Flexible Work at BU

The University will be guided by the following Core Principles in administering flexible work:

Core Principles

Institutional Mission: Boston University is an international, private, comprehensive research university dedicated to generating and sharing knowledge through in-person community interactions, Boston University offers flexible work arrangements to staff members in support of the University’s mission that advance Boston University as an employer of choice. While flexible work arrangements are not an entitlement or a University-wide benefit, these Guidelines recognize that they can enhance a number of institutional goals, including the recruitment and retention of staff, business continuity, enhanced support to the University’s strategic plan initiatives, and environmental sustainability. While the expectation is that most staff will be on campus for the majority of their workweek, the Guidelines provide appropriate flexibility for individual schools, colleges, and departments to meet the needs of both their mission and their staff.

Quality of Student Services: Flexible work arrangements must not impinge on the student-centered nature of our residential research university.

Quality of Research Environment: Flexible work arrangements must not impinge on the research activities that are physically based in our laboratories and offices.

Business Operations and Goals: Flexible work arrangements must support business operations efficiency to ensure the success of each school, college, or department and the University as a whole in meeting and exceeding overall goals.

Employee Retention and Recruitment: Flexible work arrangements must support talent recruitment and retention and contribute to the University community and employee morale.

Background for Flexible Work

Boston University brings together almost 32,000 students, more than 3,700 faculty, and 6,100 staff into a community that fulfills our mission as a residential research university. The mission is intensely collaborative, carried out in our classrooms, laboratories, studios, and in countless formal and informal meetings in conference rooms, offices, and around dining tables across our campuses.

Traditionally, face-to-face contact between our faculty, students, and involved staff has been at the core of these activities. However, the successful pivot by many to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that some University staff work can be performed effectively from off campus.

Following an extensive review and survey to staff to assess flexible work, the Task Force on Workplace Culture (TFWC) recommended flexible work arrangements that allow work schedules to be modified as well as flexible work on a seasonable basis (not to exceed 2 days of hybrid work). President Brown accepted each of these recommendations by the TFWC.

Human Resources has revised the existing Remote Work Guidelines to Flexible Work Guidelines in collaboration with the Office of the General Counsel, Organizational Development & Learning, Marketing and Communications, and the Task Force on Workplace Culture at BU; an outline of the changes between the original and revised guidelines is available for reference.

You have access to comprehensive resources to help you succeed with flexible work. As you navigate flexible work, we will continue to add new tips and tools to this website. Information on these pages will grow and evolve as we learn about what you need to succeed.

Scope of the Guidelines

A full copy of the guidelines can be found here. A side-by-side comparison of the original Remote Work Guidelines and the revised Flexible Work Guidelines is available here.

The Guidelines apply to regular US-based non-represented exempt staff (those paid a salary regardless of hours worked and not eligible for overtime pay) and non-exempt staff (paid hourly), including staff in academic research positions. The Guidelines do not apply to faculty, staff who are members of a bargaining unit (unless otherwise agreed between the applicable union and the University), temporary employees, student employees, or staff who work outside the United States.

For staff who are foreign nationals, flexible work arrangements are governed by these Guidelines and the University’s Flexible Work Procedures for Foreign Nationals.

Flexible Work Arrangements include hybrid work, fully remote work, and modified work schedules. Flexible work arrangements may be allowed on an ongoing basis, a seasonal basis (e.g., for periods outside the fall and spring semesters), or for other specific time periods based on school, college, and department needs.

Hybrid, Seasonal Hybrid, and Fully Remote Work

Hybrid work allows a staff member to work a portion of the workweek on campus and a portion of the workweek remotely (i.e., off-campus at a remote location). Hybrid work generally involves up to two days of remote work per week. Three or four days of remote work per week is allowed in special situations.

Seasonal hybrid work allows a staff member to work a portion of the workweek on campus and a portion of the workweek remotely on a seasonal basis.  Seasonal hybrid work arrangements may not exceed two days of remote work per week.

Fully remote work is when a staff member does not come to campus at all except for occasional on-campus meetings or events. It is allowed when a dean or vice president determines that there are exceptional circumstances warranting fully remote work.