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Leading your Team Back to Work on Campus in Summer 2020
COVID-19 Guidelines for Staff Supervisors

  1. Institutional Back-to-Campus Planning
    1. Guiding Framework
    2. A Phased Approach
    3. Guiding Factors and the Role of Supervisors
    4. Steps to Follow for Returning to Campus
  2. Developing a Back-to-Campus Playbook
    1. Core Guidelines for Developing Your Playbook
      1. Business Needs
      2. University Directives
      3. Preparing Staff Members
      4. Phases of Employees Return-to-Campus
      5. Ongoing Implementation Oversight
    2. Other Procedural Considerations
  3. Considerations for On-Going Remote Work and Flexible Work Schedules for 2020-2021 Academic Year
    1. Provisional Guidance for Supervising Staff Members in Remote Work
    2. Provisional Guidance for Providing Flexible Work Schedules
  4. Definitions


Institutional Back-to-Campus Planning


Guiding Framework 

Given that DePauw will be open to students for residential living and learning in fall 2020, the University will support on-campus students as well as students who choose to live remotely. 

As a default, offices will be open during the 2020-21 academic year and employees should plan to work from campus, with appropriate exceptions and after a phase-in period that will be guided by supervisors and divisional Vice Presidents. Throughout this process, the health of our faculty and staff will remain our highest consideration. 

Reducing the number of faculty and staff working on campus in those cases where job duties can be performed remotely may result in a healthier work environment for those working on campus. As necessary, priority for remote work will be given to individuals who are in a high-risk group with respect to Covid-19, as confirmed by Human Resources. In addition, based on the recommendation of staff supervisors and with the approval of divisional Vice Presidents, some employees’ on-campus work assignments may be staggered or otherwise adjusted to reduce office occupancy. 

Employees who believe they are in a high-risk group with respect to Covid-19 should contact the Office of Human Resources. For a variety of reasons, even if they are not in a high-risk group, some faculty and staff will prefer to complete a portion or all of their work remotely this fall. In situations where job responsibilities can be fulfilled from off-campus, the employee should submit a work plan that outlines how responsibilities will be met, to be approved by the direct supervisor and divisional Vice President, and used in developing a more comprehensive departmental plan. Vice Presidents will need to ensure that operational needs can be met within their divisions.  

A Phased Approach

Within the parameters of this framework, on or after July 6th, the university plans a gradual return-to-campus of our faculty and staff that prioritizes their health and safety. 

Although various Indiana executive orders ended on May 23, 2020, DePauw intends to continue its current model of remote work until at least July 20, 2020, with the exception of previously designated on-campus employees and those who, with vice presidential consent, must return to campus sooner to prepare for a fall reopening.

The return-to-campus will be gradual, with University leaders taking great care in navigating government and public health restrictions, school and child-care closures, and the potential for a rising number of COVID-19 cases as the state and nation begin to increase interactions. For the health of our community, we are choosing to be more cautious in our approach.

Thus, not all employees will return to on-campus work immediately. Until further notice, we’ll continue to minimize the number of people on campus and density of people in buildings and workspaces by implementing  physical distancing practices and encouraging employees to work remotely when feasible, while still maintaining business continuity.  

Employees who are in high-risk groups with respect to Covid-19 or have additional concerns regarding on-campus work should contact Human Resources, which will assist in determining if reasonable measures can be taken in support of our employees’ safety and wellbeing.

Employees who are experiencing symptoms of the virus that causes COVID-19 or are feeling ill, should not report to work and should follow your department's protocol for calling in sick. Employees with symptoms should contact their primary care physician.  Additional CDC guidelines can be found here: What to Do If You Are Sick. If you have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, please notify DePauw Health via the confidential email at depauwhealth@hendricks.org.

Guiding Factors in Returning to Work and the Role of Supervisors

Fundamentally, regarding employees returning to campus:

  • The University will define HOW;

  • The Implementation Team and supervisors will jointly identify WHEN; and,

  • Supervisors will determine WHO.

At the institutional level, a Return-to-Campus Implementation Team (Implementation Team) has been formed by the COVID-19 Operations Task Force and is composed of representatives from Human Resources, Academic Affairs, Administrative Council, Student Academic Life, and Facilities Management. 

