Staff Flexible Work Program Pilot Launches for the Fall

July 22, 2021

As previously shared, Seattle University is implementing a workplace flexibility program for staff on a pilot basis during the fall and winter quarters. While our students, faculty and staff are excited about safely returning to campus to support our students, their learning and a great workplace for all, we also recognize this will be a significant change for many at Seattle University following the past unprecedented 16+ months. 

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way we work. In response, as many staff prepare to return this fall, the Flexible Workplace Task Force was created to adopt a Flexible Work Program Pilot. The task force was charged with developing the program’s key principles and proposing flex work criteria, as well as a clear process, timeline and resources and tools to support supervisors and staff. The co-chairs of the task force, Leann Wagele, Michelle Clements and Maggie Ricketts, presented the final recommended plan for the program to Cabinet on July 20. After review and discussion, the Cabinet approved the program and process for implementation. The task force will release to campus the week of July 26 the criteria, process, FAQs, resources and tools.

As we launch our pilot program, Seattle U recognizes workplace flexibility as an important tool in engaging, attracting and retaining our staff who are in service to ensuring we deliver a student-centric environment. A flexible work program should align with Seattle University’s commitment to achieve and maintain service and operational excellence while delivering a thriving and vibrant campus experience that meets the expectations of our students and creates a strong sense of inclusion and belonging for all.   

In implementing workplace flexibility options for staff during the fall and winter quarters, we will be evaluating the program and making adjustments as needed within work units. The pilot period will also allow leaders to identify which flexible options serve best for their work unit. Work units are defined as colleges, schools and divisions. At the end of each quarter, we will capture campus-wide learnings during the pilot period to help shape and inform our staff flexible work program going forward.

The Flexible Workplace Task Force encourages staff to begin transitioning back to campus ahead of when the university fully opens for the new academic year. Please refer to the university’s most current COVID-19 Response health and safety policies and guidelines. 

A series of communications will be released throughout the month of August to support both supervisors and staff as we develop and finalize staffing plans for the upcoming academic year.