TAP No. 54: Remote Working 


This policy applies to regular, full-time, non-union, administrative/professional and support staff employees who live within daily commuting distance of our campus location in Pittsburgh, PA.


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on remote working to employees and managers in establishing alternate work arrangements for qualifying employees whose responsibilities can be performed outside the customary/traditional office setting during part or all of the week. This policy addresses regular, on-going arrangements and is not meant for sporadic or infrequent occurrences, such as working from home for a day or two at a time due to unique or unforeseen circumstances with supervisory permission. Regular seasonal arrangements, such as remote working schedules for summer months, are within the scope and intended purpose of this policy.

In appropriate circumstances, and with authorized approvals, Duquesne University allows remote working where such arrangements are consistent with departmental goals and business operational requirements. The ability to remote work is a privilege and not an entitlement, and is granted at the discretion of the University. The determination of whether an employee is eligible to participate and will be approved for remote work, will be made in accordance with this policy and the department's business needs. Remote working arrangements must be approved and managed on a consistent basis and may not adversely affect departmental operations or productivity.


I. Definitions

"Remote Work" is an approved ongoing, regularly scheduled work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work during any part of the employee's regular work hours at an approved alternative worksite such as an employee's home or other approved location. The definition of remote work does not include any work done while on official travel or work that is approved on a case-by-case basis, where the hours worked remotely were not part of a previously approved, ongoing and regular remote working schedule (e.g. for inclement weather, doctor appointment, or special work assignments).

II. Request and Approval

Requests for a regular remote work arrangement may be initiated by an employee or a supervisor.

An employee or a supervisor may submit a Remote Working Application. The employee, the supervisor, Dean/senior department head, and Human Resources must sign an approved Remote Working Agreement. The Remote Working Agreement must ultimately be approved and signed by the appropriate Vice President before final approval occurs. Direct reports to the President must have his/her approval. The Remote Working Agreement will specify the terms and conditions of the employee's off-site work, as outlined in the policy. Agreements will be reviewed by Human Resources and supervisors/Vice Presidents on an annual basis. The Remote Working Agreement will become part of the employee's personnel file. A Remote Working Agreement is mandatory in order for an employee to participate in remote working.

The ability to remote work is a privilege and not an entitlement, and is granted at the discretion of the University. The supervisor, in concurrence with the senior department head and Human Resources, will make a proposal to the relevant Vice President.  That Vice President is ultimately responsible for any decision to start or discontinue a remote working arrangement.

Final approval and arrangements for situations covered by this policy are at the discretion of the University.

  1. Job criteria

    Whether some amount of remote work is permissible depends first and foremost upon the nature of the position involved. Not all positions are suitable for remote working. Following a discussion with the supervisor and the employee, Human Resources will review the position description with the supervisor to determine the suitability of the position for remote working. Jobs best suited for remote working are those that require independent work and little direct, face-to-face interaction, and result in a specific, measurable work product. Other factors that may be considered in connection with a Remote Working Application include, without limitation: potential impact on co-workers; whether the employee works with restricted data; financial or other possible burdens to the department; consistency with other requests; and, the number of other existing approved remote work arrangements.

    Jobs that require direct face-to-face interactions with students, faculty, staff, vendors and/or campus visitors in the provision of services and/or support are not suited for remote working. Jobs involving performance of discrete, measurable tasks that can be effectively accomplished without face-to-face contact are more likely to be suitable.

    Remote working is not to be used as a substitute for leave for personal matters or dependent care including, but not limited to, child care or elder care.
  2. Employee criteria

    Employees requesting a remote work arrangement must have been employed for a minimum of six months, must be performing at a satisfactory level in the judgment of their supervisor, must not have a recent annual performance appraisal with one or more ratings below successful performance, and must not have any active informal or formal disciplinary actions.
  3. Schedules

    The supervisor will propose the number of days of remote work allowed each week, and the daily work schedule the employee will maintain to the Vice President for approval. Remote workers and supervisors are expected to establish work practices that make working remotely as seamless as possible to colleagues and clients. If so requested by the supervisor, as situations dictate, the employee will be required to report to work on campus on a regularly scheduled remote work day.
  4. Work Area and Equipment

    The employee must establish an appropriate, work-conducive and safe work environment consistent with the guidelines outlined in the remote work agreement. Remote workers are expected to ensure that the expectations for information security are met and that University property is secured the way it is for employees working at the office. The University assumes no responsibility for the remote worker's expenses related to internet access, heating, electricity, water, security, insurance for personal property, including but not limited to homeowners or renters insurance, and space usage.

    The standard arrangement shall be that the employee will be issued one University laptop for use at all work locations. If this is not feasible, the department may agree that the employee may use his/her own equipment so long as the employee brings the equipment to campus and CTS approves its usage, with such software modifications as CTS deems appropriate. In all cases, the employee must sign an Information Security Requirements for Remote Access agreement. Generally, the University will be responsible for the service and maintenance of University-owned equipment and an individual remote worker will be responsible for the cost, repair and replacement of his or her own personal equipment.

    The supervisor may make an on-site visit to the remote worker's remote work site during the employee's scheduled remote working hours for the purposes of verifying that the employee is remote working as scheduled, determining that the site is safe and free from hazards and to maintain, repair, inspect or retrieve University property.
  5. Management and Supervision

    Supervisors are responsible for managing the remote work arrangement and work product with the employee, and along with the employee must ensure that departmental needs are met and all work is accomplished at or above existing levels absent the remote working arrangement. Supervisors must approve the mechanism for accurately tracking the number of hours worked remotely (non-exempt employees) or to confirm adherence to the work schedule (exempt employees) and the effectiveness of such work. Supervisors and remote workers shall maintain regular and necessary communications, and the remote worker is to be included as appropriate in meetings and other interactions.

    Prior to the commencement of an approved remote working arrangement, the employee, supervisor (in consultation with the Vice President) and a representative of the Office of Human Resources will meet to review the arrangement and confirm respective responsibilities for successful implementation.
  6. Compliance

    The remote working employee must comply with all University and departmental policies and procedures. The remote working employee's compensation, benefits, work status, work responsibilities, and all other conditions of employment with Duquesne University remain the same.
  7. Evaluation and Discontinuation

    Remote working arrangements will be periodically assessed for their effectiveness by the supervisor (in consultation with the Vice President) and will be reviewed for renewal on an annual basis by departmental management. The University has the right to terminate a remote working arrangement at any time at the discretion of the supervisor if it is deemed to be inconsistent with the University's overarching mission of providing individualized, personal attention to all constituents. Any performance issue shall be just cause for ending the remote working arrangement. Where practicable, employees will be given a two-week notice regarding the termination of the remote working agreement, so all arrangements may be appropriately concluded.

III. Responsibility

While employees are accountable for complying with the Remote Working Agreement and this policy, Supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that employees follow the procedures in accordance with the policies and abide by the Remote Working Agreement.

IV. Related Information

Remote Working Application 

Information Security Requirements for Remote Access

Remote Working FAQs

V. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

VI. History

Date of most recent revision: February 21, 2022. 

VII. Ownership of Policy

Questions related to this policy should be directed to the Office of Human Resources.