Managing the transition to in-person work

Departments, units and faculties can establish their own return to campus schedules based on operational requirements, and are responsible for communicating these timelines with their staff.

Supervisors can also reach out to their HR Partner at any time for support.

Planning and preparing

The safe and orderly transition of staff to on-campus work will require a coordinated effort. Coming back to campus after two years will be an adjustment for many, and supervisors should demonstrate compassion during the transition.

Follow these steps to prepare yourself, your team and your office for the transition to in-person work.

Inform employees of their expected return date

Schedule a discussion with each of your employees to discuss your unit’s return to campus strategy. Provide them with their timeline for transition.

Follow up by providing your team with a letter that includes the date they are expected to begin working on campus again. Where possible, the letter should be provided a minimum of 30 calendar days before the employee is expected to start working on campus.

Review the Safety Measures General Directives
The Safety Measures General Directives (SMGD) provides guidance on expectations for faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors in preparing their plans to ensure a continued safe return to our campuses.
Prepare the work space
  • Visit the workspace to assess if cleaning, trash removal, equipment servicing, or other preparations may be necessary.
  • Confirm required building access and ensure swipe cards are activated.
  • Check office supplies, printer or copier ink, or other materials and ensure adequate supplies are available.
  • Ensure employees’ workspaces are available to them upon their transition. Assign workspaces for staff new to the university in advance of their arrival.
  • Confirm what equipment employees will be bringing back to campus when they return
  • Purchase microphone and webcam equipment if needed to facilitate virtual meetings for each desk
  • Be familiar with expectations regarding the return of computer equipment and actions related to IT that should be taken by staff.
Prepare employees for on-campus work
  • Ask employees to complete the actions listed on the preparing for on-campus work web page. Be prepared to discuss their needs and concerns.
  • Ensure all staff are made aware of the safety measures and controls in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Identify any unit-specific training.
  • Discuss the work schedule, notification for absences, breaks etc. Depending on how work is to be assigned, there may be collective agreement provisions to consider. Your HR Service Partner can provide guidance.
  • Promote a psychologically safe workplace. Check in-with each staff member to ask how you can support them during the return.
  • New employees that joined the organization since the pandemic began will need to be oriented to their work location on campus, and may need to be introduced to their in-person colleagues.
It is possible that we will have to return to remote work at some point. A contingency plan for immediate return to remote work should always be in place.