When discussing flexible work arrangements with your direct report, approach the dialogue with a clear and open mind. Be prepared to ask questions and listen. Afterwards, thank the employee for their time and confirm the next steps regarding your decision.
Questions to Consider:
- How are you doing?
- What are your concerns?
- What support or resources do you need?
- What is your proposal for your work arrangement?
- How does your proposal meet the needs of the Georgia Tech community?
- How will your arrangement affect co-workers, students, staff and faculty?
- What is your plan to optimize productivity and ensure service expectations are met?
- What do you believe to be your work priorities?
- What are the advantages to the department?
- How will your well-being be affected?
Be prepared to discuss:
- Expected performance measures or outcomes
- The requirements and needs of the job
- The requirements for communication and collaboration on-site
- The requirements for communication and accessibility when remote
- Other relevant factors
If you are hesitant to approve a flexible work arrangement:
- Check in with your own internal opinions and preferences – is flexibility difficult for you to imagine because you prefer individuals to work at the office? If so, consult with your HR Business Partner or HR College Representative to help you identify areas of mutually beneficial opportunities.
- Provide the reason(s) why the employee will be required to work on-site (e.g., to support research, students, internal/external customers, and/or other affects to the Institute).
- Communicate if there are/have been work productivity challenges or concerns with the employee while working remotely or under modified working conditions in the past.
- Alternative approaches to managing the productivity challenges or concerns should be considered and leveraged (e.g., more frequent, formal one-on-ones, informal check-ins, submittal of status reports, and other approaches).
- An immediate response that the employee will not be permitted to continue working remotely or under modified/flexible working conditions due to productivity challenges or concerns should be avoided.
- Disciplinary actions such as Performance Improvement Plans or Progressive Discipline should be used after other options are considered; consult with GTHR prior to taking these actions.