Managing During COVID-19

Slowing the Transition to On-Campus Work

To help protect in-person teaching, learning, and research as well as student service activities, the university is slowing our phased transition to on-campus work. This means that anyone currently working remotely will continue to, and that where operations can be maintained, supervisors can ask their on-campus employees to shift to remote work. This will help de-densify common spaces and traffic around our campuses, creating more space for students, instructors, front-line support & facilities staff, and researchers.

In preparing to transition to on-campus work, 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 transition 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 transition to on-campus work first. Phased transition will begin in August, with staff key to supporting renewed student activity the priority.
  • Communicate early and often with staff slated to transition to on-campus work. At least 30 days written notice is required for staff to transition.
  • Help your team feel more comfortable about the transition to campus. Direct them to information on the preparing for on-campus work web content or Campus Life website.
  • Prepare your space. Visit the workspace in advance of the transition 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 transition.
  • Be flexible. Be supportive. Be patient. Some individuals transitioning 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 transition to on-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 transition to on-campus work web content.
  • Promote safety training and policies.
  • Be creative. Explore different ways of working. Don’t be afraid to try something new.