UBC encourages staff and faculty to telework as social distancing measure

After UBC announced on Friday that it was suspending in-person classes to try and contain the spread of COVID-19, the university has also announced new social distancing measures to allow staff and faculty to work remotely.

In a broadcast email, the university announced it would begin a three-week pilot of “Remote Work Arrangements” for staff, faculty, graduate students, post doctoral fellows and student employees. According to the email, the pilot will be reassessed as new information about COVID-19 emerges.

“Starting this week, those faculty, staff, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, and student employees, who are able to work from home should do so, in conjunction with job appropriateness and in discussion with their manager, research lead, or principal investigator,” reads the email.

But staff who are unable to work from home are still expected to go to their normal workplace.

The university has encouraged staff and faculty to follow the HR department’s telecommuting guidelines for working from home. Additionally, the university’s IT department has compiled a guide on how to access email, files and tools for those working from home on personal computers.

The Canadian government is recommending that workplaces enact social distancing measures to minimize crowding and mitigate the spread of the virus. The federal public service is also asking managers to consider allowing their employees to telework when possible.

“Managers are to consider telework for all employees, at all work sites, and identify an approach that is flexible while ensuring continued critical government operations and services to Canadians,” reads a statement on the federal government’s website.

This is an evolving story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Stay up to date on UBC information related to COVID-19 by visiting ubyssey.ca/covid-19/