Flexible work promotes employee welfare. Aalto University has prepared principles for flexible work that steer the methods of working.
Principles of flexible work
- Our operating practices are characterised by responsibility, trust and appreciation of other people’s work.
- Our operation is steered by customer orientation. Face-to-face meetings are an essential part of our successful expert work.
- Availability is emphasised even if we work at multiple locations.
- The purpose of flexible work is not to encourage overtime or extra work done at the end of the actual workday.
- Daily management is still important in supervisory work.
The possibility to, besides in one’s own office, work on a customer’s premises or from home, for instance, applies to all personnel, provided that
- the arrangement is appropriate for the unit and position,
- the arrangement works well,
- the rules have been agreed upon, and
- the work takes place in Finland.
Practices of flexible work
- The practices of flexible work apply to working in Finland.
- They do not apply to actual business trips.
- Any work done outside of one’s own work station must be agreed upon with the supervisor, in compliance with the rules of the team, unit and/or service entity. No written telework contracts are made any more.
- The arrangement can be agreed for a fixed period or until further notice.
- The university does not limit the maximum amount of work done outside of the work station.
- The duration of the workday for employees with regular working hours (mostly service staff) is 7 h 21 min on days when the work is done, fully or partially, outside of Aalto offices. The university does not want to use flexible arrangements to encourage people to do work beyond their normal working time.
- Work arrangements can be changed at any time or discontinued if they do not work or are no longer appropriate.
- The employer provides the tools required by the work. Since the primary place of work is at Aalto offices, work done outside of them may not cause any extra costs.
- Aalto employees are covered by statutory accident insurance. The insurance compensates for any accidents related directly to work also when work is done outside of Aalto offices (but still in Finland).
- Flexible work does not affect the way in which employees should report sick leaves and agree upon holidays and other absences. Any illness should be reported to the supervisor without delay, and holidays, balance leaves and other absences are discussed and agreed upon beforehand with the supervisor.
For smooth operation, it is important that employees are available during normal working hours regardless of their place of work. Depending on the matter and situation, work-related matters can be managed during face-to-face meetings, by phone or email, or by holding virtual meetings.
- An employee must be available for contact during an ordinary workday unless otherwise agreed with the supervisor.
- Customer service, receptions, on-duty service and other work duties and events requiring physical presence at the workplace are prioritized above work done elsewhere.
- An employee should also attend important training events and other events related to the work at Aalto campuses, even if they have earlier planned to use the day for telework.
The working hours are always in accordance with the employment contract, regardless of the place and method of work. Work is done, as a rule, on weekdays and approximately between 8.00 and 17.00, unless the work specifically requires working during weekends or evenings.
Employees with regular working hours record their realized working hours into Tiima system. Tiima enables the working day to be divided into blocks of varying length within the flexi-time bandwidth. If the work situation permits, a working day may be completed in several segments, as long as the segments are not less than 1 hour. A working day without any clocking entry is automatically recorded by Tiima as being 7 h 21 min in length for full-time employees; for part-time employees, days without clocking entries reduce the flexi-balance.
The duration of the workday for people with total working time can vary.
Work station and tools
The employer provides staff members with appropriate working facilities and a work station at one campus, as a rule.
In line with the policy on use of facilities, all service units are offered a multi-space office as their workspace in the future. At the new multi-space offices, the qualities of a work station are determined by the nature of the work. Not everyone has a designated work station, instead a certain group can be given a common space where an employee can choose a work station that is free at that time. Even academic employees will work at multi-space offices in the future. Special features of academic work, such as the need for concentration and certain materials, will be taken into account in designing the office. Tenure track professors will be provided with the opportunity to have private offices. Sharing, encounters and diversity - Aalto University's guidelines regarding spaces for knowledge work, learning and research 2016)
The employer provides the tools required by the work. Since the primary place of work is at Aalto offices, work done at home or elsewhere outside of Aalto offices should not cause any extra costs for the employer.
Privacy protection and information security
All work is always done with a computer provided by Aalto, so the necessary information security updates are always up to date. Attention must be paid to the handling of sensitive and confidential materials, especially while teleworking.
Remote use of some systems can be prohibited, or it may be forbidden to take sensitive or confidential material away from the actual workplace. Also, find out beforehand whether you can connect to the systems you need from your remote office.
To be noted
- The devices, software and paper materials used may only be used by Aalto employees.
- Usernames and passwords must be stored carefully, so they are not available to other people. Only Aalto employees can gain access to Aalto University's information systems.
- Computers used for work should primarily be maintained by Aalto University, to guarantee the most secure environment possible. Employees are obliged to log in to Aalto University’s systems via VPN, at regular intervals, so they obtain the necessary information security and other software updates for their computer.
- If employees use a home computer for work, they should ensure that every family member has their own username and password for the computer, so that materials related to work and the software used are only available for Aalto’s employees.
- Remember to take backup copies of information material and to dispose of the material in a secure way.
- The same principles must always be followed in the handling of documents, regardless of the place of work. Confidential materials must be stored such that outsiders cannot access them.
Insurance coverage and occupational health care
Aalto employees are covered by statutory accident insurance. The insurance compensates for any accidents related directly to work also when work is done outside of Aalto offices (but still in Finland).
Terveystalo has a specific office at every campus that should primarily be used by campus personnel. In acute situations employees can use the Terveystalo office closest to them. The services are available, even in acute cases, on weekdays (Mon-Fri) according to the office’s opening hours, but only until 21.00 at most. A visit to a specialist always requires a referral from an occupational health physician.
Holidays and absences
Flexible work done at multiple locations does not affect the way in which employees should report sick leaves and agree upon holidays and other absences. Any illness should be reported to the supervisor without delay, and holidays, balance leaves and other absences are discussed and agreed upon beforehand with the supervisor.
For more details, see
- Annual holidays
- Sick leaves
- ESS self-service channel
For more details, see
Work done by an Aalto employee abroad comprises telework when the duty does not require working in a foreign country, so the work could be done in Finland too. The employee will receive normal pay, but the employer will not pay compensation for trips or the costs incurred during the stay abroad. The policy on assignments abroad will not be applied to telework performed abroad and an assignment contract will not be prepared for a person performing telework.
In case of telework performed abroad, the employee must always contact the school’s HR manager or the unit’s HR coordinator before signing a telework contract.
More details on assignments abroad.
Telework abroad, taxation and social security
With regard to Finnish social security, employees must apply for decisions from the Finnish Centre for Pensions or the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA). If an employee plans to perform telework in a country outside the EU/EEA or in a country with which Finland has an existing social security treaty, or if the employee has an employer in several countries at the same time, this may create an obligation to pay premiums related to social and pension security to the country where the work is done. In such a case, the employee’s unit is obliged to pay for all costs arising from a possible registration as an employer in the country of work, and for costs arising from the remittance of the premiums required and the actual premiums. The employee is liable for shares of premiums related to the employee’s social security both in Finland and in the host state.
With regard to taxation, the employee is obliged to establish matters related to taxation in Finland and in the country of employment, in good time before departure.
A normal telework contract is signed with Aalto University for telework performed abroad.