Gradual Return to On-site Work

June 6, 2020

To:  Faculty, Staff, and Administrators
From:  Cory Nomura, Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations; Donna Eddleman, University Dean of Student Affairs; and Jeremy Hammond, Director, Human Resources
Subject:  Gradual Return to On-site Work

As state and county governments are progressively lifting COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, we are currently planning for a phased return of faculty, staff, and administrators to our campuses.

In approaching our return to onsite work, we have aimed to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of our community.  In addition, we seek to provide supervisors with the flexibility to accommodate the demands of specific work spaces as well as the needs of individual employees according to their personal and family situations.

While the number of COVID-19 cases has been declining, we are aware many concerns related to the pandemic are still with us. With that in mind, on the Redlands campus and regional campuses the University is currently:

  • Deep cleaning offices, cubicles, lobbies, bathrooms, etc.
  • Working with supervisors to identify modifications to workspaces, common areas, and technology to accommodate social distancing and a low-density model of work life
  • Posting new signage with reminders about hand washing, social distancing, and other safety protocols
  • Distributing personal protective equipment (face coverings and gloves) and sanitizing products (we also encourage employees to bring their own if possible, as some of these items are backordered)

Attached to this memo (and posted online in the Employment section of the Coronavirus FAQ page) are four documents that will guide us as we transition back to our University spaces:

  1. Interim COVID-19 Policies for All Employees
  2. Interim Telecommuting Policy
  3. Return to Work for Employees - Guidance for Supervisors
  4. COVID-19 Return to Work FAQ

Please review these documents carefully, as they contain important information about employee expectations and work options.

As the attached policies describe, supervisors may consider individual options in some circumstances both to maintain social distancing and accommodate individual needs that might include, for example:

  • Having some people work different days of the week or in shifts
  • Temporarily relocating some workspaces for those who share areas that do not allow for 6 feet of social distancing
  • Allowing certain employees to continue to telecommute full-time or part-time in the interim

Employees should coordinate with their supervisors.

We also ask that you contribute to the safety of our community through your actions.

  • Individuals on campus must remain a minimum of six (6) feet away and/or separated by a solid barrier from all other individuals unless closer interaction is absolutely required to perform their job duties, and then face coverings are required. Employees must minimize face-to-face contact with others to the greatest extent possible.
  • All employees must wear face coverings when in the presence of others or when leaving their own workspace. Coverings may consist of a bandana, surgical mask, scarf, etc. and must fully shield the mouth and nose.
  • All employees should wash their hands frequently.
  • Employees with positions that include touching items often used by others (credit cards, computers, copiers, printers, trashcans, books, etc.) must wear disposable gloves and change them regularly throughout the day.
  • Employees who are sick with flu-like symptoms, respiratory symptoms, or unexplained fever should stay home (or leave work immediately), notifying their supervisor; before returning to work, employees should call their health care provider for instructions regarding return to work if they have been ill.

For more information on prevention and safety protocols, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Next week, we will pilot a return to on-site work on the Redlands campus with one building, the Administration Building, beginning on Monday, June 8.  If you work in this building, please consult with your supervisor about if you should report to work on-site or continue to work remotely. Doors to the building will remain locked, so arrangements will need to be made to meet visitors or accept deliveries at entrances.

Cabinet members will continue to work with Facilities Management to roll out our return to on-site work in other spaces across our Redlands campus, as well as U of R regional campuses.

We are confident that we can transition back to work in ways that ensure the safety of our community, respect individual circumstances, and support the mission of the University. Please direct questions to your supervisor, Human Resources, or a Cabinet member. For more information about the University’s COVID-19 response, see the Coronavirus FAQ webpage.