WorkFlex requests due April 1, full-remote pilots move ahead

The employee application window closes Friday, April 1, for the next round of WorkFlex arrangements, which can begin May 16. Staff who already submitted a new request or have an approved request from the first application window that takes them through at least Aug. 21 don't need to take further action.

Under WorkFlex, staff can request flexibility in when, where and how they work if it fits with their job duties and their unit's mission, including a hybrid schedule with partial remote work, a compressed workweek of fewer but longer days, reduced hours or schedules that fall outside of normal office hours. About 600 staff have been using the WorkFlex program since it launched at the start of the spring semester, said university human resources benefits director Ed Holland.

knowledge base article in the ISU service portal explains how to apply in Workday. See the WorkFlex webpage for more information about the program.

Holland said a change in how WorkFlex requests are made since the first round of applications may help in considering future program adjustments. WorkFlex requests are now incorporated in Workday as a business process, making WorkFlex data easier to access and analyze. 

Remote pilots move forward

Since July 1, admissions and information technology services (ITS) have been among the units allowing eligible staff to work 100% remote on a trial basis. Admissions and ITS staff performed well during the pilot, convincing university senior leaders to approve both units making full-time remote work a part of their normal operations. They can begin designating positions as remote beginning May 1, Dwaine Heppler, associate vice president for human resources delivery and strategy, announced in memos sent to the unit leaders March 25.  

The decision potentially affects about 130 admissions and ITS staff and allows the units, effective April 1, to begin recruiting and posting for positions that are fully remote. Remote employees are required to live in Iowa.  

Approving remote work in certain units is an incremental step toward consideration of additional flexibility under WorkFlex, which currently caps remote work at 60% of the week as part of a hybrid schedule, Heppler and Holland said.  

"These pilot programs have demonstrated that, for these two units, fully remote work has worked really well," Heppler said. 

The pilots in admissions and ITS were assessed in part on customer response and employee survey data, Heppler said. Both units also saw an uptick in employee engagement and retention. 

Other remote work pilots are continuing, including in finance service delivery, procurement and payroll, Heppler said. Though they've been successful, they are waiting for additional data before making any changes or decisions.