Flexible Work Arrangement Resources
This page will be updated as processes evolve and new resources become available.
Drexel University is committed to providing a flexible work environment that prioritizes well-being for our faculty and professional staff. To support such an environment, the following principles will guide our discussions and practices surrounding flexible work.
- Provide What We Promise. At the end of the day, our financial stability depends on our efficiency and the quality of services we provide our students. We need to ensure we are delivering the product/experience we have promised. Units that directly interface with students should ensure a consistent presence, as should units that support the on-campus teaching and research activities of the University.
- Balance Presence with Flexibility. It’s safe to assume that most employees will be seeking flexibility to some extent. Consider when in-person interactions are most valued, both among employees and students, and focus on the ways in which people truly benefit from being together. If we are not flexible, we will run the risk of losing our greatest assets — our people.
- Don’t Forget Lessons Learned. The past year provided insight into new ways to harness technology and the challenges faced by different populations. It also changed employee expectations of the workplace. We have an opportunity to rethink how we do business, and we should not let it pass us by. How can we use these lessons to improve the academic experience and enhance access, accessibility and equity for students and employees alike? How can our return help us become a more innovative, nimble university?
- Hard is Not a Reason to Remain Stagnant. We have an opportunity to rethink how we work and deliver the student experience in the context of Drexel’s evolution as an innovation partner and global institution. That is a process that will take effort, but it is worthwhile to remain a competitive institution and employer.
- Lead with Respect and Trust. Drexel faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to position the University in a strong state, leading in some cases to the point of burnout. Provide flexibility where possible and assume your employees’ best intentions until they demonstrate otherwise. Drexel provides support for both managers and their teams through your HR Business Partner, learning and development opportunities in Career Pathway, and the Employee Assistance Program, which offers free professional and personal counseling services for all faculty and professional staff and their household members.
- One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Every team’s functions and needs are different. Encourage your managers to have clear conversations with their direct reports to inform leadership decisions, understand employee needs and set clear expectations. Managers should ask about employee needs at the same time that they consider the long-term trajectory of their team and the needs of the University.
Flexible Work Arrangement Options
The following options are available through the Flexible Work Arrangement Policy.
- Compressed work schedule: an alternate work schedule completed in fewer than five (5) full workdays per week.
- Job share: a work arrangement where two Professional Staff Members share the responsibilities of one full-time position, in which each Professional Staff Member works part-time and shares a specific proportion of a full-time position.
- Telework: a work arrangement where the Professional Staff Member performs all or a portion of their job off-site (typically in a home office), on a regular, recurring basis.
- Flex schedule: an alternate work arrangement outside of the standard 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday.
Discussion and Request Process
- Use the Flexible Work Arrangement Discussion Framework [.docx] to discuss your work arrangement preferences with your supervisor.
- Supervisors should have an understanding of college/division expectations for on-campus support when discussing employee work arrangement preferences.
- Consult the Remote Work and Philadelphia City Wage Tax page to understand the tax implications of your requested arrangement.
- Complete the Flexible Work Arrangement Request form in DrexelOne, which will be routed to your supervisor for approval. If you previously submitted a request via PDF or email, please resubmit using the DrexelOne form.
- Your HR Business Partner will receive the form after your supervisor approves. They will reach out to you and/or your supervisor if there are any concerns regarding the request.
Remote Work Resources
- Web Conferencing Options
- Video Conferencing Dos and Don'ts
- Trainings from Drexel IT
- Navigating safely online — utilize these best practices for remote accessibility: Connecting Remotely to Drexel Resources and Services
- Telephone & Collaboration: Working remotely requires some new ways of communicating. Drexel offers a new phone service to accommodate its distributed and mobile workforce and offers an internal communications service that will help some folks to go without a Drexel phone.
- Softphone Services
Faculty and professional staff who work in multiple locations, including in home offices, might benefit by switching from a desk phone to a softphone. Softphones provide a work-related phone number within an app for any iPhone, iPad, Android device, or computer with Mac or Windows with Internet access. It lets people use personal devices without giving out personal phone numbers.
Starting in September, Drexel softphones can use the Drexel phone number that was assigned to your desk phone. By October, you’ll be able to use the softphone from within Microsoft Teams instead of having to use a separate softphone app.
There is a $35/user fee to establish softphone service, move the Drexel phone number to it, and provide service for the remainder of the month in which service is started. Subsequent months cost $19/user, partially offset by a $7/month savings when the old desk phone is turned off. Since local and domestic long distance is included in the softphone fee, people who had large monthly usage charges will realize additional offsetting savings. If you would like to switch to a softphone, please consult with your department budget administrator.
- Teams Messaging and Calling
In addition to desk phones and softphones, Drexel faculty and professional staff can use Microsoft Teams to exchange instant messages and conduct voice and video calls. Those who use their phones only to talk to Drexel colleagues may be able to replace their phone with Teams. The Teams app works with Android, iPhone, iPad, macOS, and Windows.
You should check a person’s availability before starting a conversation. In Teams, select Chat from the button bar (it’s on the left for tablets and computers and along the bottom for phones). The Chat list shows those with whom you’ve recently communicated. The dot on each person’s photo or initials their “availability” as follows:
- Red: Unavailable (on a call or scheduled for a meeting)
- Amber: Away (no recent typing or mouse movement)
- Green: Available (calendar is free, but person may be busy)
- Purple: Out of office (hover over picture to see the message)
- Gray X: Signed out (instant messages will be sent as emails)
To communicate with someone shown on the list, click their name then type your message at the bottom of the page. To start a conversation with someone else, click the “pad and pen” button (near the top right of the above image) then type someone’s name or email.
It’s good practice to start with an instant chat message, even if it is just to ask if it is an acceptable time for a voice or video call. If you want to add video or voice, click the camera or phone button at the top of the page: . As with Zoom, you can control your mic and camera during the call. Tip: Chat features remain available while you are using audio or video, so if you need to communicate something detailed, you can type it or copy-and-paste it from another app.
- As we move into an environment that will include more individuals working remotely on a regular basis, finding ways to encourage effective communication and collaboration will be important. If you have not done so already, consider establishing regular, standing opportunities for discussion, collaboration and communication such as daily check-in meetings, weekly roundups or kickoffs, etc.
- If establishing “core days” on which all staff are expected to work on campus, create opportunities for in-person meetings, formal or informal.
- Continue regular celebrations that may have fallen to the wayside over the last year.
- Establish a preferred method of communication among co-workers — email, chat, phone or other methods.
Meeting Planning Resources