HMC Staff Remote Work Policy

Update May 3, 2022

As mentioned in the April 14, 2022, email from Human Resources to staff, the President’s Cabinet committed that if the pilot remote work program was adjusted, the College would provide one month’s notice to assist with staff members’ transitions to an on-premises work environment. As such, the pilot program, scheduled to end on June 30, 2022 is extended to July 31, 2022. On August 1, 2022, the new policy, described below, went into effect.

With support from President Klawe, incoming President Harriet Nembhard and the President’s Cabinet, the decision has been made to extend the HMC Staff Pilot Remote Program through the end of this year, December 31, 2023.

[End of Update]

Introduction

The College is pleased to announce that we have developed a Staff Remote Work Program (program). The initial term of this program is from August 1, 2022, through August 1, 2023.  Continuation of this program will be determined by an assessment of the effectiveness of the program and by approval of HMC’s next president, who is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2023.

This program applies to regular and temporary full-time and part-time staff. This program does not apply to student employees or contract workers. Subject to the parameters of the Staff Remote Work Policy (policy), including obtaining necessary training and approvals from their supervisor, division Vice President (VP) and the Office of Human Resource (HR), a staff member can work remotely within the state of California, up to three days per week and must work on campus two days a week. Remote work outside of California will not be allowed. In limited situations, exceptions to some of the provisions of the policy may be considered by following the process outlined in the exception section of the policy.

You can find the Staff Remote Work Policy below.

Since many changes were made to the pilot program, it is required for all staff who wish to work remotely, subject to the parameters of the policy, to complete a new staff remote work agreement. Note the frequency of the attestation has been changed from monthly to quarterly. It can be completed using the Remote Work Attestation form.

Harvey Mudd College retains the right in its sole discretion to determine if a position is appropriate for remote work and whether to approve an employee’s request or continue a remote work agreement.  Remote work is not an entitlement and the decision to grant an employee’s request or continue a remote work agreement is determined and approved on a case-by-case basis.  Prior approval to work remotely provided to an employee does not guarantee future requests will be approved. 

HMC College Staff Remote Work Program and Policy for 2022/23

Term

The initial term of Staff Remote Work Program (program) is from August 1, 2022, through August 1, 2023.  Continuation of this program will be determined by an assessment of the effectiveness of the program and by approval of HMC’s next president, who is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2023.

Scope and Key Provisions

This Staff Remote Work Policy (policy) applies to regular and temporary full time and part-time staff. This policy does not apply to student employees or contract workers. Subject to the parameters of this policy, including obtaining necessary training and approvals from their supervisor, division Vice President (VP) and the Office of Human Resource (HR), a staff member can work remotely within the state of California, up to three days per week and must work on campus two days a week. Remote work outside of California will not be allowed. In limited situations, exceptions to some of the provisions of this policy may be considered by following the process outlined in the exception section of this policy.

Guiding Principles

  • Harvey Mudd College (HMC) is a highly residential campus where students learn and collaborate inside and outside of the classroom. We believe that our mission is best achieved when students, faculty and staff can learn, teach, and work together and support each other, as an on-campus community.
  • To foster and maintain the close ties within our on-campus community we must ensure that department/divisions/offices are open and staffed for business and that we are able to continue providing the excellent on-site support where needed and expected by our students, faculty and staff who live, teach and work on campus.
  • We recognize that to achieve that goal, the College needs to foster an environment that supports flexibility and a positive work culture while ensuring we meet our obligations to our community.
  • We are committed to the flourishing and inclusion of our entire community. The goal of a healthy work culture suggests that flexibility and support may be provided in different ways, including—but not limited to—remote work. Recognizing that our individual and collective obligations to our on-campus community precludes a one-size fits all approach, the College seeks to create an effective and enriching workplace for all staff.
  • Managing a hybrid work environment presents both challenges and opportunities for supervisors and their teams. Allowing the privilege of remote work opportunities, when possible, can improve morale and foster a healthy work culture. At the same time, having staff work away from the campus may present challenges to supervisors to create and maintain an environment that promotes teamwork and connects staff to the College’s mission.
  • Supervisors and staff have a mutual obligation to make remote and on premise work successful, for everyone in the department/division/office.

