Most employees will not be allowed to return to campus beginning Monday.
Employees who can perform their duties remotely will be required to telework, and units with “designated on-site employees,” like the Division of Safety and Security and Student Health Services, will require employees to remain on campus and provide “essential services,” according to a release Friday. The decision is part of several actions officials have taken in response to a COVID-19 outbreak to limit the number of people on campus.
“Challenges like this serve as a reminder to us that it is not our offices and systems that create community, but our people,” Chief People Officer Dana Bradley said in the release. “Although the ways that collaboration occurs may shift as we determine how to prioritize safety in our day-to-day lives, we are still united in the strength and support that we provide to each other across the University.”
The new guidance does not apply to student employees, according to the release. Provost Brian Blake said in an email Thursday that no student should remain on campus for the sole purpose of student employment, and students are required to move out of their residence halls by March 20 unless they meet one of six exceptions.
Students will also begin taking their classes online after spring break until at least April 5. On-campus meetings of 100 or more people are banned, and faculty and staff are discouraged from non-essential GW-affiliated domestic travel.
Employees who cannot perform their jobs with telework should remain at home, but they may be assigned new duties that can be completed remotely, according to the release. All employees will be paid during the telework period, the release states.
Officials will provide free parking for the designated on-site employees to “help promote social distancing” on commutes to work, the release states.
A staff member in a managerial role, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution from the University, said managers received little guidance about which employees are able to telework prior to the announcement. The manager said employees have learned about University decisions related to COVID-19 through social media pages like the Facebook group “Overheard at GW.”
The manager added that they are grateful to be able to work from home amid the virus outbreak, but the new information gives staff only one business to prepare to work away from campus.
Employees who can telework are required to fill out an agreement form, which includes information about their work schedule and communication with the University from home. Their work hours, compensation, benefits and use of sick time and other time off will still conform to GW policies, according to the form.