The Implementation Team will determine and prescribe directives around numbers and types of employees allowed to be on campus at various stages of response to the pandemic emergency. 

This team also will provide health practice requirements for how individuals must interact on campus to protect the safety of all students and employees. These protocols are outlined in the DePauw On-Campus Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements developed using information and data provided by the CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Staff Supervisors will develop a “Playbook” with plans for how to meet the institutional business needs of their areas, following University-prescribed directives and guidelines. The Playbook needs to be flexible and dynamic, reflecting the possibility of transitioning employees back to remote work at any time.

Developing a Return-to-Work Playbook: Steps to Follow 

To prepare for returning staff team(s) to campus, supervisors will complete the following steps:

  1. Create their departmental/area Playbook, using this guide, conversations with their vice presidents, associated workshops, following guidance from  Human Resources and the Implementation Team

  2. Review their Playbook with the Implementation Team to confirm approval

  3. Communicate the approved plan with their staff team

  4. Implement their approved Playbook and based on University directives


Developing a Back-to-Campus Playbook


Guidelines for Developing a Playbook

These guidelines for supervisors provide a template for evaluating the business needs of your area and establishing criteria to develop a playbook for managing your areas across the various stages of response to the pandemic. Factors to be considered include the following guidelines: 

  1. Business needs

  2. University directives regarding Health Safety and Space Planning

  3. Preparing staff members

  4. Phases of employees Return-to-Campus

  5. Ongoing implementation oversight

1. Business Needs

Develop a preliminary calendar and roadmap of the planned activities and priorities for which your area is responsible during various periods throughout the year.

Identify activities or work on which your area is usually focused on during different times of the year, e.g., summer/ fall/winter/spring, during each month, while classes are in-session/out-of-session/mid-semester breaks/holiday-breaks, etc.

Consider elements and questions including:

  • Discussions with your Vice President about vision and needs for the division. 

  • Identify your staff member(s) responsible for each activity. Who is the backup?

  • Which activities require staff to be on campus? 

  • Can work schedules for those required to be on campus be adjusted, including limiting the number of staff working together at the same time?

  • Which can be adjusted to full-time remote work? What equipment/tools or processes are needed? 

  • Are there University policies or processes that need to be adjusted to accomplish work remotely?

  • What reasonable measures may be implemented for employees at higher risk for complications to COVID-19 exposure (in consultation with Human Resources).

  • Maintaining and communicating timekeeping requirements for hourly staff who work remotely.

  • If you are a service area, identify your primary customers/clients during each time.

  • What campus areas or departments does your area depend on to conduct your work? 

  • What campus areas or departments depend on your area to conduct their work?

  • Which activities are largely done by individuals, in small groups (less than 10), medium groups (10-50), or large groups (greater than 50, greater than 100 or more)?

  • What additional safeguards, including health screenings, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, encouraging personal hygiene measures (hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, face masks, etc.) and physical distancing measures, may need to be implemented to provide a safe work environment for all staff members who work on campus?  How will you gather input from your employees?

2. University Directives

Review the DePauw On-Campus Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements around physical space considerations, health precautions, and related protocols to protect employees, and consider how your team’s workspaces, schedule(s), and services can be adjusted to meet your area’s business needs under a phased return to campus.

Consider elements such as:

  • What adjustments to staffing and/or physical space adjustments must you make to comply with these directives?

  • How can you enable employees to continue remote work, and still maintain business continuity, so you can phase your team back-to-campus over time?

  • How can you enable flexible work schedules, with attention to core departmental needs? 

  • What additional measures can you take to scaffold communication and community within your team as they continue to work in a mixed remote/on-campus mode.

  • Review and consider alternative customer service delivery methods. Are there ways to provide services with contactless options for customers? 

  • How can the operations of your office be configured so high risk individuals (those employees who, according to CDC guidance, are at higher risk for severe illness if they become infected with COVID-19) can feel safer? Supervisors should consult with Human Resources.

3. Preparing Staff Members

Develop a strategy for notifying your team members about when, if, and how they will return to work.

  • How will you notify them (email, telephone, etc.)?

  • How far in advance will you notify them?

  • How will they acknowledge that they will be returning?