Remote Work Parameters

  • Within the parameters of this policy, Vice Presidents for each department/division/office (division VPs) will set the remote work policy for their divisions. Staff should anticipate that remote work policies will differ among divisions and within divisions. If division VPs decide to offer remote work to their staff, remote work policies will comply with all provisions of this policy.
  • There are certain positions that do not lend themselves to remote work due to the nature of the job duties. Specifically, those staff members whose job responsibilities, in whole or in part, necessitate a physical presence on campus because they are public facing and/or support the day-to-day activities of students and faculty, will be required to work on campus.
  • Remote work is normally reserved for employees in exempt positions. However, a nonexempt employee may request approval to telecommute. If approved by their supervisor and division VP, the staff understands that they continue to be responsible for accurately recording daily work hours, start and stop times for meal periods and otherwise comply with College policies regarding employment and work hours such as rest breaks and overtime.
  • If the needs of the department/division/office and the eligibility considerations below are met, staff may work up to three days per week remotely and at least two days a week on campus.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Staff with duties that can be performed remotely, as determined by the division VP, can request consideration for approval by the division VP to enter into a remote work arrangement if they satisfy the following criteria:
    • Have worked continuously on campus for a trial period (a minimum of 30 days).
    • Based on a supervisory assessment, have demonstrated an ability to work successfully as part of a department team, independent of location and meet, or have the potential to meet, the “effective contributions” performance standard.
    • Are in good standing (i.e., not on a performance improvement plan during the last 12 months nor possess a “significant improvement needed” rating in their most recent evaluations).
    • Maintain their primary residence in the State of California within reasonable commuting distance from the campus (should the employee be called to campus on short notice).

Remote Work Agreements

  • Staff and their direct supervisors will enter into a formal remote work agreement with a fixed duration (likely 6, 9, or 12-months). This agreement will be reviewed at least annually during the performance evaluation check-in periods and at the annual evaluation discussion.
  • Supervisors who are willing to enter into a remote work agreement with a member of their staff must participate in training, provided by the College and administered by the Office of Human Resources, on how to effectively supervise their team in a hybrid work environment.
  • Staff who wish to participate in a remote work agreement, must participate in training, provided by the College and administered by the Office of Human Resources, on the requirements of working remotely. If the staff working remotely is a non-exempt employee, such training will include education on applicable wage and hour rules (e.g., missed meal periods).
  • The division VP has the authority to revoke a remote work arrangement at any time based on the needs of the division, including but not limited to an assessment of the employee’s performance and lack of contributions during the remote work period.
  • Staff working remotely agree to immediately inform HR of changes in their residential address (e.g. relocation to different county or state).
  • Staff working remotely are required to complete a quarterly attestation form, which states that they have complied with all the parameters of the staff remote work policy, inclusive of any formal exceptions requests jointly approved (documented in writing) by the division VP, the VP-COO and the President.
  • During the term of this policy, a remote work agreement may be renewed if:
    • The supervisor and the division VP determine that the needs of the department/division/office can continue to be met with an extension of the remote work agreement.
    • The supervisor agrees that the employee’s performance has met the standards for effective contributions to the College in accordance with the annual performance management process.
    • The staff member is in good standing (i.e., not on a performance improvement plan during the last 12 months nor possess a “significant improvement needed” rating in their most recent evaluations).
    • The staff member wishes to continue with the remote work arrangement.
  • Due to compliance, risk and other constraints, remote work outside of CA will not be permitted.

Remote Work Requirements

  • The division VP and supervisors should agree to a schedule that enables the department/division/office to carry out its mission and to provide services to the on-campus community.
  • Recognizing the importance of an on-campus presence to the performance of duties and to the cultivation of a collegial culture, staff are required to work on campus at least two days per week. On weeks where staff is traveling on behalf of the college, on vacation, sick, holiday, or other leave days are taken, the staff will work with their supervisor, in consultation with HR, as necessary, to determine the appropriate work schedule.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to set a specific day each week when most of their entire staff can be all together on campus to participate in in person team building or other in person engagement efforts.
  • Supervisors should let staff know that based on the needs of the College, they can be called to work on campus after providing reasonable notice (which could vary depending on the needs of the college).
  • When a staff member moves from one role to another role (within the same VP division or across VP divisions), the current or new supervisor and division VP will determine if a remote work arrangement is possible. If approved by the supervisor and division VP, the staff member will be allowed to work remotely, subject to the requirements of this policy, including the requirement that the first 30 days of the new job should be performed on campus.
  • When a new position or a vacancy replacement position is posted, the supervisor and division VP will determine if a remote work arrangement is possible for the position. If approved by the supervisor and division VP, the position may be posted as eligible for remote work, subject to the requirements of this policy, including the requirement that the first 30 days of the new job should be performed on campus.
  • Before an employee is allowed to work remotely, under the parameters and requirements of this policy, a remote agreement, reviewed and signed by the supervisor and division VP, must be submitted to the Senior Director for HR for confirmation of approval. The Senior Director for HR and the HMC Risk Management Office will perform a compliance review to make sure that all requirements of the policy have been met, before confirming approval (documented in writing). If there are any issues, the Senior Director for HR will contact the division VP to determine next steps.

