Flexible Scheduling Policy and Guidelines for Supervisors

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Flexible Scheduling Policy

Flexible Scheduling Guidelines

Flexible Scheduling Policy


Recognizing the need for Seattle Pacific University employees to maintain work, family and personal commitments, SPU supports flexible scheduling options that are mutually agreed upon by both SPU and the employee. All flexible scheduling arrangements must be cost neutral and contribute to customer service, productivity, and employee morale.


Flexible schedules may include variations in daily beginning and ending work time periods, or a compressed workweek providing those schedules comply with state and federal wage and hour laws.


Employees desiring flexibility in their schedule should give their immediate supervisor a written proposal detailing the adjusted schedule and how that schedule meets the requirements of their job description and the goals purpose of this policy. Immediate supervisors may approve proposals for flexibility, which in their view meet the purpose and scope of this policy. Requests for flexibility exceeding the scope of this policy should be discussed with the area dean or director. The agreement to flex a schedule may be withdrawn at any time if, in the supervisor's view, it is no longer in the best interest of SPU to continue the arrangement. The Director of Human Resources (or designate) is available to consult with supervisors on options for flexible scheduling.

Flexible Scheduling Guidelines

Supervisors should consider the following guidelines as they review employee proposals for flexible schedules:

Exempt/Nonexempt staff distinctions:

In making decisions about flexible scheduling options, please keep in mind the legal distinctions between nonexempt (hourly) and exempt (salaried) employees. Those distinctions may affect scheduling options.

Nonexempt Staff: As stated in the Staff Handbook under the Compensation & Benefits section, "The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Washington Minimum Wage Act require the employer to keep a record of the weekly hours worked by each nonexempt employee and to pay overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week. The work week at the University is from 12:00 am Sunday through 11:59:59 pm Saturday. Each nonexempt employee is required to keep a daily record of hours worked on SPU time sheets. Time sheets are signed by the employee and the supervisor and turned in to the Payroll Office according to the schedule published by that office. "

Exempt Staff: Exempt staff are paid on a salary basis. Exempt staff are paid "to get the job done" as opposed to being paid for the exact hours worked during each workweek.

For more complete information about the distinction between exempt and nonexempt status, please see the "Wage and Hour Laws" section of the Supervisor's Manual.

Flexible scheduling options

  • Variations in start and end times (e.g., 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM or 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM)
  • Compressed work week (e.g., four ten-hour days)
  • Modified versions of telecommuting and work from home (must be discussed with department head/dean)
  • Job sharing (must be discussed with department head/dean)

Other Considerations

  • Supervisors who establish flexible schedules should insure that their department is adequately covered and customer service is fully functioning for the entire regular business day (between 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM).
  • Departments implementing flexible schedules must maintain or increase service levels to their constituents. An example of how to increase service levels may be to flex a schedule from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, to 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. This schedule may better accommodate "customers" needing service after the regular business day, while meeting the needs of an employee who has daily personal morning commitments.
  • Employees working on a flexible schedule must maintain or increase personal productivity levels.
  • The implementation of flexible schedules should not add a cost to the University. (Examples of added costs could include temporary staff or overtime for other employees).
  • Flexible schedules should be customized based on the department's needs, the employee’s "customers" needs and the employee’s needs for flexibility.
  • In considering flextime for an employee, the needs of coworkers who are on a different schedule should be evaluated and balanced with the needs of the requesting employee. Reasonable adjustments are expected by both the requesting employee and coworkers to make a flexible schedule successful. For instance, on the one hand the employees on a flexible schedule need to be accessible to other coworkers at certain times even though they are not at work. On the other hand, coworkers can rely on email and voice mail for communication and response instead of expecting immediate response for their own convenience. Good judgment, consideration and accommodation and understanding of other’s needs are the ingredients for success.
  • In considering an employee’s proposal for an adjusted schedule, the supervisor must take into consideration whether that employee’s work lends itself well to flexibility. For example, a flexible schedule for a receptionist in a small office would likely hinder the department from meeting its service needs.
  • Flexible scheduling is a privilege (not an entitlement) that a supervisor might give to an employee. In considering an employee’s proposal for an adjusted schedule, a supervisor should evaluate the employee’s past work performance.
  • Each flexible scheduling arrangement should be implemented on a trial basis, with evaluation points occurring at the supervisor's discretion. Trial periods of at least three to four month intervals for the first year are recommended. Supervisors should attempt to measure feedback from "customers" on effects of employee flextime.
  • Flexible scheduling beyond the scope and purpose of this policy must have the approval of the department head/dean in consultation with the area Vice President.
  • The Director of Human Resources (or designate) is available to consult with supervisors who are considering an employee's proposal for a flexible schedule