Ohio State supports flexible work arrangements to achieve a reliable and productive work environment that enables staff to manage work and personal needs. The university encourages college and unit leaders to support opportunities where employees can work differently – through remote, hybrid or other work arrangements. The availability of flexible work options may change as we evolve in how we do our work.
Employees and managers should have conversations and reference the Flexible Work Policy to align on the expectations for any flexible work arrangement. If an employee would like to request additional flexibility other than their planned location (including time/day flexibility), a Flexible Work Proposal should first be completed. Once the proposal is approved, an online Flexible Work Agreement must be completed attaching the proposal to the request.
Employees who are working remotely in any capacity (either hybrid or fully remote) must complete an online Flexible Work Agreement to appropriately document their work locations and collect work location information for tax reporting purposes. When arrangements or locations change, a new form should be submitted.
When final, the agreement will be securely stored and enable Payroll access to important work location information for tax reporting for employees who have a fully remote or hybrid work arrangement, and it serves as documentation of the agreed upon arrangement. Per House Bill 110 (HB 110) passed in June 2021, employers have to collect updated employee work location information and ensure taxes are reported to the corresponding municipalities. More information is below.
Flexible Work Agreement
Once a workplan is established, employees who are working remotely in any capacity need to complete an online Flexible Work Agreement. Upon completion, it will automatically route to the employee’s supervisor for approval and employees can continue to virtually access or update their agreements online. This job aid outlines the process and common questions for submitting the form.
Employees who are working remotely in any capacity (either hybrid or fully remote) must complete an online Flexible Work Agreement to appropriately document their work locations and collect work location information for tax reporting purposes. It is important for all employees to complete and have the form approved. When arrangements or locations change, a new form should be submitted.
If an employee would like to request additional flexibility other than their planned location (including time/day flexibility), a Flexible Work Proposal should first be completed. Once the proposal is approved, an online flexible work agreement must be completed attaching the proposal to the request.
When final, the agreement will be securely stored to enable Payroll access to important work location information for tax reporting. More information about taxation is below and on the payroll website.
Responsibilities and Expectations of Flexible Work Agreements
Individuals who submit a Flexible Work Agreement for telework (fully remote or hybrid) will need to review the Responsibilities and Expectations for working in a telework arrangement. Once a Flexible Work Agreement is approved by the manager, the employee will receive a second notification of the terms of the flexible work agreement for their review and final sign off. These responsibilities and expectations are outlined here as a reference point for managers, employees and Human Resources professionals.
Working Outside of Ohio
Ohio State continues to evaluate and support opportunities where employees can accomplish their work through remote, hybrid or in-person work arrangements, including when an employee lives and works outside of the state of Ohio.
Employees may not work permanently from international locations. All requests to work domestically but outside of the state of Ohio will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis using the process below.
In these instances, Ohio State must comply with employment laws, as well as regulatory and tax requirements of the relevant state in which the employee performs work. These requirements vary from state to state and must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
To appropriately manage the various state regulations and out-of-state employment issues, the Office of Human Resources has established the below guidance for university employees. If state and local laws and regulations are not followed, it can have unintended consequences and liability that can negatively impact the institution and/or the individual. When an employee’s permanent place of work is in a state other than Ohio, that state’s employment laws and taxes must be considered, including minimum wage, overtime regulations, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemptions, time off accruals, meal and rest periods and leave provisions.
All employees who receive approval to work outside of Ohio must complete a Flexible Work Agreement prior to working from the new location.
As Ohio State continues to respond to the operational needs of telework, as well as evolving employment laws and policies, the process for managing employees working from remote locations will continue to be evaluated. This website will be updated as more guidance is available.
Requests to work outside the state of Ohio will only be considered when there is a legitimate and critical operational need to retain or employ an individual, and the work itself can be performed from a remote location. There may be instances when the university determines that an employee may not perform work outside of Ohio.
Individuals and/or colleges/units with a request for an employee to work out-of-state for more than 30 days will need to establish justification and documentation of a critical need, and follow the process outlined below. This includes current employees working in a state other than Ohio who do not have an approved Flexible Work Agreement and prospective employees. Evaluation and approval must be obtained prior to making a final decision on whether an employee can work in a state outside of Ohio.
Current employees who request to work in a state other than Ohio for 30 days or less in a calendar year need approval from their unit or college but do not need the additional vetting outlined below. Current employees working in a U.S. state outside Ohio who have an approved Flexible Work Agreement do not need to take any additional action.
- Current employees should discuss their need to work out-of-state with their manager. All aspects of the work should be addressed, such as: performance expectations, time zone differences, duration of remote work, on-campus requirements, travel cost expectations, differences in benefits.
- For new hires, the HR recruiter, hiring manager and HR business partner will work with the candidate to understand the need for remote work out of state. Similarly, the hiring manager and HR recruiter and Business Partner should work together when posting a position that will allow for remote work.
