Preparing to return to campus

The return to work on campus will be undertaken in a phased approach, with the first phase beginning in early August. Faculty and staff who have not returned to campus during the first phase will return to campus between October and December, with the goal of having all employees return by January, 2022.

The Working from Campus section of the Safety Measures General Directives’ Approval Processes outlines the steps employees can take to see if they qualify to return to campus.

Preparing to return to campus when you’re directed to

You will be notified that you will be returning to campus at least 30 days prior to your return date.

Take the training. Complete the Returning to Campus COVID-19 e-training course. This 10-minute online program will help you understand the hazards and risks and what you can do to protect yourself, your colleagues, and family from COVID-19. All returning employees are required to complete this e-course. 

Follow safety protocols. Visit the Campus Safety Checklist page and follow all applicable safety measures. The university will continue to follow all public health measures that may be implemented. Infection control practices will continue as the fall term gets underway, including encouraging the wearing of masks, hand hygiene, sneeze and cough best practices, self-monitoring for signs of illness, and staying home at any signs of illness. All employees should be familiar with the most recent Safety Measures General Directives.

Identify your needs and concerns. Plan a discussion with your manager to ensure you feel safe, and be prepared to describe your concerns.

Do you have childcare or other family responsibilities that make return to work difficult? Do you have or live with someone who has compromised immunity? Are you uncertain of the safety measures and controls in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

As always, employees who feel their working conditions are unsafe will be advised to raise the concern with their supervisor. Health, Safety and Environment can assist in the assessment of safe working conditions and work with the local unit to rectify concerns. Employees have the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions. Standard processes will be followed should an unsafe working environment be identified.

Be flexible. Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic response will not be static. Plans for return to campus will need to be flexible as circumstances change.

Be prepared to identify your work priorities. This will make your transition easier. Consider: 

  • What are the goals for the first few days and weeks?
  • What work ceased and now needs to be re-established? Are there particular steps required to start up this work? 
  • Do you have the equipment you need to work with colleagues remotely and on campus?

Consider how your work has changed. Prepare to discuss these questions with your manager or supervisor: 

  • How has your work changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic response?
  • Have the functions of your role changed? 
  • What changes over the last few months have worked well? What didn’t work?
  • Can you identify new ways of doing things?
  • What tools did you use for remote work that can be added to the permanent toolbox?
  • What do you need to be successful in your work?
  • Are you flexible in the way you work? Are you interested in continuing to work from home?
  • Could the office or workspace configuration be changed to enable better collaboration or productivity?
  • What can we do better now that we are back on campus?
  • Do policies, procedures, or processes need to be updated to incorporate a new way of working?

Reporting Illnesses

Faculty and staff who are ill with COVID-19 symptoms and other conditions must continue to follow the established procedure for sick employees.

Work-Related Travel

  • Work-related travel will resume in accordance with local, national, and international travel advisories.
  • *As of June, 2021, travel outside Canada by faculty, staff and students on university business remains suspended, unless the travel is considered vital to the academic mission of the university, based on Global Affairs Canada’s ongoing advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country.
  • *As of June 2021, travel outside Alberta but within Canada is also suspended unless the travel is considered vital to the academic mission of the university. Staff who need advice about this will be guided to discuss it with their supervisor.
  • Faculty and staff, visiting academics, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting speakers must follow all federal and provincial health and safety measures when entering or reentering Canada with the intention of attending any of our campuses.

Contact us

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us at hrs.covid19@ualberta.ca.