As the pandemic situation changes over time, UO operating plans and priorities will continue to evolve. That might involve bringing people who have been working virtually back to onsite work or back to in-person interactions. It will likely involve measures to keep employees safe from infection when more of them resume work together in person—changes in behavior, sanitation, and spacing in the workplace.
Those strategies around who works where could change from week to week, and even from day to day.
Your role as a manager in this time of rapid workplace change is to understand the directions of your unit’s or department’s leaders so that you can translate them into actions for your team. You’ll need to understand what discretion you have in deciding where and when people do their work. You’ll need to communicate clearly, honestly, and often with your team, and allow for an appropriate level of discussion and questioning to make sure everyone understands what is expected of them.
In order to answer the questions your employees are likely to have, you’ll need to gain a solid understanding of your unit’s and the university’s plans yourself, especially the steps that will be taken to balance the safety of employees with the need for productivity.
The more informed you are about how your organization is working to keep employees safe from COVID-19, the more helpful, credible, and trustworthy you are likely to be in the eyes of your team members. And that is critical for giving them the confidence to move forward.