Districts exploring options for flexible work arrangements can look to their peers to see what is being offered.
Our recent article, Flexible Work Options Help Districts Compete for Talent, highlights how offering such options can ensure a district remains competitive with other industries. A few districts across the state are providing opportunities for flexible work, giving them a competitive edge recruiting and retaining employees in a tight labor market.
Examples of how districts are providing flexibility are being discussed in various professional venues (e.g., forums and conferences). Below are examples of arrangements districts have begun implementing. The TEA district type designation and enrollment according to the 2021-2022 Public Education Information System (PEIMS) Data Standard Report is included.
- An HR department with eight staff members allows staff to work from home two days a week. Schedules are arranged so at least half the department is in the office on a given day, and one day is a designated anchor day when they all work at the office together. The only exception for this department is the associate superintendent is in the office on a regular basis. (Independent Town/11,947)
- One rural district business manager with an hour commute works remotely three days a week and is typically in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This schedule is adjusted depending on the weekly meeting schedule and other work requiring an on-site presence. Other exceptions to the schedule are made as needed (e.g., at the beginning of the school year). This hybrid arrangement has been in place for three years. Each year the business manager and superintendent review the arrangement to make certain it is working for all parties involved. This is a good example of arranging the work schedule to allow an employee to make a long-term commitment to the district rather than looking for a position closer to home. (Rural/369)
- A large Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex district allows flexible work arrangements for administrative staff. In this district, department heads are responsible for proposing flexible work arrangements for approval by the department’s assistant superintendent, the assistant superintendent of human resources, and the superintendent. Procedures clearly state that the flexible work arrangement can be repealed at any time at the district’s discretion. (Major Suburban/37,561)
- When this district was seeking a systems specialist, an individual living outside the area proposed a remote work arrangement. The district was struggling to find someone with the desired experience and qualifications, and the arrangement allowed the district to hire an individual with unique expertise that would have otherwise been excluded. The district has a total of two employees currently working remotely. The employees have limited on-site workdays; one is on site once a month for two days and the other only as needed. (Independent Town/7,318)
When considering remote work, it’s important to consider the nature of the work and an employee’s ability to be productive. These can be determined using the Alternative Work Arrangement Request Form in the HR Library (member login required). We also developed sample job responsibilities for positions other than teacher to help employers set expectations for remote work arrangements. These responsibilities can be found in the HR Library topic Remote Work Criteria.
Sample remote team norms to help guide employee communications and performance expectations are available in the Employment section of the HR Library. These guidelines can be adjusted to reflect local expectations.
April Mabry oversees HR Services training services, member library products, and the HRX newsletter. She has provided HR training and guidance to Texas public schools since 1991. Mabry was a classroom teacher for 11 years in Texas and Michigan.
Mabry has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and certification as a professional in human resources (PHR) and is a SHRM-CP.
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