1. What is Flexiplace? Is it the same as telecommuting?
Flexible Workplace Program. This program provides employees the opportunity to work all or part of the work week (generally on a regular basis) at alternative worksites away from the main worksite. Typically, the alternative worksite is the employee's home or a satellite work center geographically convenient to the employee's home. Working at an alternative worksite is called' telecommuting' and such workers are called telecommuters.
2. What steps are needed to initiate Telecommuting(Flexiplace)?
Ans. Refer to the following website Real Property Policy and search for SECTION I: GETTINGSTARTED of this manual.
3. Does the Fair Labor Standards Act apply?
Ans. Yes. Refer to the discussions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Labor Relations in the following website Real Property Policy and search on Section III of this document.
4. What types of jobs or tasks are adaptable to Telecommuting and Flexiplace?
Ans. Generally, any job that has tasks which are portable and can be performed away from the main worksite. The telecommuter and the supervisor can determine which specific tasks are adaptable to telecommuting.
5. Is telecommuting and Flexiplace a good way to employ disabled persons?
Ans. Yes. See sections II and III of this document and GSA's FIRMR Bulletin 56 for more details.
6. What are the benefits of Telecommuting?
Ans. There are many general benefits to Telecommuting, and there are benefits that will be specific to your organization and staff. Some examples might be:
7. Who may participate in Telecommuting (Flexiplace)?
Ans. Agency policy will determine most criteria; see sections II and III for recommended criteria.
8. Does an employee have a right to be a telecommuter?
Ans. No. Participation is not a right. Management is responsible for deciding if the position is one that is appropriate for offsite work and for examining both the content of the work and the performance of the employee. Because this is a management work option, there is no automatic right of the employee to continue participation in the event of a change of supervisor.
9. Can a supervisor participate in the flexible workplaceprogram?
10. Who is liable for work-related injuries and/or damages at the alternate worksite?
Ans. The Government. Government employees suffering work-related injuries and/or damages at the alternate worksite are
Ans. Certain guidelines must be established to minimize adverse impact on other staff members before employees begin to work at alternate worksites. The overall interests of the office must take precedence over working at alternate sites. A supervisor may require an employee to work at the main worksite on a day scheduled for an alternate worksite if the needs of the office so require. Flexiplace should not put a burden on staff remaining in the office. An equitable distribution of workload should be maintained and methods should be instituted to ensure that main office employees are not saddled with telecommuter responsibilities.
16. What is the telecommuter's official duty station?
Ans. The agency makes this determination. Generally, it is recommended that the telecommuter's official duty station be the main office. All pay, special salary rates, leave, and travel entitlements are based on the official duty station.
17. What if a manager or a telecommuter believes the telecommuting arrangement is not working out?
Ans. Flexible workplace arrangements are not a right or condition of employment. Management may end an employee's participation in Telecommuting if the employee's performance declines or if the pilot is detrimental to organizational needs. Also, the employee may end participation at anytime without cause.
18. Will the employee be reimbursed for utility expenses associated with an alternate worksite?
Ans. No. The Government assumes no responsibility for the telecommuter's expenses related to heating, electricity, water, and space usage.
18. Can the Government pay for the installation of a telephone line in a private residence?
Ans. Yes. The Treasury, Postal Service, General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1992, Public Law 102-141, Sec. 625, signed into law October 28, 1991, states:
19. What equipment will the employee need at the alternateworksite and who will provide it?
Ans. The needed equipment and who will provide it will vary by situation. Generally speaking, organizations are not required to provide equipment at alternate worksites. Each Agency must establish its own policies on the provision and installation of equipment.
20. Are there restrictions on the use of theGovernment-owned equipment, software or information at analternate worksite?
Ans. Yes. Government-owned equipment can be used for official purposes only. Telecommuters must adhere to all rules, regulations, and procedures relating to security and confidentiality of work-related information and data. Agencies allowing employees to access records subject to the Privacy Act from an alternate worksite must maintain appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of the records. The Agency should revise appropriate records to indicate that the alternate worksite is authorized for the use and maintenance of classified or confidential information and data.
21. Who is responsible for maintaining and servicing Government until they have worked out operating procedures, expectations, schedules, lines of communication, etc. with both participants and non-participants?
Ans. Premature start-up places unnecessary strain on an organization which is already trying to adjust to a new circumstance.
For more information contact Dr. Wendell Joice on (202)273-4664 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org