Managing the return to campus

Current Status

To minimize the number of people on our campuses and prevent the spread of COVID-19, all work that can be conducted remotely must continue to be conducted remotely until at least August 31, 2021. The only exceptions are:

One-time and occasional visits to campus can be permitted by supervisors and managers according to the above criteria. See the Approval Processes for Returning to Campus section of the Safety Measures General Directives for more information.

See the latest COVID-19 Information for the U of A Community »

In preparing for the return to our campuses, the university has made the following key commitments:

  • To protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff above all other considerations.
  • To provide the best possible teaching and learning experience for our students and instructors, and the best possible working environment for staff.
  • To continue to propel innovation, efficiency, and relevance in programs and services as a leading global research university.

Some members of the university community may feel uneasy due to lingering concerns about COVID-19, and some faculty and staff will continue to prefer remote work. With approximately 80% of our students attending classes in person in fall 2021, we’ll need a significant presence of faculty and staff on our campuses.

Your role

The safe and orderly return of staff to our campuses will require a coordinated effort. As a supervisor, the university is counting on you to:

  • Consider which employees need to return first. Phased return will begin in August, with staff key to supporting renewed student activity the priority.
  • Communicate early and often with staff slated to return. At least 30 days written notice is required for staff to return.
  • Help your team feel more comfortable about the return to campus. Direct them to information on the Return to Campus web content or Campus Life website.
  • Prepare your space. Visit the workspace in advance of the return of staff to assess what cleaning, trash removal, equipment servicing, or other preparations may be necessary.
  • Welcome your team back! Find a way to celebrate the return.
  • Be flexible. Be supportive. Be patient. Some individuals returning to the workplace may feel worried, anxious, tired, and uncertain about coming back, while others may be enthusiastic, energized, and engaged. You may find you spend more time addressing questions and concerns. Productivity may be affected by the return to campus work. As staff adjust to the new working arrangements, productivity will increase.
  • Acquire the psychological safety and leadership skills to ensure your team feels supported.
  • Take care of your team.
  • Actively seek information and updates as they’re shared. Get familiar with the Return to Campus web content.
  • Promote safety training and policies.
  • Be creative. Explore different ways of working. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Contact us

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us at