Yes, it will be different when you return to working on campus. This will be a transition that we will work through together, and things will change as we go. Some of us have been working on campus, and some of us haven’t been on campus since March. Some of us are excited to get back to campus and some of us are hesitant, so the transition will be different for each person. Here are some things you may be wondering about.
Will everyone be wearing face masks?
Yes – employees, students, and visitors will be wearing face masks. The Employee Workplace Expectations states that face masks or face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in any setting in which it is difficult or impossible to maintain a six-foot physical distance from others. If you are working alone at your work station, you probably wouldn’t need a face covering, but if you go to a common area (ex. copier), bring something to another office, or leave the building at the end of your work day, for example, you would put your face mask on.
Will everyone be back to campus on July 1st?
No – a lot of employees will continue working remotely, so there will be a lot less people on campus than before. Some offices/areas may not be open or will be open limited hours. Some offices will have limited staff and may require appointments to be made ahead of time, instead of allowing drop-ins. You will see less people in the hallways, as remote communication (ex. Microsoft Teams, emails, etc.) will be encouraged as opposed to face-to-face interaction.
How will my work area look different?
If there is a waiting area, there may be less chairs available to allow for social distancing. There may be plexiglass at the front desk. The conference room may have less chairs, and markings showing where a limited number of people could sit for necessary in-person meetings. There will be cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer available. There may be less chairs in the lunch room.
What else will look different on campus?
Common areas, such as group study areas in the library or seating areas in the tunnels may be inaccessible or closed off. Dining options may be limited. You will see hand sanitizing stations around campus. Signs are posted around campus reminding people to wash their hands, etc. Some restrooms and entry/exit points to campus will be closed or inaccessible. There will be signs by the elevators recommending social distancing.
Will I be expected to clean my work area?
Yes – it is important for you and your co-workers that our work areas are clean, so we will all work together to keep campus clean. Before and after using the copier or microwave, you would use the cleaning supplies to wipe it down. Common touch points should be cleaned daily, such as doorknobs, light switches, shared equipment, etc. Reception or front desk areas should be cleaned throughout the day.
Will we still have department and in-person meetings in the conference room?
Probably not – even if some staff members are working on campus, most meetings will still be conducted remotely using Microsoft Teams, etc. with each person attending from their individual work station, whether it’s on campus or at home. Instead of walking through campus to ask a question in-person, we will send an email or call.
Do I really stay home if I have a cough or sore throat?
Yes – each morning before you work on campus, you would complete the online self assessment, and if you answer Yes to any of the questions, you should not come to campus. Contact your supervisor and work from home, or if working from home is not possible, use sick leave.
This will be a change, and it will take time to get used to the new environment and expectations. Please continue to be understanding, and help each other out. One of the things that isn’t going to be different, is that we care about each other, and have a common goal of doing the best we can for our co-workers, students and our University. Here are some additional resources:
- Employee Assistance Program – (Username: SOWI) They have free and confidential in-person and virtual counseling services available for you and your household members, as well as great resources online such as monthly articles and recorded webinars. There are eight recorded webinars specifically about COVID, such as Kids and COVID-19 – Tips to Help Parents, Navigating the Anxiety and Stress of COVID-19, and Towards a New Workplace Normal in the Age of COVID-19.
- StayWell – After logging in, click on Resources at the top left, and there are a ton of short articles and videos specifically about COVID, such as How to Talk to Y0ur Child, Simple Ways to Avoid COVID-19, Caring for Someone Who Has COVID-19, Financial Well-Being During a Time of Crisis, and Dealing with the Stress of Self-Isolation.
- Employee Workplace Expectations
- UW-Green Bay Coronavirus Information and Questions and Answers
- HR Connect blog
Each situation and work environment is different, so please talk with your supervisor if you have a question about your job duties, work environment, etc. If you have a question related to a medical issue, please contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.