Remote work supervisor checklist

Roles and Responsibilities for Supervisors of Remote Employees (in and outside of the Local Commuting Area) in the NIH Workplace Flexibilities Program (WFP)

The following outlines the roles and responsibilities for supervisors considering and/or managing local and non-local remote staff in the NIH Workplace Flexibilities Program (WFP):

  • Ensure the fair and equitable implementation and use of workplace flexibilities across subordinate staff
  • Ensure employee position description and performance plan accurately reflect the employee's duties and responsibilities, and position eligibility is in alignment with the position description and performance plan
  • Review employees' requests for a remote work Workplace Flexibilities Agreement (WFA) and approve, disapprove, or modify the request in accordance with the Workplace Flexibilities Instruction, any applicable OpDiv/StaffDiv guidance, and collective bargaining agreement requirements. Ensure employees renew their agreement annually.
  • Ensure requests are reviewed on an individual employee basis with the understanding that each position may differ on the level of work portability even within the same job series, grade, and position. This eligibility assessment should be conducted with an equity lens as it relates to similarly situated employees, as well as evaluating the overall business needs of the work unit to ensure organizational performance is not diminished.
  • Ensure concurrence from IC Division Director (or equivalent) and the Executive Officer (or their designee).
  • Ensure employees complete mandatory workplace flexibilities training prior to entering into any remote work WFA and that they complete annual mandatory workplace flexibilities training. Discuss expectations for this arrangement with employees, and what will happen if the WFA needs to be terminated for any reason
  • Ensure remote work WFA details any emergency responsibilities specified for a continuity and/or pandemic event, as appropriate for the approved flexibilities
  • Ensure compliance with current travel policies and guidance as they pertain to the approved workplace flexibility, the Workplace Flexibilities Instruction, and the employee’s official worksite
  • For remote workers, ensure changes to the Official Worksite (personnel action requests) are processed as needed
  • Ensure employees in telework and remote work status receive the same benefits and opportunities (e.g., work assignments, awards and recognition, development opportunities, etc.) as employees who do not participate in a WFP
  • Partner with Employee and Labor Relations for any decision to end participation in the WFP
  • Comply with and enforce the HHS Workplace Flexibilities Instruction and applicable Federal laws and regulations related to workplace flexibilities