COVID-19: Tips for distancing in the workplace

This webpage will be updated regularly as UO plans and responds to the evolving COVID-19 situation and its impact on our students, faculty, and staff.
Last updated March 12, 2020 at 4:50pm

Approaches to reducing the impact of COVID-19 and managing for social distancing will vary across units and departments. General recommendations include:

  • Use remote collaboration tools when possible (i.e., video and phone conferencing tools), even for those onsite in the same office suite.
  • Decrease density in shared office or workspaces, so that people are working at least 6 feet apart.
    • Ask yourself, can employees use spaces that are vacant, can they use conference rooms, etc.?
    • Can you stagger work schedules to achieve less density at one time?
  • Reevaluate assignments and activities that can be performed with reduced face-to-face interactions:
    • Convert routine and other meetings to phone calls or video meetings.
    • Encourage employees to use phones and email to ask each other routine questions or obtain service versus walking to visit offices in person.
    • Consider canceling trainings and other activities that are not necessary for short term operational continuity to avoid bringing employees together.
    • Avoid scheduling lunch meetings, meetings over coffee, etc. Schedule phone calls or video meetings instead.
    • Eat lunch alone versus as a group.

    View Social Distancing Guide

  • Consider shared equipment:
    • Stagger work schedules and assignments on shared equipment. Can one employee use the equipment in the morning and another use it in the afternoon?
    • Disinfect shared use equipment that is touched by multiple people, such as copiers and file cabinets, and increase disinfecting of work surfaces.
  • Explore and plan for flexible work arrangements.
  • Remind and encourage employees to stay home if they are sick.