Skip to content
  • Print

Pacific Flex FAQs

What is Pacific Flex? 
Pacific Flex is the way we work at University of the Pacific. We believe in the importance of work flexibility as a strategy to increase performance, maintain a well-rounded workforce, and help staff members build healthy, successful lives. 

Why did University of the Pacific develop these policies? 
Flex isn’t new to our university. Many supervisors/managers have already been offering flexible work on an informal basis. By updating our policies, more departments can take advantage of the program, contributing to greater staff member engagement, improved student experiences and overall university success. 

In order to achieve our goals, we believe we must help our staff members establish effective work schedules—that is, schedules that help them manage both work and life responsibilities. In doing so, we improve staff member retention, improve the student experience, lower stress, and contribute to better university performance. 

Flexible work enables us to live out our core values in a visible way. Work flexibility allows University of the Pacific to remove the limitations that might otherwise stand in the way of supporting community engagement and whole person education for our staff members. 

What kind of flexibility is available? 
We are offering flexible work time arrangements (variable start and end times) and telecommuting. 

Who is eligible for Pacific Flex? 
Some positions may not be well suited to work flex. However, we hope that every staff member is able to find an effective schedule that meets his or her personal obligations and our university needs. We encourage supervisors/managers and staff members to be creative and look for feasible ways to make flexibility work within our business constraints. Division leadership will provide final approval on all flex requests. 

What’s the difference between Flexible Work Time Arrangements and reinstituting timecards? 
Pacific Flex was designed to create opportunities for staff to work more flexibly. For some that might mean shifting their start time to a new schedule that is consistent from day to day. For others, it might mean varying their start and end times daily. Options for taking an extended lunch period and starting earlier or working later are also available. Requesting these options might feel uncomfortable at first. But they are not intended to serve as a monitor for when you are coming and going the way a timecard does. Individuals will work in the ways that serve them (and their constituents) best. 

Do we have to notify HR? 
Yes. In order to help us better manage our flexible work program, supervisors/managers are asked to submit a copy of all Flexible Work Time or Telecommuting request forms to HR for record keeping purposes. 

Who do I contact if I have additional questions? 
Contact your campus Human Resources and an HR representative will be happy to work with you. 

As a supervisor/manager, what criteria should I use to determine whether flexible work is appropriate for my department? 
In deciding whether a flexible work arrangement will work, consider the nature of the job, the needs of the department, and the individual’s work styles and performance. Please refer to the Decision Criteria section in Guidance for Managers. 

What do I do if the staff member or the job isn’t suited to flexible work? 
Before denying or modifying a request, engage your staff member in active dialogue regarding the proposal. Look for creative ways to say yes and be open to new ideas. 

That said, you can refuse a flexible work request if the work arrangement will impact the department’s ability to provide quality service. In some situations, a staff member may not be suited to certain arrangements due to attendance or performance concerns. In other situations, the timing may be wrong, or the job might not lend itself to a flexible schedule. 

If you would like to honor the request but aren’t sure how to make it work, HR will be happy to help you evaluate possible solutions. 

Once I’ve agreed to a request, can I change my mind? 
A supervisor/manager may adjust, suspend or terminate an FWA at any time based on changed circumstances, staff member performance, and/or university needs. Before deciding to terminate an arrangement outright, work with staff members to make adjustments that may improve effectiveness. 

Staff members may also request that an existing FWA be adjusted, suspended or terminated. However, changes may impact other people’s schedules or department service, and for this reason may be denied or delayed. 

What should I do if my supervisor/manager declines my request? 
First, talk to your supervisor/manager about what you need to do to be eligible for FWAs in the future. Consider whether you have the right skills to work in a department or position that does offer flex, and ask your supervisor/manager for coaching and guidance to help you meet your goals. 

If you need additional support, talk to your campus ombudsperson for guidance. There is no formal appeal process for denied FWA requests, but the university’s existing complaint and grievance procedures can be utilized. 

How can I make sure that everyone on my team understands my expectations? 
FWAs work best as a team endeavor in which every staff member supports the university’s commitment to flexible work. Supervisors/managers are encouraged to facilitate team discussions of flexible work so that team expectations and work processes are in alignment.