Telecommuting and Workspace Flexibility

ORA fosters foster an environment of support, creativity, productivity, and professional autonomy. We share President Fenves' excitement about seeing Emory transform back into a vibrant and thriving community. To respond to today's need to be a more agile workplace, we encourage the use of the following flexible work options.

Key Principles

Our approach to the New World of Work reflects a commitment to a workplace flexibility that:

  • Welcomes and enables diverse work styles
  • Recognizes the positive lessons we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Considers business needs and individuals' needs
  • Build and promote a workforce that contributes to Emory University's vibrant and thriving community
  • Provide the maximum flexibility for our staff based on business needs
  • Prioritizes the recruitment of employees who are, or who seek to become, a part of our local community

The New World of Work

Flexible Work Arrangements

Full policy: SVPR/ORA Flexible Work Arrangement Policy

We offer four flexible work arrangement (FWA) types. Some employees might not be eligible for all types. The type of FWA will be determined by job descriptions and supervisor/ORA leadership assessment.

The type of FWA will be determined by job descriptions and supervisor/ORA leadership assessment. Each position reporting directly to central ORA offices has been sorted in to three (3) categories, based on the job description or essential functions. Designation of job titles into each category was determined by department leaders.

Virtual Work Eligible

Virtual work eligible defines job descriptions as roles whose job duties do not require or have very minimal in-person engagement with faculty and/or other Emory research stakeholders or customers, including other ORA staff members. Virtual work eligible employees are still eligible for flexible work arrangements based on the policy outlined on slide 7. NOTE: Though the employee can work virtually much of the time, it is critical for the employee to return to campus periodically for meetings or training at their own expense based on business needs.

Hybrid Work

Hybrid work defines job descriptions that allow employees to participate in a work arrangement that combines in-person and virtual work. A Hybrid designation would require the role to be on campus a minimum of one day/week each week. Department leaders must be hybrid and are expected to be on campus a minimum of three days per week. Supervisors must be hybrid and are expected to be on campus a minimum of two days per week.

Non-Hybrid Eligible

Non-Hybrid eligible employees defines job descriptions that require personnel to be on campus or on site in other Emory facilities 5 days/week in order to perform their essential job functions.

Regardless of designation, employees are encouraged to attend meetings and events designated as 'in-person' when appropriate, during standard business hours. Examples of these are: 

  • New team member orientation
  • Specific developmental activities and trainings
  • Interviewing candidates for leadership positions
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Monthly group leadership meetings
  • Engagement with individuals outside of ORA, including meetings with faculty or other senior administrators

When in-person opportunities are encouraged, employees will have advance notice and it will be up to individual's discretion to attend in person or via zoom.

Continued safety protocols are in place when on campus, such as mask mandates. These can be viewed via the Emory Forward website and related emails.

Access to flexible work arrangements is a privilege and may be revoked as a performance improvement measure or for other reason.


In our new world of work, we will utilize private offices, shared offices, and shared touchdown space to provide the capacity and flexibility needed to accommodate our new flexible environment.

Private office/ dedicated cubicle

This space will be first allocated to those employees in the office more than 50% of the time.

Shared spaces

Employees who are in the office less than 50% of the time will not be guaranteed assigned workspaces (i.e. private/shared cubicle) and may need to take advantage of touchdown space. Touchdown space will be available if and when staff need to come to campus to perform work duties.

Virtual work eligible employees can come to campus anytime and will be able to book touchdown space.


Primary Virtual

Emory provided equipment (e.g., monitor, keyboard, docking station) would remain at homes until the employee leaves the Unit/University at which time all equipment must be returned.

Virtual work employees will be responsible for providing a comfortable home workspace that meets their needs beyond Emory provided equipment. Emory will not provide: desk, chair, filling cabinet, supplies such as pens, notepads, or printing cartridges etc.


Employees should keep their Emory provided equipment (e.g., monitor, keyboard, docking station) in the location which they work more than 50% of the time. Hybrid employees will be responsible for outfitting their at home workspace with their needs, including IT equipment, desk, chair, filing cabinet, supplies such as pens, notepads, etc., unless they are virtual 50% of the time.

All Employees

Portable laptops should remain with the employee regardless of their work location (home or office). If problems with equipment arise, they may need to come into the office for IT support when it cannot be fixed remotely

Vaccination Requirements

As of July 1, 2021 all employees are required to disclose their COVID-19 vaccine. Any faculty or staff member who is not fully vaccinated (two weeks past receiving both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine), will be required to conduct a weekly COVID screening test. Please visit Emory Forward for updated information.

Other Resources