Administrative Services

File code: ADM.TELECOMM.POL
Approval Date: May 14, 2007
Approved By: President

Telecommuting Policy

General Statement of Policy

Western Illinois University considers telecommuting to be a viable alternative work arrangement in cases where it is mutually beneficial for Western Illinois University and the employee. Telecommuting allows an employee to work at an off-campus site for all or part of his/her regular work week. Requests and approvals for telecommuting are at the discretion of Western Illinois University and in no way change the terms and conditions of employment with Western Illinois University.

Definition

Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which some or all of the work is performed at an off-campus site such as the home or in office space near home. Communication may be by several means, such as phone, Internet, fax, and pager. Equipment may be owned and maintained by the employee or by Western Illinois University.

Eligibililty

Current Western Illinois University employees must be in non-probationary status and must be working in a position suited for telecommuting. In other words, jobs that require a physical presence in the workplace or more than a minimal amount of face-to-face interaction are not appropriate for telecommuting. Considerations for off-site telecommuting include but are not limited to:

  • The work is considered official University business
  • All or significant components of the work can be done at the off-campus work site
  • Operational needs of the department are met
  • Full understanding of the operation of the department
  • The ability to set priorities and manage time
  • A history of reliable and responsible performance of work duties
  • Satisfactory personnel evaluations
  • Accessibility by telephone during assigned work hours
  • Completion of the appropriate Telecommuting Agreement

Requests

An employee or supervisor may request a telecommuting arrangement. The supervisor must obtain his/her respective Vice President/Provost approval and also contact the Director of Human Resources for Civil Service employees or Academic Personnel for all other employees concerning a request for a telecommuting arrangement. The Supervisor must complete the Telecommuting Agreement form and submit it for approval to the Vice President/Provost and the Director of Human Resources for Civil Service employees or Academic Personnel for all other employees. The form must include the reason(s) for the arrangement, including benefit(s)/advantage(s) for the University and the employee, information regarding University equipment, materials and resources needed to support the arrangement, length of the arrangement, location, hours of work, employee contact information, and other requested information deemed necessary by Western Illinois University. All telecommuting requests for approval are made on a case-by-case basis. The Vice President/Provost reserves the right to approve or deny requests at his/her discretion. An employee who is approved to telecommute will enter into a written Telecommuting Agreement with Western Illinois University describing the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Any telecommuting arrangement may be discontinued, at will, at any time at the request of either the employee or Western Illinois University.

Hours of Work/Time Reporting

The normal work schedule of the employee will be maintained and the employee must be accessible by phone or modem during the normal working hours of Western Illinois University. Telecommuting employees are required to complete electronic time cards. Hours worked in excess of those specified per day and per work week will require the advance approval of the supervisor. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in the immediate cessation of the telecommuting agreement.

Equipment/Resources/Supplies

Western Illinois University will determine the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, phone and data lines, facsimile equipment or software, photocopiers, etc.) for each telecommuting arrangement on a case-by-case basis. Equipment supplied by Western Illinois University will be maintained by Western Illinois University. Equipment supplied by the employee, if deemed appropriate by Western Illinois University, will be maintained by the employee. Western Illinois University accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment. Western Illinois University reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time. Equipment supplied by Western Illinois University is to be used for business purposes only. Employees are required to complete the equipment loan form prior to removal of equipment from Western Illinois University or at the time equipment is delivered to employee’s off-campus work site. (Equipment loan forms are available in the Business Office.

Western Illinois University will supply the employee with appropriate office supplies (pens, paper, etc.) for successful completion of job responsibilities. Western Illinois University will also reimburse the employee for other business-related expenses such as phone calls, shipping costs, etc. that are reasonably incurred in accordance with job responsibilities.

Security

Consistent with Western Illinois University’s expectations of information access security for employees working on-site, telecommuting employees will be expected to ensure the protection of Western Illinois University equipment and information accessible from their homes. Under no circumstances shall Western Illinois University data be stored or downloaded on an employee’s personal computer.

Safety

The employee will establish an appropriate work environment at the off-campus site for work purposes. Western Illinois University will not be responsible for costs associated with initial set up of the employee’s off-campus office such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space. Employees will be offered appropriate assistance in setting up a work station designed for safe, comfortable work. Western Illinois University reserves the right to inspect its equipment and may visit the employee’s off-campus work site to inspect for possible work hazards and suggest modifications. Repeat inspections may occur on an as-needed basis. Injuries sustained by the employee while at the off-campus work site and in conjunction with his/her regular work duties may be covered by State of Illinois Central Management Services worker’s compensation policy. Telecommuting employees are responsible for notifying the employer of such injuries in accordance with the State of Illinois worker’s compensation procedures. The employee is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to his/her work site.

Miscellaneous

Tax and other legal implications for the business use of the employee’s home are based on IRS and state and local government restrictions. The employee understands that he/she is responsible for tax consequences and other legal implications that may occur, including local zoning regulations.

Civil Service employees who telecommute typically are ineligible to be on a promotional register per State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS) regulations if the employee moves out of state and the position is not a “hard to fill” position. (See State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS) regulations or contact Human Resource Services for further information.)

Employees must be on the Macomb or Quad Cities campuses as necessary to attend meetings, training sessions, events, or occurrences. Employees must attend meetings, training sessions, events, or occurrences in person either at the Macomb or Quad Cities campuses as required.

Telecommuting is NOT designed to be a replacement for appropriate child care. The availability of telecommuting as a flexible work arrangement for employees and the Telecommuting Policy can be discontinued at any time at the discretion of Western Illinois University.

Employees are expected to follow established Western Illinois University and Board of Trustees policies, procedures, and guidelines.

There shall be no additional pay for telecommuting. Nor shall mileage be paid for transportation between an employee’s telecommuting site and Western Illinois University campus(es).