Chapter 8: Around the Office
In addition to the job description and the performance standards and expectations you establish for your employees, other tools help them do their jobs. These tools can consist of a desk manual, work rules and guidelines on office procedures. Job aids such as these can provide continuity and equity in the workplace when implementing policies and procedures, allow the
Desk manuals can be a great resource for employees, especially if you have several employees performing similar tasks, or if certain tasks must be performed in a specific way. Desk manuals can be developed by you and/or your employee and should be easily accessible. Set time aside for updating the manual as necessary.
The manual should include:
- Instructions on how to use the manual
- Definitions of procedures or processes
- Information about when and where to get help
- Other resources and references
Many rules are already in place in the form of policies, contracts, procedures, regulations, laws, and mandates. These rules determine the actions of the University, departments, and employees, and actions to be taken by you as a supervisor. Work rules may be needed for direct guidance for employees, covering their day-to-day responsibilities outside specific, work-related performance standards for their position. If you are establishing new work rules or changing existing work rules, the Labor and Employee Relations Unit in Human Resources must notify the appropriate exclusive representative.
Establishing Work Rules
Work rules should be:
- Necessary. Is there a need for clearly defined, written work rules?
- Reasonable. Rules should make supervision easier.
- In compliance with existing policy, contracts, and laws.
- Beneficial to your employees as they conduct the department's business.
- Clear. There should be no question about the intent of the language.
- Enforceable. Be willing to enforce the work rules after they are established.
- Publicized. Posted on departmental bulletin boards, covered in staff meetings, distributed to each employee, and made part of an employee's orientation and information packet.
The Rules of Work Rules
Follow these guidelines to make your work rules as effective as possible:
- DO. Consult with your Labor and Employee Relations Analyst so you get off on the right track.
- DO. Write rules that are practical for you to monitor.
- DO. Make sure you are willing to apply them evenly to ALL employees in the job category.
- DO. Be prepared to provide oral communications to employees who may have reading or language difficulties.
- DO. Review after contract negotiations or policy revisions to ensure rules comply with the contract or policy.
- DON'T. Repeat a law, policy, or contract.
- DON'T. Violate a law, policy, or contract.
- DON'T. Include performance standards in work rules.
- DON'T. Use wording that is vague.
- DON'T. Institute verbal work rules.
- DON'T. Phase in rules after they are issued; start enforcing them on the effective date.
Sample Department Work Rules
Proper Notice for Sick Leave: Employees must call their immediate supervisor or designated contact within thirty minutes of their beginning work time if they will be absent due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances. Exceptions to this rule will be considered on an individual basis.
Use of Department Vehicle: Employees must have a valid California driver's license, must be on department business, and should reserve the car at least one day in advance. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. The employee is responsible for obeying traffic regulations.
Break Periods: Breaks should be taken at the work site in predesignated areas. Employees who wish to leave the work site must receive permission from their immediate supervisor or manager.
Equipment, Supplies, and other University Property: No department supplies and equipment are to be taken out of the building for personal use. Abuse, misuse, or theft of supplies or equipment, or defacement or abuse of University property will result in disciplinary and/or legal action
Hours of Work
A work schedule is the normal hours of work on specific days within a 40-hour work week. Work hours for employees, including salaried and hourly employees, are based on a schedule determined by your supervisor and/or manager. Scheduling work hours includes work days, starting and stopping time, lunches, and breaks. When you are establishing work hours:
- Make sure they comply with policies and contracts.
- Schedule and control them. If you make a change you should consult with the appropriate policy or contract for notice procedures.
- Authorize overtime and keep accurate records. Process payment of overtime promptly.
- Alternate work schedule may be considered based on operational needs. Check the applicable labor contract/policy and contact your Labor and Employee Relations Analyst for further information.
Flexible Work Arrangements
A variety of flexible work arrangements are permitted under personnel policies and collective bargaining agreements. Many departments have successfully incorporated variations on the traditional 8:00 to 5:00 with lunch from noon to 1:00 schedule. To read the guide to UCSF flextime scheduling , visit the HR website. .
Alternative possibilities are wide-ranging, and include:
- Fixed full-time schedules, such as arriving at 7:30 a.m. and leaving at 4:00 p.m., with a half-hour for lunch
- Flexible schedules centering on a fixed core, such as varying arrival time between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and departure time between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- Compressed work weeks of fewer than five days, such as working four 10-hour days
- Part-time work
- Job shares (a form of part-time work)
- Telecommuting, in which the employee works at home or at an alternate work site part of each week and communicates by phone or by other electronic means.
Employees are expected to be at work on time; they are also responsible for notifying their supervisors when they will be absent because they are ill or for any other unexpected reasons. An unacceptable number of absences or tardiness may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Following are some guidelines for attendance:
- Keep accurate and current records.
- Let your employees know what is expected of them in regard to attendance and punctuality.
- Review your employees' attendance records. This will give you a chance for corrective counseling or to commend employees who have outstanding attendance records.
- Ensure that vacation leave, compensatory time off, and alternate holidays off are scheduled and taken at the convenience of the department.
- Review requests for time off for personal reasons in advance when possible. When deciding whether to grant the request, consider the operating needs of your unit and the reason for the request.
- Take appropriate disciplinary action when an employee abuses attendance standards. Review Chapter 23, Taking Disciplinary Action, as well as the appropriate policy or contract, and consult with your Labor and Employee Relations Analyst before taking any action.
- Report all absences accurately and as soon as possible to ensure proper payment.