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For Organizations

Intent of Telework

Management Concerns

Building a Telework Program

Define Management Support

Assemble a Program Team

Determine Program Goals

Employee & Work Suitability

Workplace & Legal Issues

Policies & Forms

Telework Policy

Telework Agreement

Electronic Communications

Records Retention Policy

Security Policy

Continuity of Operations Plan


Equipment Decisions


Manager Participation

Telework Coordinator

Program Communication

Program Promotion

Manager Evaluations


The Telework Agreement is a document signed by the employee and manager that states the conditions of telework for that employee. While the telework policy provides general policy guidelines, the agreement provides specifics. For example, a policy might discuss how many days or hours employees are allowed to telework, but the agreement states the specific schedule for an employee. To some extent, the telework agreement is the result of a negotiation between employee and manager. Each telework agreement is unique to a specific teleworker.

Most organizations create an agreement form or template that can be completed or modified by the manager as an agreement is formed. The Toolkit includes a generic template in Microsoft Word that can be modified to create an organization-specific template for managers to use. The telework team will need to consider very carefully what should be addressed in the agreement. Do not use the generic template "as is". It was formed by assembling language from numerous other templates and will no doubt include specifics that are not appropriate for your organization. Similarly, there may be issues missing from the generic template that should be included for your organization. The intent of the generic template is to provide an agreement framework to make it easier and faster to create an agreement for your organization.

The generic template includes 14 clauses:

  • Term: States how long the agreement is in effect.
  • Policies: States the policies and guidelines that the employee (and manager) must follow. This can be stated either generically or specifically - the generic template does both, although the policies will vary by organization.
  • Requirements: States the requirements an employee must meet to participate in telework, such as training. This will vary by organization and may not be necessary for some. It may also state how the employee will meet these requirements if they haven't already done so.
  • Work Location & Hours: The employee's specific schedule. If there is no schedule, the manager might want to include a statement to that effect.
  • Specific Job Tasks: This may not be necessary if the employee does the same work on telework days as on in-office days.
  • Compensation & Benefits: Typically, this states that benefits are not affected by teleworker status. You may want to also include a provision related to overtime for non-exempt/hourly employees.
  • Communication: Good communication is critical to good telework. This clause states the arrangement between employee and manager concerning how good communication will be maintained when the employee is out of the office.
  • Equipment & Expenses: This clause should provide details about what equipment is required and who provides it or pays for it. Information about installation, maintenance, inspections, and rules about use are included. If the organization provides equipment, this form can serve as a record or inventory of equipment assigned to an employee.
  • Information Security: The rules employees must agree to concerning how information is protected, stored, transported, or accessed, and, how equipment is protected.
  • Intellectual Property: Organizations that generate discoveries, patents, or copyrights typically include this clause.
  • Safety: Organizations vary greatly in how they approach worker safety. Will your organization make a safety inspection to insure the home office is safe, or is a statement from the employee that they followed safety guidelines sufficient? This clause may also state the conditions under which worker's compensation applies to injuries that occur in the home office.
  • Limitations: Some organization limit the types of work activities that can be performed from a home office. This clause is used to call out these special limitations, if any exist.
  • Termination: Information about the conditions under which the agreement may be terminated and how that is handled.
  • Agreement: Where the employee and manager sign. Your organization may also require signatures from other departments.

In the generic agreement, the word "Organization" is highlighted so it can be easily replaced with the name of your own organization.

In addition to creating the agreement, consider also how agreements are handled. Is a copy placed in the employee's personnel file? How frequently should the document be reviewed and modified? It is easy, over time, for informal agreements to replace written agreements. At some point the arrangement between a manager and employee may become so comfortable and trusting that a written agreement has less relevance than when the employee first starting telework. When this occurs, you may want to consider allowing managers to create agreements with an open-end term that doesn't require yearly renewal.

In the Toolkit

Generic Telework Agreement Template


On the Web

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This page was last updated on May 23, 2009