Stanford University (Stanford) is committed to providing staff flexible work options in line with the operational needs of the university and their department. In appropriate circumstances, Stanford may hire or transition existing staff to work in Remote roles in which the individual’s primary workspace is at a location other than a Stanford location. This guide memo sets forth policies and procedures to facilitate Remote work arrangements for eligible employees in appropriate circumstances. For work arrangements where the employee’s primary work location is at Stanford, see Guide Memo 2.1.20: Hybrid (Telecommuting) Work Arrangements.
Applicability: Applies to all employees, including regular employees, Academic Staff-Research, Academic Staff-Libraries, and contingent (casual or temporary) employees as defined in Guide Memo 2.2.1: Definitions.
This policy does not apply to:
- Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
- Faculty, Academic Staff-Teaching, Other Teaching Titles, Instructors, or Clinician Educators
- Student employees
- Employees who are working remotely outside the U.S. See Guide Memo 11.2.22.
- Employees telecommuting temporarily but for an extended period outside the U.S. See Guide Memo 11.2.21.
1. Policy Statement/Philosophy
The workplace culture at Stanford is one that is rooted in collaboration, continuous discourse about planned work and projects underway, and in providing stellar service to our university community. With appropriate use of technology and managerial oversight, staff whose roles allow for all work to be performed at a location that is not a Stanford location may be eligible for a Remote work arrangement. (“Remote” is defined below in section 2).
- “Stanford Campus” means the primary campus in Stanford, CA.
- “Stanford Satellite Office or Hub” means a Stanford location other than the Stanford Campus which allows the university to spread its operations across multiple regions/locations. These include Stanford Redwood City (SRWC), SLAC, Stanford Research Park, Hopkins Marine Station, the Newark satellite hub, and other locations.
- “Stanford Alternative Worksite” means Stanford-leased premises, outside of the Stanford Campus and Stanford Satellite Office or Hub, where individuals can schedule a designated work space at least one day per week. The alternative worksite provides an office environment with a variety of workspace amenities, free of home distractions.
- "Stanford Work Location" includes the Stanford Campus, Stanford Satellite Office or Hub, or Stanford Alternative Worksite.
- “Primary Stanford Work Location” means the Stanford Campus, Stanford Satellite Office or Hub, or Stanford Alternative Worksite designated by Stanford as the primary location available to the employee to perform their work.
- “Remote” means a role in which a Stanford employee is approved or designated by Stanford to work from home or at a site other than a Stanford Work Location and the employee is not required to have a regular presence on-site to perform their duties as outlined under a hybrid work arrangement (defined in Guide Memo 2.1.20: Hybrid (Telecommuting) Work Arrangements). This also includes an employee who is approved or designated by Stanford to telecommute on a full-time but temporary basis (more than 4 consecutive weeks) from a location other than the employee’s Primary Stanford Work Location or other Stanford Work Location. Although Remote employees may be required to come to a Stanford Work Location infrequently or on limited occasions (e.g., generally no more than a few days total each quarter), this would not change their Remote status.
a. Eligibility Criteria
- Some departments may have work conducive to hiring Remote staff. When considering whether a Remote work arrangement is appropriate, managers should take into consideration, among other factors, the nature of the work, costs described in Section 4 below, whether the department can maintain the quality and effectiveness of their services to members of the university community with an employee working in a Remote role, and whether the work should or must be performed remotely.
- When an existing employee wishes to transition to work remotely, managers should take into consideration applicable factors listed above, performance and productivity of the employee, and the ability of the employee to work independently.
- Decisions about the suitability of Remote work arrangements are discretionary and require approval from the Dean or Associate Dean, Vice or Associate Vice Provost or Vice or Associate Vice President or designee as well as the local senior HR Manager.
a. General Requirements
- Employees in a Remote work arrangement must comply with all Stanford policies and procedures, including the appropriate handling of confidential information.
- Employees in a Remote work arrangement are expected to remain available and accessible during regularly-scheduled and approved work hours, as determined by the department. Employees may be required to attend meetings and functions in person.
- Non-exempt employees are required to strictly adhere to required rest and meal breaks, and to accurately report their work hours as set forth in Guide Memo 2.1.5: Compensation of Staff Employees. Non-exempt employees must obtain prior approval before working any overtime.
- Employees in a Remote work arrangement are expected to make dependent care arrangements during regularly-scheduled work hours.
