Human Resources

Flexible Work

Arrangements to balance work and life.

Cornell integrates the use of workplace flexibility to support the wellbeing of our employees and achieve our workplace goals. Although not every position can take advantage of these arrangements, there are often a variety of ways that flexibility can be customized to work for both the department and the individual. Talk with your supervisor or HR representative to see if one of the arrangements below might apply to your position.

Button: Request a Flexible Work Arrangement

Types of Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Alternative Work Schedule – a variation from the employee's core hours in starting and departure times, but does not alter the total number of hours worked in a week.
  • Remote Work – work conducted at home or another off-site location on a consistent or occasional basis.
  • Compressed Work Schedule – a traditional 35-40 hour workweek is completed in less than the standard number of workdays (typically 5).
  • Job Sharing – a form of regular part-time work in which two people share the responsibilities of one regular, full-time position.
  • Occasional Use Flexibility – temporary change to start/end times or a work location that is agreed upon between a supervisor and an employee.
  • Reduced schedule options such as phased retirement , part-time or partial year appointment, medical leave/disability-related schedule adjustments, etc. all integrate flexible work practices.

How to request a Flexible Work Arrangement

Employees are encouraged to develop thoughtful flexible work arrangement proposals for their supervisor’s consideration. Consider what flexible work options align to work responsibilities, work style, overall performance, and the goals of the department. Then, the employee may submit a Request Form to serve as the basis of dialogue between the employee and supervisor.

Note: In situations where remote work is being considered outside of New York State, see: Guidelines for Working Outside of New York State (pdf)

Document a Flexible Work Arrangement

If a formal agreement is reached between the employee and supervisor, the following agreement form should be completed. The employee and supervisor should retain a copy of this signed agreement and the supervisor must send it to the local HR representative for record keeping. Please note: informal, occasional use flexibility does not require completion of this form. See Occasional Use Flexibility  for guidance.

Managing Flexible Work Arrangements

Supervisors are expected to thoughtfully review flexible work proposals by evaluating the individual’s performance, responsibilities, and work style. When issues related to workplace flexibility arise, the supervisor should address the issues promptly. See Tips for Supervisors for more guidance on managing workplace flexibility or contact Work/Life.

Managers of non-exempt employees should also review information regarding Impact on Overtime

Participating in a Flexible Work Arrangement

Employees are expected to sustain their level of performance, promptly discuss challenges regarding the arrangement with the supervisor, and propose solutions. See Tips for Staff  for more guidance. 

Training Programs

Live and self-directed training programs  are available for both supervisors and employees.

Ending Flexible Work Arrangements

Depending on the situation that has caused an arrangement to end, the supervisor may benefit from consulting with the local HR representative for guidance. When a flexible work arrangement ends, the supervisor must notify the local HR representative. Equipment provided to an employee for the purposes of remote work should be returned immediately to the department.  Additional steps may be need to be taken, dependent upon the situation and departmental requirements.