Coronavirus response: Managers must develop plans for most staff to work remotely

Eugene Whitlock, assistant vice chancellor for People & Culture, and Benjamin E. Hermalin, vice provost for the faculty, sent the following message to the campus community on Thursday, March 12:

In our prior message, we reiterated the encouragement to make arrangements for your employees to work remotely, but our message was not clear enough. In order to increase social distancing in the workplace, managers and supervisors must proactively work with their employees, including student employees, to develop plans for most employees to work remotely.

The campus is still open but in order for us to shift more quickly to alternative work arrangements, you should begin entering into Temporary Remote Work Agreements immediately.

Alternative Work Arrangements

For all employees, especially those whose work cannot easily be done remotely (including hourly, represented,\ and student workers), managers and employees should work together to develop a remote work plan to complete special assignments, projects, job-related reading or training. In developing a remote work plan, managers should be mindful of employees who may not have internet access. Some training recommendations are included at the end of this message.

As a reminder, our employees have different jobs and responsibilities and the modifications we can make to their work will vary based on those differences. There will not be one solution that works for or is right for everyone, and some individuals, due to the nature of their work, will be asked to continue to report to work.

Flexible Scheduling

Subject to the needs of the University, managers should consider flexible work arrangements such as having employees work on-site with reduced shifts (fewer hours or fewer days). This can be coupled with remote work assignments for the time not spent on-site.

Use of Sick Leave and Paid Administrative Leave

For specific guidance on the use of sick leave and paid administrative leave please refer to the guidance provided by the UC Office of the President. For assistance in applying the guidance to specific situations, please consult with the Academic Personnel Office, your Regional HR Manager or People & Culture.

Next steps

We appreciate the burden that these significant operational changes place on our employees and thank you in advance for your cooperation. Your flexibility and support are indispensable as we move forward together as a community. Please contact the Academic Personnel Office, your Regional HR managers or People & Culture for assistance in managing any employment-related issues.

Training, learning and development recommendations

As part of developing a remote work plan, managers should work with their employees to identify opportunities for both training and learning & development. The top training priority is the mandatory compliance training, which includes Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment training for managers and supervisors and for staff, Ethics and Cybersecurity training. The next priority for the campus community is Unconscious Bias Training.

For learning & development, all employees, especially managers and supervisors, should consider completing the online management program, Grow Today. This fully online workshop series is designed for all staff, from seasoned people leaders to those desiring to become a manager, supervisor, or team lead. It includes the core curriculum of the UC People Management Certificate and the full curriculum for the UC Implicit Bias Certificate.

You can also take this time to prepare to ‘Achieve Together’ (our new Performance Management program) by visiting our updated website, which now includes FAQs, program guides and employee training. You can also check out our online learning opportunities for both individual contributors and managers/supervisors.

We also recommend checking out our transferable skills library. This provides curated learning paths from our partners at LinkedIn Learning, which is another source of development opportunities that all members of our UC Berkeley community can access.

Remote work resources

Contact access@berkeley.edu with disability accessibility issues related to working remotely.