Occasional Use Flexibility

In instances where an employee does not need a consistent flexible work arrangement, an occasional use agreement may be applicable. Occasional use flexibility is the most commonly used form, and is most critical in supporting the work/life navigation of employees.

Employees and supervisors who consider establishing an occasional use agreement will need to establish parameters regarding the following (at minimum):

  • Frequency in which the flexibility is considered appropriate
  • What projects/tasks will be accomplished on flexible working days
  • How the employee will communicate schedule changes to their supervisor and colleagues, and how far in advance notification must occur

Sample Situations for Occasional Use Flexible Scheduling:

  • Special project or task requires intensive long periods of focus
  • Inclement weather
  • Employee or family member with weakened immune system or vulnerability to flu noted by physician
  • The employee has a life need where instead of requesting personal/vacation time, they can successfully conduct their work remotely.

While an agreement form is unnecessary, a confirmation email can be used as documentation for the arrangement.  By proactively creating this kind of agreement, both the employee and the supervisor become clear on expectations and business continuity will be supported.

Sample Confirmation Email

Dear [employee],
This letter is to provide written follow-up to our recent conversation on establishing an occasional use flexible work arrangement. As discussed, we agreed to your ability to [adjust your hours to: OR work remotely on occasion], at roughly [frequency] per year.  The purpose of this arrangement is to give you the necessary time needed to work on specific projects or accommodate life situations as they arise.
When you have determined an appropriate day or length of time that would be conducive for this schedule adjustment to occur, the expectations are as follows:

  • You will send a request to me as your supervisor, via [establish methods – phone, email, etc.], with as much advance notice as possible and include what day and time period you are requesting the ability to adjust your schedule.  In the event the remote work situation is to help accommodate a life need (e.g. a doctor’s appointment), it is expected that you will inform me of what amount of time you can reasonably be expected to contribute during your work day.
  • You will identify what measurable projects or tasks you will be working on during the period of time identified and inform me of progress made during the work time period.
  • You will notify your colleagues (or any other individual that may need to reach you) of the duration and change in your schedule.
  • You will change your voicemail greeting as appropriate, to inform individuals of how to reach you.
  • [Other expectations as discussed]

This occasional use agreement will begin on [date].  We will revisit this agreement annually at minimum, and more frequently if warranted. The intent of the agreement is to support business continuity and productive work amid other workplace distractions and life needs. If at any point the arrangement becomes a detriment to business needs, we will revisit the arrangement and make changes as necessary. It is my hope that this arrangement will help us continue to meet our business needs while also providing you with some flexibility to conduct your best work.