Flexible work readiness, reflection and discussion

Last updated: October 6, 2021

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A Telework Agreement (DOCX, 95KB) must be signed by you and your supervisor for any flexible work arrangements where the employee is working at home or another location outside of the office.

The agreement requires an occupational safety inspection, emergency preparedness and information security.


Assess your readiness and determine your needs

Are you/your employee/your supervisor/your team ready for a flexible work arrangement? If not, what areas can you focus on to make sure that flexible work options are thoughtfully considered, evaluated and, if deemed suitable, successfully implemented? Use these discussion questions to assess your readiness and determine your needs.

If you're supervising an employee or a team who may be candidates for flexible work, or who may approach you to discuss flexible work, you may wish to discuss the these questions:
  • With your own supervisor
  • With your management team
  • With a colleague or mentor
  • With a performance coach

If you're an employee thinking about approaching your supervisor or team to discuss the possibility of flexible work, you may wish to discuss these questions:

  • With your supervisor
  • With a colleague

Download the discussion questions


What are mandatory considerations and requirements for a flexible work arrangement?

Prior to approving a flexible work arrangement, including teleworking from home, supervisors and managers must:

  • Determine that the arrangement will meet the provisions of relevant collective agreements and is aligned with the guiding principles for flexible work
  • Establish that the arrangement is operationally feasible and it makes sense, from an operational perspective
  • Ensure that services and/or productivity are maintained or improved
  • Determine that no additional net costs will be generated and upfront costs can be recouped over a reasonable period
  • If teleworking, establish that the teleworkplace meets all WorkSafe and other occupational health and safety requirements
  • Include an inventory of all ministry assets provided by the Employer and ensure it's updated as required. Telework equipment, supplies and furniture remain the property of the Employer and must be returned if the telework arrangement or employment is terminated
  • If teleworking, ensure a telework agreement is completed and signed by both supervisor or manager and employee

On entering into a telework agreement, employees must agree to:

  • Maintain the teleworkplace (for example: homeowner or tenant insurance, heat and hydro)
  • Provide dedicated office space for use during teleworking days and maintain the office space in a clean, professional and safe condition
  • Allow joint teleworkplace visits by ministry personnel and union representatives (including local occupational health and safety committee members), upon reasonable notice
  • Secure and protect the property, documents and information belonging to the employer. Employees will not be liable for loss or damage to such property or information except where the employee has failed to take reasonable precautions to secure it, or where the loss or damage is the result of a wilful act by the employee or a member of their family
  • Follow safe work practices and ensure prompt notification to appropriate ministry personnel of any job related accidents that occur at the teleworkplace
  • Ensure that any meetings with clients are not held in the employee's teleworkplace

How to have a conversation with your supervisor about flexible work

These steps support employees when having conversations with their supervisor about flexible work:
  1. Review the resources. Learn about flexible work arrangements by reviewing:
  2. Consider your role and responsibilities: make sure flexible work is suitable to your role, responsibilities and how you work with your team members and clients. Think about your day-to-day responsibilities and which can be performed remotely and which are better suited to working in the office
     
  3. Develop a draft telework agreement: fill out the Telework Agreement (DOCX, 95KB) to the best of your ability and make a note of any questions you might have. Be prepared to answer questions about the proposed flexible work arrangement. Use the flexible work employee proposal form to help you identify key questions to consider for your telework agreement

    Flexible work proposal form
     
  4. Schedule the conversation: share your draft telework agreement, come with your questions and be prepared to answer your supervisor’s questions. Follow up the conversation in writing and commit to what you discuss. Make sure you're committed to following the guiding principles for a successful flexible work arrangement
     
  5. Have a backup plan: be open to working with your supervisor or manager to develop a flexible work arrangement that works for both of you. If your proposal is denied, ask what other options may be available. This can be an ongoing conversation
     
  6. Implement telework agreement: remember to save a copy of your signed telework agreement according to your ministry’s records management requirement. Recommended best practice is to check in with your supervisor regularly to see how the arrangement is working for you and your team
     
  7. Post-implementation: Maintain open communication with your supervisor to discuss your flexible work arrangement. Consider scheduling a post-implementation conversation