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Alternative Work Arrangements

As we plan for a fall return and in support of functions needed to support our community, units must identify those who will be working remotely and those who will be physically on campus. Northwestern supports flexible work arrangements (both occasional and formal) where work allows.

Such arrangements are not limited to remote work arrangements and include:

  • Flex time schedules (flexibility in work hours without changing the total number of work hours in a week)
  • Compressed workweek
  • Moving from a full-time to part-time role
  • Job-sharing arrangements

Policy on COVID-19 Alternative Work Arrangements

Northwestern has established a temporary provision for faculty and staff required to return to in-person campus work activities, or who support ongoing academic research, who request alternative work arrangements due to:

  • Own or household risk of exposure,
  • Required care of minor and/or adult dependents,
  • Limited access to reasonably safe public transportation options, and/or
  • Inability to secure child or elder care. 

A school or unit's Return to Campus Plan may adequately address employee scheduling or flexibility needs. In these cases, the provisions of this policy need not apply. This policy is intended to address situations in which an employee requires additional flexibility. Employees will need to complete an Alternative Work Arrangements Request Form (VPN required)

The COVID-19 Alternative Work Arrangements Policy will be in place through December 31, 2020 and may be extended, discontinued, or modified at any time.

Download the policy

The main consideration in setting up an alternative work arrangement is how the work will be completed. The approval or denial of a request for an alternative work arrangement is at the manager’s discretion based on the business needs of the school or department. The staggering of arrival and leave times, for example, could both help staff and faculty using public transportation to ease congestion on public transport and reduce crowding at entry and exit points to buildings around campus. Read more about flexible work considerations and written proposals on the Human Resources website.