Remote Work Policy

Remote Work Policy (Staff)

Remote work is an arrangement in which some or all of a staff member’s work is performed at an off-campus work location such as at home. As a residential college that values the students' in-person experience, employees should maximize their presence on campus when the College is in session. Every employee helps to shape and contribute to the student experience and thus, decisions about remote work arrangements will be made with this in mind.

In some cases remote work arrangements are voluntary, while others are established as a condition of employment. In a remote work arrangement, the employee performs essentially the same work but conducts work remotely from an alternate work location. Employees will be held to the same performance expectations and conditions of employment including adherence to all College policies.

Every employee has the right to request a remote work arrangement and each manager and respective Cabinet member is empowered to consider their own work arrangements, provided that appropriate consideration is given to the service of students and impact to the campus community, including colleagues in the employee’s office and partners across campus.

The College will evaluate remote work arrangements to ensure that the arrangement meets the evolving needs of the College and takes into consideration the employee’s preference. The College retains the right to adjust and/or end remote work arrangements at any time (with or without notice) if not in the best interest of the College.

Types of Remote Work Arrangements

The College offers two types of remote work arrangements:

  • Fully Remote: Work is performed fully remotely from an alternate work location.
  • Hybrid Remote: Weekly work schedule is split between campus and an alternate work location. This can include term/non-term and seasonal hybrid work.

Foundations of Remote Work

  • Trust. The College trusts that employees will do their best work—whether they work from home, campus, or engage in a hybrid work arrangement.
  • All requests for remote work will be given serious consideration and decisions will be made in a non-discriminatory, equitable manner.
  • Proposed arrangements will be evaluated to determine what, if any, impact the arrangement will have on the student experience, workload, colleagues, and other offices. Remote work arrangements must not impact productivity.
  • The employee must be available during the assigned business hours and responsive to all communication from the College within a reasonable timeframe. 
  • Employee Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedure: The remote work proposal must be evaluated and approved by an employee’s supervisor and the respective Cabinet member prior to being implemented. 
  • Important note for requests to work remotely out of state: As part of the evaluation, the employee’s supervisor and Cabinet member must consult with Human Resources and Payroll to ensure that the College is able to meet state employment and taxation regulations. This evaluation may require extended review time as the College may need to consult with legal counsel and tax authorities.
  • Remote work arrangements cannot involve the employee working from another country due to the added cost of compliance with international employment and taxation laws.
  • In most, if not all instances, the employee will be required to attend key and mandatory on-campus events as established by the College (i.e., All Staff Meetings, special events and department-specific events). All employees, regardless of work arrangements, must be on campus for these events. Building community, in person, is a critical component of our work.
  • Approved remote work arrangements will be reviewed periodically as determined by the College. Continuation is subject to business needs, performance by the employee, and other considerations.

Remote work may also be considered on a case-by-case basis as a reasonable accommodation as provided by the Employee Workplace Accommodation Policy and Procedure.

Eligible Employees

Every employee has the right to request a remote work arrangement. However, certain work can only be performed on campus. Given the nature of the position responsibilities, the following staff positions are not eligible for remote work arrangements: non-management staff in Buildings and Grounds, Campus Safety, and Dining Services. This list of positions is not exclusive, and the College reserves the right to identify other positions that are not eligible for remote work arrangements.

To be eligible to request a remote work arrangement, the employee must not have any active disciplinary actions or performance concerns, must have demonstrated the ability to work productively on their own and must be able to meet the College’s expectations/requirements for remote work. 

Evaluating Requests for Remote Work

Requests for remote work will be considered by the College and determined on a case-by-case basis. The College will consider the following criteria to evaluate requests.

  • Evaluation by the employee’s supervisor to determine eligibility.
  • Determine the impact to students’ experience and needs including the quality of service or operations.
  • Determine the impact on workload and other community members including colleagues in the employee’s department and across campus; remote work cannot negatively impact or place undue burdens on others. Remote work arrangements must not impact productivity.
  • Determine the feasibility of the work being performed remotely. 
  • Consider whether in-person interaction with outside colleagues, clients, or customers is necessary.
  • Consider whether the position requires immediate access to documents or other information located only in the workplace.
  • Determine if regular (or assigned) working hours can be maintained. 
  • Determine if the employee will be available/able to respond to emergencies or other unexpected events in your department.
  • Determine if the employee’s alternate/home work arrangement is conducive to a professional work situation—consider privacy, technology resources, confidentiality, and security, among others. 
  • Financial cost of the transition including the cost of travel to campus for required events/meetings.

