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The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay is committed to supporting telecommuting arrangements as much as possible when it is beneficial for both the employee and the institution.

As part of an evolving workforce management strategy, and reflective of both the labor marketplace and an interest in maximizing operational efficiency, UW Green Bay seeks to expand opportunities for flexible working arrangements for our employees. Telecommuting provides greater flexibility to employees in balancing work and personal obligations, allows for creative space allocation on the campuses, and may improve employee satisfaction and retention rates.

What is Telecommuting?

The Universities of Wisconsin defines telecommuting as “An employment arrangement in which an employee performs their job functions from an approved alternate worksite other than the employee’s primary headquarters location (main office), one or more days per month on a standard and recurring basis.”

Telecommuting is not an employee entitlement. Telecommuting agreements are approved on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the employee’s supervisor consistent with the student-focused mission of the university and the needs of the respective unit/department.

Telecommuting Options

Intermittent Telecommuting: An unplanned period of telecommuting arising out of transient and specific circumstances (e.g. illness, weather emergency, temporary school closure, etc.) lasting no longer than ten business days. Intermittent Telecommuting is permitted for an eligible employee without a formal written agreement upon the mutual consent of the employee and their supervisor.

Continuous Telecommuting: An arrangement for continuous part-time or full-time telecommuting lasting at least two weeks in length and subject to at least an annual review. Continuous Telecommuting arrangements must utilize the Telecommuting Agreement and the agreement must be approved by the supervisor.

Telecommuting Request and Approval Process 

Any non-instructional employee that wants to request the ability to telecommute on a continuous basis is required to follow the process outlined below, even if they had a previous agreement on file using the old forms. In addition, if changes are needed to an existing agreement (including date extension, revised remote schedule, new position, etc.), a new telecommuting agreement must be submitted using the process below.

  1. Discuss your interest with your supervisor or department chair. This discussion is an important first step in understanding if the ability to telecommute exists based on the position you hold. This also allows for both the employee and their supervisor or department chair to understand what the mutual needs and expectations are.

  2. Complete the request form via the My UW portal. Please review this tipsheet on how to complete the new form.

  3. Supervisor approves the request. Please review this tipsheet on how to approve a request using the new form.

  4. After the telecommuting request is approved, complete the Telecommuting Asset Checkout Form for supervisor review and approval. 

Expectations for Telecommuting Employees

For a full list of Employee Expectations, please see the UW-Green Bay Telecommuting Policy.

Work Performance

A telecommuting employee is responsible for maintaining availability, levels of production at the expected standard, and quality of work at the expected standard while telecommuting. Inadequate availability, reduced work production, and/or reduced work quality may be cause for modifications or termination of an employee’s participation in telecommuting. In such instances, the employee will be required to return to the work place and the telecommuting agreement will be terminated.


The employee understands that effective communication is essential for the telecommuting arrangement to be successful. The employee will be available by phone, email, and virtual meeting platforms (i.e. Teams, Zoom, etc.) during scheduled telecommuting work hours. The value of participation and contact with co-workers, students, and supervisors is understood, thus most arrangements will require telecommuting employees to have designated periods of work time on-campus.

Time & Leave Reporting

Employees who are non-exempt (hourly) must report actual hours worked and may not work overtime, or additional hours that generate night or weekend differentials, without receiving supervisor approval in advance of the overtime work being performed.

All employees will utilize available personal or annual leave time to accommodate personal business or appointments following normal approval process in advance of the requested time off. 

Records Management

All work-related documents should be stored on local institution network drives or in cloud storage utilized by the local institution to ensure data is backed up.  Employees must obey all Universities of Wisconsin and local institution polices related to remote access to Universities of Wisconsin IT assets, information security, and data protection.

Telecommuting may require the employee to take confidential information to the telecommuting site. The employee will take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of any confidential information as outlined on the Employee Confidentiality Agreement.

University-Provided Equipment

Employees are provided one work station set-up. Additional University-provided equipment at home is not an entitlement of telecommuting employees. Depending on the job, movement of equipment off campus for the purpose of telecommuting will vary and is determined by the supervisor following the guidance as outlined in the UW-Green Bay Telecommuting Policy.


Standard office supplies at the level that would normally be provided to an employee are covered by the University. Personal phone bills, costs related to remodeling and/or furnishing the work space, normal household expenses, home internet, and costs associated with non-University issued telecommuting site electronics are not paid or reimbursed by the University. For more details, please see the UW-Green Bay Telecommuting Policy.


An employee’s residence is considered their principal place of business if the employee is operating under a full-time telecommuting agreement. If an employee is operating under a part-time telecommuting agreement, the employee’s Universities of Wisconsin workplace is considered their principal place of business. UW-Green Bay will not reimburse travel expenses between an employee’s residence and their UW-Green Bay home campus. 

Employees operating under a telecommuting agreement must receive the approval of their supervisor before incurring any reimbursable travel-related expenses. For those that have been approved to telecommute full-time, any request for reimbursement of mileage from the employee's residence must include a letter from the supervisor acknowledging that the employee has been approved for a 100% telecommuting agreement. 