- Managers should evaluate the business and operational need. If the manager supports the request, the justification should then be reviewed by the dean/vice president and their HR Business Partner for college/unit alignment and attestation that the role could not be filled with an in-state employee.
- The HR Business Partner will collaborate directly with partners in the Office of Legal Affairs, HR Employee Relations and the Office of Academic Affairs (if faculty) to gather information related to that state’s specific requirements and employment laws.
- The Dean/Vice President will review the evaluation, risks and justification to make a final decision on the approval for the individual to work short -term internationally or out-of-state within Ohio State’s parameters described above.
- If the request is approved by the dean/vice president, the employee is required to submit a Flexible Work Agreement in HR Connection.
- Individuals are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable out-of-state laws as well as Ohio State policies and procedures. Additionally, they should make any necessary adjustments to their personal income taxes and benefits and update their home and work addresses in Workday.
- Ohio State will not offer employment to international candidates who wish to remain abroad.
- An employee should not begin work until the employee is physically present in the United States.
- Additionally, the university will not allow current employees to work from international locations on a permanent basis. Furthermore, the university will not allow a contractor relationship with an individual or employer of record in another country for services normally performed by an employee.
- In limited circumstances where there is critical work or operational need, the university may allow current employees to work from certain international locations for a short time period (maximum six months). Colleges and/or units will need to establish justification and documentation for continuing an employee overseas for such a short period of time. The approved duration may vary based on the facts of each request.
- For example, a country may require tax payments if an employee works there for a certain number of days. In another example, if an employee previously reached the limit of days allowed to work in a country, no additional work for the university would be permissible for that location in that year and possibly future years. Tax and regulatory requirements differ by location and may be impacted by the specific circumstances of the work
- The United States has imposed sanctions on several countries or regions, adding complexity for U.S. employees and employers.
- Ohio State employees may not work from these countries and regions: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Russian-held regions of Ukraine.
- Certain types of research and technology may be export-controlled under federal U.S. export control regulations and may be restricted for export to certain countries or end-users.
- Because U.S. export control regulations and sanctions are complex with severe financial penalties if violated, the Office of Secure Research is available to consult on any questions prior to engaging in activities with a sanctioned country or to seek authorization before work is temporarily permitted from international locations. Please email your questions to email@example.com.
- Current employees working outside of the U.S. should contact the college or unit HR Business Partner for further guidance.
- If a college or unit has a critical or operational need to have a current employee overseas for a period of six months or less, a review must be completed to further evaluate, identify necessary requirements, and follow the process outlined below.
- Current employees should discuss their need to work internationally with their manager. All aspects of the work should be addressed, such as: performance expectations, time zone differences, duration of remote work, on-campus requirements, travel cost expectations, differences in benefits.
- Managers should evaluate the business and operational need. If the manager supports the request, the justification should then be reviewed by the dean/vice president and their HR Business Partner for college/unit alignment.
- The HR Business Partner will collaborate directly with partners in the Office of Legal Affairs, HR Employee Relations and the Office of Academic Affairs (if faculty) to gather information for the unit to make an informed decision related to that state’s specific requirements and employment laws.
- If after review, it is determined that the relationship may begin/continue for up to six months, the college/unit will execute an action plan with HR and OAA (for faculty) to ensure the parameters of the relationship are documented.
- If the request is approved the individual is required to submit a Flexible Work Agreement to be approved in HR Connection.
- Individuals are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable laws, and Ohio State policies and procedures. Additionally, they should make any necessary adjustments to their personal income taxes and benefits and update their home and work addresses in Workday.
Flexible Work Details
There are various and important benefits to providing flexible work options. As an employer, it is imperative to support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by removing barriers such as physical limitations. Flexible work contributes to the mental and physical wellbeing of employees, supports work/life alignment, allows for business continuity during emergency circumstances, reduces absenteeism and extends coverage during non-standard business hours. Other benefits of flexible work arrangements include:
- Reduces commuting time and costs.
- May ease parking demands.
- Allows employees the freedom to choose their residence without having to consider proximity to the worksite.
- Increased employee productivity and performance.
- Improves the university’s competitive edge when recruiting talented and diverse candidates while improving retention of highly skilled staff and faculty.
- Supports Safe and Healthy recommendations for employees required to be on-site to allow for more space and distance.
- Shifts Ohio State to align with opportunities offered to employees by our peer institutions.
- Allows Ohio State to offer employment opportunities that are aligned with our peer institutions.
- May enhance the use of facilities or equipment and ease space concerns.
- Reduces the carbon footprint of Ohio State and may facilitate compliance with environmental legislation.
Flexible work options are comprised of two categories: location and time. Location flexibility is the ability to alter the location of your workplace in some manner. Time flexibility is the ability to adjust your work hours in some manner. These types of work options can be used separately or combined to create a flexible work request. Flexible work arrangements may have an impact on an employee’s pay and benefits.