Work Hours

The total number of hours that employees are expected to work will not change, regardless of work location. An employee whose position is non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to record all hours worked. Hours worked in excess of 35 per week (or less than 35 for those working part-time) must be approved by the employee’s supervisor in advance.

Technology and Security of Data

The employee is responsible for the security of all College-related information. Confidentiality policies at the College remain in effect at the home worksite. All work for the College should be performed on College-provided equipment, including laptops and mobile devices, if issued. In compliance with standard College policies and procedures, personally identifiable information (PII), including but not limited to data that may fall under legal obligations of FERPA and HIPAA, should not be stored on any device beyond the time that it is being actively used for work purposes. Once work has been completed on PII, it should be stored securely online in a system of record and deleted from local machines.

It is the obligation of all individuals assigned a personal device by the College to promptly report the loss or theft of any device issued by the College, including laptops and mobile devices. Any questions regarding working remotely with PII or other protected or sensitive data can be referred to the Director of IT.

Questions regarding technology and security should be directed to the Senior Systems, Security Cloud and Associate Director of Technology.

Individuals working from home are responsible for all network expenses associated with their work; the College does not offer reimbursement for ISP expenses by employees working from home.

Workplace Safety

Workers' compensation coverage is limited to designated work areas in the employee’s home or alternate work location. The employee must practice the same safety habits they would use at the College and maintain safe conditions in their alternate work locations. The employee must follow normal procedures for reporting illness or injury.


The College assumes no liability for damages to employees' real or personal property resulting from participation in a remote work arrangement. 

The College is not responsible for expenses associated with working at home, aside from normal business expenses that would be incurred if the employee worked on campus. These expenses may include, but are not limited to: heat, electricity, internet, or phone. The College will be responsible for providing the employee with the necessary computer technology and accessories as well as supplies to ensure the employee has the necessary tools to complete their work. Equipment provided by the College is to be used for work-related purposes only.  

Workplace Accommodation 

If an employee has a serious health condition, the employee may request a workplace accommodation. These employees may request to work from home or another accommodation by contacting Human Resources. We have a confidential process for managing these requests. All personal health information will be considered confidential and will be processed only in accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act (VFEPA).

Leave Time

Remote work cannot take the place of FMLA or other leave or dependent care or other obligations that may affect the work schedule. Remote work is not intended as child or adult care. However, an employee’s work hours may be temporarily adjusted to meet personal needs; such must be documented with the employee’s manager, respective Cabinet member, and Human Resources in advance. Employees who need to take leave to care of a family member should contact Human Resources.

Taxes, Compensation, and Benefits

Bennington College is unable to provide tax guidance/advice and assumes no tax liabilities on an employee’s behalf. The employee is fully responsible for completing any relevant state tax forms and submitting such to Payroll for processing. We encourage employees to consult their tax advisor regarding the impact of remote work.

An employee’s classification, compensation, and benefits will not change based on a remote work arrangement. 

Requesting a Remote Work Arrangement

An employee should speak with their supervisor to discuss the feasibility of working remotely and must complete the Remote Work Arrangement Request form. The employee’s supervisor will complete the Supervisor Recommendation | Staff Request for Remote Work Arrangement form and will forward both forms to their respective Cabinet member for review. 

Employee Responsibilities if Approved for Remote Work

All employees who are approved for remote work will be required to sign an agreement with the College and confirm adherence to all remote work and other College policies. The employee will be required to provide the College with the alternate physical address (not a P.O. box) and home phone number.

The employee must plan for regular communication with their supervisor, colleagues, and others as applicable. The employee and manager must actively plan to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the arrangement. The employee must ensure a workplace that is as safe as the departmental work site, so as to minimize the likelihood of injury.

Employees who are approved for remote-hybrid work must work with their supervisors and colleagues to optimize the use of college office spaces. In some cases, this may entail shifting from single-user private offices to shared space arrangements. Considerations such as availability of space, departmental operations, and individual job responsibilities will inform options on a case-by-case basis. Managers will review proposed space arrangements with Buildings and Grounds prior to implementation.   

Employees will be evaluated in the same manner as other employees but will also be evaluated for levels of communication and responsiveness. 

Employees are required to comply with all state workers’ compensation requirements.