  • How will you address any stated concerns or suggestions from team members about returning to work?

Arrange time to discuss the health and space planning directives with your team, provide them opportunity to ask questions and provide input, and consider how you must adjust some office procedures to align with physical distancing.

Keep in mind that some employees have circumstances affected by the pandemic that may require additional considerations, such as lack of childcare, caring for sick family members, temporary or long-term health conditions, etc., or that some employees may not want to perform their job duties remotely. Some employees may also be concerned about returning to work and the safety precautions. Refer to DePauw On-Campus Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements and/or consult Human Resources for guidance in addressing these individual circumstances.

4. Phases of Employees Return-to-Campus

Review your Playbook with the Return-to-Campus Implementation Team to receive approval for your team’s timeline for returning to on-campus work. 

The Implementation Team will work with Supervisors of Staff to create an approved timeline for returning employees to their on-campus work space, creating a work environment that allows for appropriate physical distancing to be maintained, signage that has been placed as reminders to stay distanced, encourages frequent hand washing and other cleaning and disinfecting measures, limiting occupancy in shared spaces (e.g., restrooms, conference rooms, etc.), and where appropriate fixtures have been installed where needed (e.g., plexiglass barriers, etc.).

As indicated above, until further notice, emphasis will continue to minimize the number of persons on campus, recognizing that critical business continuity must be maintained while aligning with physical distancing requirements for staff and others when on campus, and encourage employees to work remotely as much as possible. 

Timeline Used by the Implementation Team in Approving Return-to-Campus Schedules

In general, employees will be returned to on-campus work over the summer, through an additive process, on a schedule approved by the Implementation Team using the phased timeline below.

  • Situations that do not fit specifically within the outlined timeline (e.g., employees needed for campus farm activities, etc.) should be outlined by supervisors in their Playbook to review with the Implementation Team. In some cases, the Implementation Team may need to present exceptions to Cabinet for approval.

  • The percentage of employee density per building outlined in each phase is a targeted maximum that may not be achieved immediately. Supervisors are advised to use the percentage as an upper limit in considering how many team members need to conduct on-campus work and, if business continuity can be achieved with a lower percentage at any phase, they are encouraged to reflect that in their Playbook.

  • The timing of each phase is contingent upon local, state and federal mandates/guidance and health factors, progressing in compliance with the DePauw On-Campus Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements. Should health factors remain unchanged, the University will continue to emphasize maintaining the maximum number of those who can work remotely.  

  • Should changes in health factors regress, or government-issued mandates or guidance change, all employees who can do so may need to return to remote work full-time, in which case the dates of each phase may be shifted. Any changes in DePauw’s response as determined by the Cabinet will be based on recommendations of the COTF Health and Safety group.

Phase 1 (July 20):

Note: Each building should have no more than 25% of employees returning to on-campus work, with precise numbers to be determined based on space constraints and physical distancing requirements for each area.

  • Senior-level supervisors

  • Some faculty researchers who have approval from the VPAA to return to work in labs

  • Retiring or non-continuing faculty members who need to move out of their offices in a scheduled process

  • Functions deemed on-campus priorities by Cabinet

  • On-campus employees from the March - May 2020 designated phase

Phase 2 (August 3):

Note: Each building should have no more than 50% of employees returning to on-campus work, with precise numbers to be determined based on space constraints and physical distancing requirements for each area.

  • Remaining supervisors and some employees with private offices

  • Some faculty members who have approval from the VPAA to return to work in private offices 

  • Employees from prior phases

Phase 3 (Aug 17): 

Note: Each building should have no more than 75% of employees returning to on-campus work, with precise numbers to be determined based on space constraints and physical distancing requirements for each area.

  • Employees who work in shared work spaces

  • Remaining faculty

  • Employees from prior phases

Phase 4 (Aug 31 and after): 

Note: Each building may return to 100% employee capacity. 

  • Remaining employees

  • Employees providing services in transactional work spaces (e.g., UB post office counter, HelpDesks, cash receipts, library checkouts, other service points, etc.)

  • Employees providing services in open work spaces such as office reception areas, greeters, etc.