- Telework: Performing some or all job duties off-site, while being connected to the workplace. When performing telework in any capacity, you may still be required to come on-site on an as-needed basis, as directed by a supervisor. The frequency of these occasions and the logistics of travel are discussed when creating the flexible work agreement.
- Remote Work: Performing 100% of job duties off-site.
- Hybrid Work: Performing some percentage of job duties off-site, while performing on-site for the remainder of the time.
- Flexible Schedule: Work hours with start and end times and/or days that are not typical for your position within your unit.
- Compressed Workweek: Adjust your normal hours of work into fewer days than your typical workweek. For example, a full-time employee scheduled for 40 hours per week could work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.
- Job Share: An arrangement under which two or more individuals share the duties of one full-time position.
- Change of Full Time Equivalency (FTE): Adjusting the number of hours worked per week to be more than or less than your current position.
After considering all needs to maintain a safe and healthy return to campus and what work needs to be done on-site, we believe continued use and implementation of new flexible work arrangements may be appropriate for staff and faculty in some positions and departments. We understand this may not be possible for all, and therefore, managers reserve the right to require, deny, alter or cease flexible arrangements based on the unit’s business needs, the individual’s work performance or other factors. Managers should still work through needs that might be individual based while also evaluating entire teams. The approval of a remote work plan and other flexible work arrangements is not a right of an employee or faculty member and it also does not change the terms and conditions of employment with Ohio State.
Work with your unit leadership on expectations of work to determine overall planning. Next, consult the Decision-Making Criteria for Flexible Work Requests when considering flexible work arrangements for teams and individuals.
The university is responsible for accurately withholding your state and/or local income tax based on your actual work location(s). It is your responsibility, in partnership with your manager to ensure your work location(s) on record is accurate and up to date.
Due to the pandemic, Ohio legislature passed legislation on March 27, 2020, addressing income tax issues for out-of-state employers with employees now working remotely in Ohio. House Bill 197 suspended the impact of municipal taxes based on the location of work, and Ohio State will track and report taxes based on each employee’s approved work locations as required by law.
Ohio House Bill 110 was passed on June 28, 2021, extending the temporary municipal tax rule through December 31, 2021. Work locations prior to the pandemic will continue to be used for tax reporting until further notice.
If you are working fully remote or have a hybrid arrangement, working remote and on campus, report your work location(s) now by completing the online Flexible Work Agreement in HR Connection.
Reporting your updated location(s) now will ensure that we have the information necessary to implement tax changes later this year.
More information about taxation is on the payroll website.
Telework, which includes remote or hybrid work arrangements, should encompass the following requirements for healthy working environments.
- Physical environments: Remote workspaces should be safe, ergonomic and promote employee well-being.
- Meeting requirements: Effective remote meetings require clear and secure audio/video connections (see technology requirements above). Remote workspaces should be free of potential distractions and allow all meeting participants to focus their attention.
- In-person work meetings should follow the guidance outlined in the Safe and Healthy Guidance.
Growth in remote/hybrid work will likely influence on-campus space planning, possibly requiring new kinds of spaces. On-campus office spaces may become available for other uses. Decisions must be thoughtful, coordinated, and consistent with existing planning processes. Development of space-planning policies and processes will continue as units and colleges implement initial plans for remote/hybrid work.
Team culture and engagement is essential for establishing expectations for how people interact and work together and can ultimately impact productivity, collaboration and performance. We encourage managers to find creative ways to provide experiences that will shape or reshape team culture. Huddles, meetings, team commitments and paying close attention to the perception of group dynamics are just a few ways to address and maintain a desirable culture and level of engagement. Strategies that will be covered in more detail during “Leading Today for Tomorrow” training include:
- Hold regularly scheduled team huddles or meetings virtually for all members. If you decide these gatherings will be a mix of employees in a conference room and virtual, make sure those attending virtually can see everyone in the room and vice versa.
- Have a group discussion with your team about work practices that will contribute to a desired team culture.
- Make sure to engage remote and in-person team members in similar ways.
- Encourage employees to offer possible solutions if any issues are discovered, and make sure you address those appropriately and in a timely manner.
- Your Plan for Health (YP4H) is Ohio State’s preventive approach for providing benefit-eligible faculty/staff and their enrolled spouses with the tools and resources for living a healthy life.
- Buckeye Wellness provides innovative and evidence-based programs to help individuals optimize their well-being, based on the nine dimensions of wellness.
- Ohio State’s Employee Assistance Program offers tools and resources to help address complex issues that can be affecting your mental and emotional well-being.
The Ohio State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to ensure employees with qualifying disabilities enjoy seamless access to employment opportunities. The Office of Human Resources, Integrated Absence Management and Vocational Services Department (IAMVS), in consultation with the ADA Coordinator’s Office, partners with employees and departments throughout the interactive process. Employees seeking an accommodation, or supervisors or managers who have been presented with a request for an accommodation, should contact IAMVS at 614-292-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.