What is a Flexible Work Arrangement? (Support Staff)

Flexible work arrangements can be a useful method to maintain unit service while supporting employees' personal needs.

Though flexible work arrangements do not work for all employees or all types of jobs, when used appropriately, flexible work arrangements can be a win-win situation for both departments and employees. Studies show that work schedule flexibility can yield many benefits including increased productivity, improved morale, decreased absenteeism and turnover and improved quality of work. For more in-depth research-based information on the personal and workplace impacts of flexible scheduling, visit the MSU WorkLife Office website.

Flexible work schedules at MSU entail arrangements between supervisors and employees that allow employees to complete their employment duties while working non-traditional schedules.

Flexible Work Arrangements ARE:

  • Flexible. They include variations in when, where and/or how work is done.
  • Focused on overall business goals, rather than case-by-case accommodations to individuals
  • Planned and predictable
  • Structured to emphasize the long-term rather than the short-term

Flexible Work Arrangements ARE NOT:

  • An entitlement or reward
  • A secret arrangement or special deal
  • For every employee or every job

Flexible work arrangements usually do not reduce the actual number of hours worked. Examples include:

  • Non-traditional start and end times (such as working 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Extended meal times offset by additional hours worked at the beginning or end of the shift (such as working 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Start and end times individualized by day (such as working 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday.) *
  • Longer work days with shorter work weeks (Such as working four 10-hour days and having three days off.) *

* Certain unions, including 1585 Service Maintenance, SSTU Skilled Trades and 324 Power Plant may prohibit arrangements that entail working more than 8 hours per day unless overtime is provided. Flexible schedule options should never entail overtime. Arrangements which entail working more than 8 hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a week may be impacted by the requirements of certain Union Contracts. For assistance in determining if a specific flexible work arrangement meets the requirements of a particular union contract, contact MSU Human Resources at 517-353-4434.

Please refer to the Considerations for Flexible Scheduling of Support Staff chart for more details on overtime issues to consider. Some additional types of flexible work arrangements include:

  • Telecommuting - working some hours at home and some hours at work. See the Telecommuting Guide.
  • Part-time/Reduced work hours - reducing hours worked from full-time to half- or three-quarter time. It is important to note that reducing hours may affect salary, benefits and accrual rates of vacation, sick and holiday leave. For assistance in determining how a specific flexible work arrangement would impact employee pay and benefits, contact MSU Human Resources at 517-353-4434. **

** Administrative Professional, Administrative Professional Supervisors and Clerical Technical employees may be eligible for flexible appointments. Please contact MSU Human Resources at 517-353-4434 for additional assistance.