Best Practices for Successful Telecommuting

If your request for a telecommuting arrangement is approved, it is important to plan and prepare for a positive experience. Here are some best practices when it comes to telecommuting: 

  • Define your workspace.:
    • Create a workspace where job duties can be conducted without interruption or distractions, and where non-digital files can be stored securely. Establishing a defined workspace gives your brain a cue that it is time for work. 
    • When setting up your workspace, ensure that it has comfortable seating or a standing desk, ample light, room to spread out, standard office supplies, and internet connectivity necessary for performing work and participating in virtual meetings.
  • Ensure privacy: 
    • Take a few minutes to assess the privacy of your workspace. Can someone standing behind you read your computer screen? Are your windows open so your neighbor can hear your phone call? Your personal privacy matters too, so remove anything around you that would not want visible during a video conference with your colleagues and/or use backgrounds during virtual meetings.
  • Eliminate distractions:  
    • Telecommuting can mean pets or a favorite hobby are only a few feet away. Doing your best to mitigate these distractions will help your telecommuting success. Ensure everyone at home understands that during work hours you are focusing on work. Similar to when working on campus, and in accordance with the Children in the Workplace Policy, telecommuting should not be used on a regular basis in lieu of childcare.
  • Look the part: 
    • Dressing casually is definitely a perk of working at home but getting “ready for work” is a daily ritual that many telecommuters swear by. When working from home, you may need to be ready at a moment’s notice for meetings.  Looking professional boosts self-esteem even if you are the only one to see it.  Being too comfy can lead to reduced productivity. 
  • Stick to a schedule: 
    • Ensure that workplace routines can be maintained to the best extent possible. Start and end your day at the times that you would normally do so when working on campus, and be sure to take a lunch break.
    • If you would like a schedule outside of what has been determined by the University as the standard work hours for your position, an alternative work schedule must be approved.
    • If you are eligible for overtime, you will need to commit to taking your lunch and other work breaks at the same time. Overtime will continue to require advance approval from your supervisor.
  • Stay connected. 
    • Everyone should feel confident about calling or messaging an employee who is telecommuting, just as if they would walk into their office or call them if working on-site. To support this, communicate your “presence” online whenever possible, utilize statuses in teams, and consider dropping a note in your team chat (or via email) for unscheduled periods away from your workspace (lunch, breaks, etc.).
    • Other ways to stay connected include:
      • Adding your telecommute schedule to your email signature line. 
      • Setting up Jabber so that you are accessible via phone from the telework location. 
      • Using Teams to stay connected to colleagues, both by utilizing virtual calls and meetings as well as instant messaging and file sharing. 
      • Keep your camera on for meetings and calls to nourish a sense of connection with your coworkers.
  • Set daily goals and share your progress. 
    • Plan your day and stick to it.  Make a schedule to help you get your work done. You may be surprised by how differently the work day passes without the comings and goings of an office to break things up or influence what you do next.
    • Start each day of telecommuting by writing down what you need to achieve and then track your progress. 
  • Stay engaged & healthy.
    • Focus on your health.  Stay hydrated. Eat healthy meals.  Celebrate wins.

Links to External Resources: 

Managing Telecommuting Employees

For information about managing telecommuting employees, please see the Supervisor Toolkit

Telecommuting Information for Faculty & Instructional Academic Staff

Faculty and instructional academic staff (IAS) inherently have significant flexibility in work arrangements due to their primary job responsibilities of teaching, scholarship, and/or service. Therefore, a telecommuting agreement is only necessary for faculty and IAS if it is reasonably expected that the employee’s sole worksite is elsewhere (i.e. the hired FA/IAS member is located outside of the state of Wisconsin). This applies to both ongoing FA/IAS and temporary IAS (i.e. Associate Lecturers).

Steps for FA/IAS working out of state:

  1. Include language about the telecommuting agreement in the appointment letter if the FA/IAS member will be working out of state. Standard appointment letter templates have been updated to communicate this expectation.
  2. Once the employee has network access, they should complete the request form via the My UW portal. Please review this tipsheet on how to complete the new form
  3. Department Chair approves the request. Please review this tipsheet on how to approve a request using the new form
  4. After the telecommuting request is approved, the employee completes the Telecommuting Asset Checkout Form for Department Chair review and approval (if applicable). 

When a telecommuting agreement is required for Faculty and IAS, they should complete the entire telecommuting agreement aside from the “typical schedule on-site” and “typical schedule off-site” sections under Telecommuting Schedule. Regardless of whether an agreement is required, Faculty and IAS are responsible for ensuring the Telecommuting Expectations below are met.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to telecommute? 

