempt employees must follow the HR Policy and Procedure Manual’s overtime policy which requires that nonexempt/hourly employees receive pre-authorization for any overtime hours.  See

      3. This Policy does not apply to bargaining unit employees.


    Failure to follow this Policy and any associated procedures may subject WMU employees to termination of Telecommuting.


    See Human Resources Employee Handbook Section 7 for guidelines related to essential hours of operation. 

    Telecommuting Agreement


    Information regarding computer and data safety and security may be found on WMU’s Information Technology website under Rules, Guidelines, and Procedures and the Help Hub

  8. FAQs

    1. I am a Supervisor. Am I allowed to Telecommute?

      Yes. So long as you have gotten approval from your supervisor.

    2. If I am getting an appliance delivered and have to be home for a few hours for one day, do I need to modify my Telecommuting schedule?

      No, but you must obtain supervisor approval. However, you still must take personal leave for the time during which you are not working.

    3. If I am Telecommuting, but I got one “needs improvement” on my most recent performance evaluation, can my supervisor discontinue my Telecommuting?

      Yes. However, if you meet the performance criteria on your next review, you may request to telecommute again.

    4. If I am new to the University or to my position, am I eligible to telecommute?

      No. You must successfully complete your probationary period before you become an Eligible Employee.


Effective date of current versionSeptember 20, 2022
Date first adoptedJuly 1, 2020
Revision history
Monday, November 16, 2020 - 12:00 Revised based on campus feedback and to comply with COVID-19 guidance and best practices.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 16:43 Revised based on updated CDC and MiOSHA guidelines
Proposed date of next reviewSeptember 20, 2025


Certified by

Warren Hills
Chief Human Resources Officer

At the direction of

Jan Van Der Kley
Vice President of Business and Finance