EXCEPTIONS

In limited situations, exceptions to some of the provisions of this policy may be considered. Requests for exceptions will be submitted by the supervisor to the division VP. If approved by the division VP, the request will be submitted to the Senior Director for HR who will partner with the HMC Risk Management Office to perform an assessment of risks and benefits (which includes a determination if HMC can comply with local, county, state and federal regulations and requirements as well as an evaluation of the potential value to the College.  The assessment will be completed in no more than 30 days). A decision to move forward will require a review of the assessment and a joint decision (documented in writing) by the division VP, the VP-COO and the President.

Supervisory obligations to staffStaff obligations to their supervisor
Rights and privilegesVice Presidents and supervisors understand that by allowing remote work, they are providing their staff the flexibility and autonomy to perform their work at a high standard with limited in person supervision. Supervisors who are permitted to work remotely understand that their responsibility to be available and supportive of those they supervise remains unchanged and commit to maintaining a collaborative and supportive working environment.Staff recognize that remote work is a privilege and that they would not be permitted to work remotely without their supervisor’s permission.  They must continue to demonstrate that the job duties can be performed effectively while being remote.
ExpectationsSupervisors will set clear expectations related to projects, tasks, meetings, and other deliverables for all staff independent of work location. Supervisors will be as available and responsive to members of their staff throughout the remote workday as they would be in person. Supervisors should not make commitments for remote work in offer letters or job descriptions, as remote work possibilities are governed by the provisions and terms of this policy.  Offer letters and job descriptions must be coordinated through and approved by the HR office.On remote workdays, staff are expected to be available for meetings, calls, and timely completion of their assigned tasks as if they were working on campus unless they use sick, personal, or vacation time. Staff must ensure that they have an appropriate remote workspace and have the ability to work and hold meetings free from distractions. Since remote work opportunities are not required by the College, any cost (e.g. travel to and from the staff’s home and lodging fees) is a personal expense incurred by the staff and is not reimbursable. 
CommunicationSupervisors should endeavor to check in with their staff on a routine basis to determine how the remote work arrangement is progressing and with their team to gauge the overall operation of the department/division/office. Supervisors should ensure that on campus employees do not treat remote workers differently, for example by not including them in meetings.Staff working remotely should check in with their teammates and their supervisors to stay connected to the operations of the department/division/office. On premise staff should check in with their teammates that are working remotely.
TrainingSupervisors will be required to participate in training to give them the tools to be effective and inclusive leaders, with a focus on the importance of clear communication and well-being of the entire team.Staff should work with their supervisor to identify any training that would help them develop professionally, including how to maintain effectiveness in a remote work or hybrid work environment.
MUTUAL OBLIGATIONS RELATED TO REMOTE WORK ENVIRONMENTS AND FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES

HMC College Staff Remote Work Request Form

Upon obtaining written approval by your immediate supervisor and vice president, complete and submit the HMC Staff Remote Work Agreement.

Human Resources staff will review and forward the agreement to the vice president to confirm their approval or denial of the request. HR will notify the staff member once the agreement has been reviewed, a compliance assessment performed, and a decision has been made to approve or deny.

Historical Updates

Update June 28, 2022

As mentioned in the April 14, 2022, email from Human Resources to staff, the President’s Cabinet committed that if the pilot remote work program was adjusted, the College would provide one month’s notice to assist with staff members’ transitions to an on-premises work environment. As such, the pilot program, scheduled to end on June 30, 2022 is extended to July 31, 2022. On August 1, 2022, the new policy, described below, goes into effect.

Update June 24, 2022

On July 1, 2021, the College developed an HMC Staff Pilot Remote Work Program and Policy (pilot program) to assist in areas where remote work is possible and where it can be helpful to our community and our operations. As communicated in April 2022 the pilot program was extended through June 30, 2022. The College recognizes potential benefits in offering greater flexibility in telecommuting in some areas. As such, over the last several months the Cabinet has been working on creating a path forward for some flexibility for staff remote work over the next year.