Future of Work: Position Classification

Position classifications for all union and non-union staff positions of grades 13 and below (this does not include student workers) will fall into the following three categories:

  • Entirely on-site (not eligible for remote/hybrid work). The job duties cannot physically be performed remotely and are required to be performed on campus. With the supervisor’s approval, and based on the operational needs of the University and the essential functions of the job, employees in these positions may be allowed to have flexible/compressed workweek arrangements provided such arrangements do not lead to overtime pay or lead to operational disruptions or inefficiencies.
  • Hybrid eligible. While most job duties are required to be performed on campus, a portion can be performed remotely. Generally, work can be done off-site without loss of productivity and efficiency, but most work requires on-site presence and/or in-person collaboration with other team members and/or mentoring. Employees in these positions may request hybrid schedules/locations utilizing the enhanced AWA process. Hybrid eligibility classification does not guarantee that a hybrid schedule will be approved. In order to designate a specific position as hybrid eligible, supervisors will need to carefully review:
    • the nature of the position and work performed, the essential functions of the position, operational needs of the unit, and the effects of a hybrid schedule on team members and on other departments (such as collaborations, mentoring and workflow distribution and coordination);
    • the employee’s ability to work efficiently and effectively remotely; and
    • appropriate technology/computing support to accommodate a hybrid schedule.
  • Remote eligible. We expect that full-time remote work may be available only on a limited basis in cases where such arrangements meet the operational needs of the department and benefit the department and the University.

Supervisors will inform their staff about their on-site, hybrid eligible or, in rare cases, entirely remote position classification. Department heads will receive a set of detailed communication from UHR before the end of this week sharing detailed guidance and instructions, and department heads will be expected to share that information with all supervisors with staff reporting to them and oversee the process.

New Policies for Work Arrangements

The University has established the following rules and guidelines for the return to in-person operations:

Updated Policy to Accommodate Work Arrangements

Flexible work arrangements may be available to some employees whose jobs can be performed remotely if those arrangements benefit their office or department and the University. We encourage all employees to review the revised and enhanced Brown University Alternative Work Assignments (AWA) policy, which establishes new categories of eligibility for positions that supervisors may consider for remote or hybrid work arrangements. The policy outlines the process for requesting an AWA.

Required Review of Remote and Hybrid Work Requests

Classification of a position as hybrid or remote eligible does not guarantee approval of an AWA. All employee hybrid schedule/location requests must go through UHR’s enhanced AWA process. All AWAs are subject to review on an annual basis, except for positions that were advertised and filled as entirely remote.

The resources being developed by UHR will assist supervisors in equitably reviewing AWA requests. Mandatory training for supervisors covering the AWA process and critical considerations related to it will be available through Workday Learning. Additional resources on change and transition, managing hybrid and remote teams, assessing available technology to support remote teams, and more will also be available. Similarly, resources for staff on how to complete an AWA request, manage change and transition, and work effectively on a hybrid and remote team will also be available.

Individuals approved through the AWA process to have a hybrid work schedule will work directly with managers to determine the days they work on-site vs. remote based on other employees’ schedules in the office. This is particularly important for employees residing outside of Rhode Island for accurate tax and other withholdings, and scheduling must be in full-day increments (if exempt) in order to avoid time tracking issues.