  • Employees from the prior phases

5. Ongoing Implementation Oversight

Supervisors will continue to monitor effectiveness of remote working options and consider longer-term options that support department needs, facilitate business continuity, and align with institutional health requirements.

Supervisors also will continue to monitor local, state and federal workplace safety guidance and modify plans to incorporate all appropriate safeguards, including health screenings, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, personal hygiene (hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, face masks, etc.) and physical distancing measures, as new recommendations are issued for providing a safe work environment.

Other Procedural Considerations

Additional resources and FAQ’s for related procedural considerations are available online at Q&A Employee Questions: Covid-19 


Considerations for On-Going Remote Work and
Flexible Work Schedules for 2020-2021 Academic Year


Provisional Guidance for Supervising Staff Members for Remote Work

The following considerations provide guidance for supervisors to oversee staff members who may be working remotely, either full- or part-time, while responding to business continuity challenges caused by COVID-19.  Faculty members should consult with the VPAA regarding specific considerations for teaching and research work.

  1. Eligibility - Requests by employees to continue to work remotely will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on several factors, including the business needs of the department and the University, the need for providing in-person service or collaboration, and any medical restrictions or other conditions requiring accommodation. Supervisors should contact Human Resources to evaluate any continuing remote work request, and Human Resources and the applicable supervisor(s) will seek to accommodate on an equitable, case-by-case basis to determine if providing an opportunity for remote work benefits both the department/University and the individual, recognizing that not all positions can be effectively performed remotely. With Vice Presidential approval, supervisors can assign a schedule that includes both on campus and remote work. Ongoing assessment of productivity and effectiveness will determine the continuance of remote work, and/or future eligibility. 

  2. Expectations for work hours - Remote work can present challenges and it is essential that supervisors and employees establish mutual expectations for the work schedule and/or “office hours.”  Engagement for the remote worker is a driver for productivity and connection to a team is vital for collaboration. Ongoing assessment of meeting established expectations for work schedule, engagement, and collaboration will influence future eligibility. Unless other arrangements with supervisors are in place, employees working remotely are expected to be available and responsive during their department’s regular on-campus office hours to minimize disruptions.

  3. Equipment and Information Security - Employees must safeguard university information used or accessed while remote working, in accordance with the electronic use policy and other technology policies. Please review Information Security Awareness responsibilities. Employees are responsible for protecting university-owned equipment from theft, damage and unauthorized use and equipment taken off campus should be included in the agreement. Employees may be eligible for a cell phone reimbursement, per the University's Cellular Phone and Wireless Handheld Device Policy and Procedures.

  4. Communications - Email is the primary communication medium for the majority of employees. If your team plans to use other mediums, ensure all members are trained and have the software and equipment to use all methods. Forward office phones to a cell phone, Google Voice number, or landline where you will be working and update your voicemail. Information about phone and voicemail settings is online at IT Resources for Working Remotely.

  5. Performance Expectations - Establishing and communicating clear expectations is the best way to minimize remote work issues. If an employee is not meeting the expectations that have been communicated, steps will be taken, working Human Resources, to satisfactorily improve performance. Failure to meet performance expectations may result in their not being eligible for remote work or in progressive discipline (as per the Employee Guide). Supervisors are expected to address performance issues in a timely manner and should consult Human Resources if a concern warrants disciplinary action.

Provisional Guidance for Providing Flexible Work Schedules

Providing employees with flexible work schedules, if feasible, when they are working either on or off campus can promote a greater feeling of work-life balance and job satisfaction. The needs of the department in providing business services and the impact on others’ ability to effectively perform their job duties must be considered.  



Remote Work - A situation in which an employee conducts their assigned job responsibilities from a location that is not on campus (typically from their home).

Flexible Work Schedule - A situation in which an employee conducts some of their job responsibilities outside of their departments regular office hours, as approved in advance by their supervisor. 

On-Campus Work - A situation in which an employee conducts their assigned job responsibilities from an on-campus location.

Designated On-Campus Employees - Employees and/or positions that have been identified as approved or required to be on campus to conduct their job responsibilities and/or other approved university business.

In Good Standing - An employee who has maintained regular and reliable attendance (without consideration of any FMLA or other legally required leave), not currently on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), or within the prior six months, has not received a verbal or written warning within the prior six months.