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Flexible Work Arrangements

UC San Diego offers a variety of flexible work arrangements, depending on the needs of the workplace and the individuals doing the work.

Flexible work arrangements are work schedules other than the traditional 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. A variety of arrangements are described below.


Flexible work arrangements can include:

  • Telecommuting: Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which the employee performs some assigned job duties at home. The employee and supervisor may communicate by e-mail, phone, modem, fax, or pager.
  • Alternative work hours: Employees may be granted approval by their department head to work a certain number of hours each day, but the hours of work may vary from the "traditional" schedule. Such arrangements typically include a fixed core period each day. Examples for an employee who works a five-day workweek might include 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., or 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (all with a half-hour lunch).
  • Compressed work week: The employee works a full week's schedule in less than five days. This may include three 12-hour days, four 10-hour days, or any other combination.
    Note: In compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations, only exempt employees are eligible for 9/80 work schedules
  • Job sharing: Two employees share a single full-time position. Example: two employees share a job where one person works 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each Monday and Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, while the other works from 12:30—4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.


Possible benefits of alternative work arrangements include:

  • Ability to better balance work and personal responsibilities
  • Reduced absences and tardiness
  • Improved coverage and scheduling for the department
  • Improved morale, commitment and productivity resulting from support for personal work style preferences
  • Potential to maximize office space options
  • Improved transportation and parking options
  • Uninterrupted time for creative, repetitive or highly detailed work
  • Expanded use of equipment
  • Improved scheduling for peak workloads
  • Increased cross training
  • Enhanced retention
  • Enhanced recruitment
  • Recognition and reward incentive

Temporary Remote Work (Telecommuting) Outside of the United States

There may be occasions when an employee and department want to consider allowing the employee to work outside the US for a short-term, specific length of time in extraordinary circumstances. As this is an exception to policy, additional review and approvals are required beyond what is required for domestic telecommuting arrangements. Please note that international telecommuting agreements require the approval of both the Chief Human Resources Officer and the appropriate Vice Chancellor (or designee).

There are many risks to the University with allowing telecommuting internationally. These include potential tax liability and penalties in the host country; being subject to the host country’s employment laws; being subject to the host country’s payroll regulations and penalties; the risk and cost of potential litigation in a foreign country. Due to this, these agreements are discouraged and rarely approved by the CHRO.

We recommend adjusting expectations and considering if a short leave (or delayed new employment start date, if applicable) is more appropriate for the circumstances.

The following information, review and approvals will be required, so please allow significant lead time before desired start date when submitting a request.

  • Supervisor/Department Head
    • Review employee's request and consider
      • Is a short leave more appropriate?
      • Is there a business necessity for the employee to work internationally while away?
      • Can anyone else perform the essential functions of the employee's role while the employee is away to eliminate the need for international work?
    • For staff employees, complete the Telecommuting Agreement Preapproval for International Remote Work and submit to
  • Employee/Department
    • Obtain a legal opinion from the host country addressing potential tax liability and penalties, relevant host country employment laws, host county payroll regulations and penalties and the risk of litigation in the foreign country with allowing a UC employee to work in the host country for the requested duration.
      • This is typically the responsibility of the requesting employee. 

Once the above have been reviewed/received and approved, to initiate the review process and to find out more information, please contact:

The remainder of the review process involves the following:

  • Vice Chancellor
    • Review risk and determine if the a remote work arrangement outside of the US is appropriate and necessary.
  • Campus Counsel
    • Provide guidance and evaluate potential risks to the University.
  • Export Control
    • Evaluate potential export control risks.
    • Review what exports and export licenses are required.
    • Determine the potential costs that would be associated for licensing and exports.
  • IT Services
    • Evaluate potential IT security risks.
  • Sponsored Research Contracts and Grants (if applicable)
    • Foreign work or foreign component pre-approval may be required depending on the agency and award terms
  • Human Resources/Academic Personnel/Office of Postdoctoral and Research Scholar Affairs
    • Provide guidance related to other employment compliance areas that need to be addressed such as tax and health care.
    • Review risk in consultation with others and determine if the remote work arrangement outside of the US is appropriate.

In general, working outside the US is not intended to be a long-term solution.

Campus employees should contact Employee Relations858-534-4115.
Health Sciences/Health System employees should contact Health Human Resources.
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Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.