Remote Work

As of 4/7/22, MSU Human Resources has launched a remote work policy that can be found in detail on their website: https://hr.msu.edu/remote_work/.

About Remote Work:

As the country and states continue to ease COVID restrictions, Michigan State University is excited to return to campus and in-person classes. With that being said, MSU acknowledges the many benefits of remote work and the desire from many employees to continue this type of work. To continue working remotely, the employee must submit an electronic Remote Work Agreement (RWA), which is available through the EBS Portal and the compliance date is July 1, 2022. The Remote Work Agreement will be initiated by the employee requesting remote work and will be sent to their supervisor for approval. The RWA will include ad hoc functionality so that if additional approvals are required, the employee and supervisor will be able to forward the RWA to the approving individual. A resource, Understanding the Remote Work Agreement, is available on the Human Resources website to provide additional guidance and the RWA language is available here. An EBS help page for the RWA is available here.

General Information for MAUs:

Final decisions are made by Major Administrative Units (MAUs). All departments/units are advised to communicate with their MAU leadership before they make any decisions regarding on-site work or remote work. MAUs will have the flexibility to determine a certain team’s/employee’s work approach. Employees that are expected to return to in-person positions are those who work in student-, faculty-, or public-facing positions. The MAUs plan for on-site services to be fully functional by August 15, 2021. Find more information regarding the MAUs and their plan on returning to on-site work here.

Best Practices from the WorkLife Office:

Directions for Current Support Staff Employees

  1. Read through the Remote Work Policy (In-Michigan or Out of State) and the Remote Work Agreement details below. Identify any questions you may have. The page, Understanding the Remote Work Agreement, walks through the RWA and provides additional information.
  2. Clarify working days, times, location, expectations, on-camera presence, in-office locations, communication plans, etc. You should have a position description that details these duties and responsibilities.
  3. Ensure that you understand your performance and development goals. Know how you will be evaluated on your work, team goals and unit values. 
  4. Initiate the RWA in EBS (link coming soon) as directed by your supervisor. Written instructions for EBS can be found here. A visual map with instructions can be found here
  5. Employees who move to different units or departments will need to complete a new RWA. This discussion should be completed prior to confirming the transfer or promotion.

Directions for new Support Staff Employees

  1. Read through the Remote Work Policy (In-Michigan or Out of State) and the Remote Work Agreement details below. Identify any questions you may have.
  2. Clarify working days, times, location, expectations, on-camera presence, in-office locations, communication plans, etc. You should have a position description that details these duties and responsibilities.
  3. Ensure that you understand your performance and development goals. Know how you will be evaluated on your work, team goals and unit values. 

Directions for Supervisors

Supervisors should be aware of and follow any unit procedures prior to completing the Remote Work Agreement. 

Refer to the following resources for more information about remote work planning, organizational impacts, and considerations: Getting Started, Promoting Equity, Review and Revisit Toolkits

  1. Read through the RWA details below and prepare for a conversation with your employee(s) that will cover each step of the agreement and provide clarity as necessary. The page, Understanding the Remote Work Agreement, walks through the RWA and provides additional information.
  2. You may include the employee’s job description, work goals, remote work expectations, equipment inventory, and any other unit procedures related to remote work, including required on-site scheduled days and times as an attachment to the RWA in EBS.
  3. Ensure that the correct supervisor for the employee is in SAP.

Note: Support staff will complete an RWA for in-state remote work. Faculty, Academic Staff, and Executive Management may work remotely but do not need to complete an RWA unless working remotely from out-of-state.

Click here to review the Remote Work Agreement (Terms and Conditions)


Previous guidance as of 8/15/21:

MSU has laid out four steps for developing a flexible work arrangement. View the official page with the instructions.

  • The first step is regarding your job; you will list your job responsibilities and other work-related considerations, such as time distribution, key meetings, deadlines, and more from both the employee’s and supervisors’ perspective.
  • The second step discusses the benefits and challenges of a flexible work arrangement specific to your position.
  • The third step involves brainstorming three different remote work arrangements, as well as discussing your concerns for each of these arrangements and barriers for certain units.
  • The final step includes the employee writing out a formal proposal for their flexible work arrangement, including the job duties, the days/hours that will be worked, possible concerns with the arrangement, and more. Once this is complete, an employee can request a meeting with their supervisor to discuss their flexible work arrangement.

Sample Letters and Forms:

Once a supervisor and an employee come to an agreement about a flexible work arrangement, the supervisor should summarize the discussion in a letter to the employee. The letter must include a detailed description of the schedule, work expectations, and more. View examples of these letters.

Evaluation Suggestions:

Supervisors are expected to review these flexible work arrangements periodically and include the employee in discussion regarding the arrangement. Certain specifics to consider when reviewing include thinking about effective communication and customer service, successful work assignments, and more.

Workplace Decisions Guidance for Units and Supervisors:

This guide is to be used to help with the decision-making process for various units. Units are responsible for creating their own Return-to-Work Procedures while using the Return-to-Work Framework for Units. Find more information on returning work to campus here.

| View the PDF here |