  1. The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to telecommute:  
  2. The employee’s job duties (as documented in their position description) can be fulfilled from a remote location.
  3. The work unit and institution have the ability to monitor or measure the work product produced by the employee during the period of telecommuting.
  4. The employee has all tools required for their job available to them at the remote location, as determined by the employee’s supervisor.
  5. The employee can certify that their remote workspace meets minimum safety requirements.
Can my supervisor decide to cancel or modify my telecommuting agreement?

Yes, supervisors have the ability to cancel or modify arrangements. Changes may be initiated due to changes in operational need, staffing changes, performance concerns or other factors. When a change is needed, the supervisor should give the employee as must notice as possible in order to allow for appropriate planning by the employee.  

Can employees telecommute from outside of the state?  

Employees are generally expected to work within the state of Wisconsin. Employees may have a work location outside of Wisconsin when required by the job or in limited circumstances where employees receive advance approval to work out-of-state.  

A department must first have approval from their division leadership and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Policy & Compliance before allowing an existing employee to regularly perform their assigned duties from an out-of-state telecommuting location.  

Important considerations, and sometimes limitations, exist when considering out-of-state employment such as: 

  • Worker’s compensation  
  • Unemployment insurance 
  • Out-of-state tax withholding  
  • Health insurance & benefit impacts 
Are faculty and instructional academic staff (IAS) required to complete the telecommuting form?

Faculty and instructional academic staff (IAS) inherently have significant flexibility in work arrangements due to their primary job responsibilities of teaching, scholarship, and/or service. Therefore, a telecommuting agreement is only necessary for faculty and IAS if it is reasonably expected that the employee’s sole worksite is elsewhere (i.e. the hired FA/IAS member is located outside of the state of Wisconsin). This applies to both ongoing FA/IAS and temporary IAS (i.e. Associate Lecturers).

Please see the "Telecommuting Information for Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff" section of this website for more information.

How do I request a Reasonable Accommodation related to telecommuting? 

It is the employee’s obligation to inform their employer of the need for accommodation due to medical condition(s).

UW-Green Bay Disability Accomodations Website

Employees can request accommodations through the Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity by using the Request for Reasonable Accommodation. If an employee prefers, they may also call to schedule an appointment the ADA Coordinator to discuss their request.

Human Resources may ask questions or seek medical documentation to assess whether the employee has a disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA), as well as if the disability can be reasonably accommodated.

There may be circumstances in which providing reasonable accommodation or alternate work arrangements are not feasible. Employees without approved accommodations are expected to report to work as required by their manager/supervisor.

Can employees work from home with children present that they are caregiving for?

It is important to remember that regardless of where the work is occurring, the employee would be subject to the policies and procedures that guidance workplace conduct.  No matter whether an employee is telecommuting or working on campus, the Children in the Workplace Policy still applies. While there may be a few differences based upon work location, similar to when working on campus, and in accordance with the Children in the Workplace Policy, telecommuting should not be used on a regular basis in lieu of childcare.

How does an employee "certify" that their remote workspace meets minimum safety (or other) requirements?

Employees will be certifying that their remote workspace meets safety and ergonomic requirements in the Telecommuting Agreement.  The rationale for this pertains the application of worker compensation and workplace safety requirements regardless of the location of the work being performed.  As the employer, UW-Green Bay remains responsible for the safety of the work environment, so the employee will need to confirm that they believe the environment is safe.  Obviously, a direct inspection of these areas may not be practical or all, but for certain functions more extensive review may need to occur.  For example, if remote work is permitted for someone who may have access to confidential information or financial transaction records, greater assessment may be necessary.  

Can a student employee be approved for remote work?

As an institution, the oversight of remote work is happening at the level of the supervisor for professional employees. For student employees, the institution opens itself up to even more significant liability related to confidentiality of records, location of work activities (i.e. more may be out of state), and risk (i.e. worker’s compensation, safety of work environment, etc.). In addition, student employment opportunities on campus are meant to be high-impact experiences to help support student development. Because of this, it is the strong recommendation that student employees are not telecommuting. 

That said, it is understood that there may need to be a bit of flexibility for specific and unique positions so long as there is far greater review of the reasonable ability to remote work. And so, if the following three items are completed the student may be able to telecommute: 

  1. A written supervisory plan must be drafted to include the student’s job responsibilities, justification of the ability to work remotely given those job functions, specific hours of work, how the supervisor will ensure accountability (i.e. check-in and out, workload meetings, documented work product, etc.), and how any confidential records will be managed and secured (noting specifically, what the work environment will be in terms of exclusivity of space (i.e. not shared access for third parties); adherence to IT security protocols when accessing remotely; and the ability securely maintain confidentiality in the transfer of data and other information).  

  2. The Area Leader (Vice Chancellor or Chancellor) overseeing the applicable division must approve the specific supervisory plan in writing (email is fine) prior to the start of the telecommuting agreement. Once Human Resources receives a copy of the supervisory plan and approval, the student employee's record will be updated to allow the student to submit the online telecommuting agreement.

  3. The student would complete (and supervisor approve) the online telecommuting agreement (consistent with the process for professional staff).