- Remote employees are paid competitive rates based on the geographic region where they work. To ensure consistent, equitable application of our compensation program, University Human Resources--Staff Compensation will work in partnership with local HR Managers to review and approve the compensation of all employees in Remote work arrangements, including newly hired employees, employees transitioning into an approved Remote work arrangement, and employees who move and change their Remote work location. The university may adjust salary rates for employees who transition into a Remote work arrangement or who move and change their Remote work location consistent with the foregoing. Employees in Remote work arrangements must obtain approval in advance from the department and the local senior HR Manager, and inform Stanford Benefits if they plan to move their Remote work location to a different city or state. In addition, the department should review the provisions of Guide Memo 2.2.2: Out-of-State Employees and Fingate with respect to out-of-state payroll for Remote employees working in the U.S. but outside of California.
- For Remote employees whose residence is within a 10-county area*, travel to a Stanford Work Location will not be reimbursed because the remote arrangement is at the employee’s request and there is space available for the employee to work on campus. For other Remote employees, Stanford will reimburse expenses for occasional, required travel to a Stanford Work Location as long as the travel is necessarily incurred and the employee receives prior approval by the employee’s department/manager.
*The 10-county area includes all of the following counties: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, Sonoma County, Solano County, or Santa Cruz County.
- Remote employees must be provided with appropriate reimbursement for required and approved Stanford-related business travel, in accordance with Stanford’s travel reimbursement policies.
- Remote work arrangements must be approved by the Dean or Associate Dean, Vice or Associate Vice Provost or Vice or Associate Vice President or designee of the department as well as the local senior HR Manager. Employees who are approved for a Remote work arrangement must sign the Remote Work Agreement, and any other documents the department or university may require. The Remote Work Agreement should be reviewed and renewed by the manager and employee periodically but no less frequently than annually.
- HR Managers or their delegates are required to ensure all employees in an approved Remote work arrangement have a Remote Work Agreement that complies with this policy and is signed by the employee, manager, local senior HR Manager and the Dean or Associate Dean, Vice or Associate Vice Provost or Vice or Associate Vice President or designee of the department. In addition, HR Managers or their delegates must keep the HR information system up-to-date with the location from which the employee works. The Remote Work Agreement may specify an end date; however, even if an end date is specified, the university reserves the right to modify or discontinue the agreement.
- Remote employees must obtain approval from the Dean or Associate Dean, Vice or Associate Vice Provost or Vice or Associate Vice President or designee of the department, or their designee, as well as the local senior HR Manager if they wish to relocate their remote workspace to a different city, state and/or country, prior to such relocation.
- Remote work arrangements may be modified on an ongoing basis or discontinued at any time at the university’s sole discretion, or at the request of the employee, with reasonable notice, typically four (4) weeks. In such an event, the department may consider offering the Remote employee the opportunity to work at a Stanford Work Location that the department deems appropriate, but is under no obligation to do so. Nothing in this Administrative Guide Memo requires the department to retain a Remote employee whom the department would otherwise terminate or lay off, consistent with university policies.
- Generally, the university does not maintain an equipped workspace at a Stanford Work Location for Remote employees. Accordingly, departments are required to provide reasonable reimbursement for and/or supply the equipment, services and supplies deemed by the university to be reasonable and necessary to enable Remote employees to perform their Stanford work, all in accordance with Stanford’s policies governing reimbursement of business expenses. Employees in Remote work arrangements will be provided with a one-time taxable payment of $750 to purchase basic home office equipment to ensure a productive and safe home work environment. For additional information regarding basic home office equipment purchasing resources and ergonomic needs, see Home Office Equipment and Expense Guidelines.
- Employees approved or designated by their department to work under a Remote work arrangement are responsible to ensure that their remote workspace is ergonomically appropriate by completing an ergonomic assessment through EH&S. See Stanford’s Ergonomics Program.
- Employees who are approved or designated by their department to work under a Remote work arrangement are responsible to ensure their remote workspace is equipped with adequate internet connectivity to perform their work, including video conferencing.
- Employees in Remote work arrangements are eligible for a stipend for cell phone and/or home Internet connectivity as outlined in Guide Memo 8.1.3: Provision of Mobile Equipment and Related Services.
- Current employees who wish to transition to a Remote work arrangement should discuss their request with their manager.
- The manager will review the request with their local senior HR Manager and the Dean or Associate Dean, Vice or Associate Vice Provost or Vice or Associate Vice President or designee of the department, or their designee.
- If the department believes a Remote work arrangement may be suitable, the employee should complete the Remote Work Agreement and send it to their manager for review. (Managers can obtain the agreement through their HR Manager.)
- If approved, the employee, manager, local senior HR Manager and the Dean or Associate Dean, Vice or Associate Vice Provost or Vice or Associate Vice President or designee of the department should sign the Remote Work Agreement and follow all requirements in this policy.