Remote Work and Human Resources

Penn State is directing all employees who have been working from home during the pandemic to continue doing so throughout the spring semester, unless notified by their supervisors of the need to return to onsite work.

  • Employees are reminded that working remotely does not include remote work from outside of the country, unless the employee and supervisor have requested and received specific approval.

We recognize that remote work is not possible for every employee across all campuses. As with the current and previous semesters, leaders and managers in each campus, college and unit will determine which employees can work remotely. For employees whose duties require them to keep working on campus, all members of the Penn State community will continue to follow appropriate health and safety measures, which include wearing masks, practicing social distancing and avoiding large groups.

Employees should contact their supervisors with any questions regarding expectations for the spring semester.

Additional guidance and resources for employees working remotely is available on the University’s Remote Work website.

Human resources and employee information

The University may need to adjust the return to onsite work process based on factors related to the pandemic. In these situations, a unified process will be established to minimize the density on campus to adjust to changing factors. In these scenarios each unit’s RTW taskforce and Pandemic Safety Officers will develop these “off ramps” or alternate plans for the fall semester should COVID conditions and resultant health and safety guidelines preclude the full return of staff to campus. These plans would include analyzing each of the phased groupings and make determinations about which employees should continue remote work based on their roles and responsibilities similar to the process that was utilized to identify returning employees on-site during the summer.

Allocation of space is at the discretion of the unit. It is important for all employees to note that units must consider the maximum occupancy of office spaces that takes current physical distancing guidelines into account. Employee on-site work may need to be staggered in order to comply with these guidelines. 

For employees that have been working remotely during the pandemic, it is advised that they meet with their supervisor or academic unit leader to discuss working arrangements prior to their return to on-site work. 

Units should also work with their Pandemic Safety Officer and Facility Coordinator to see that building operations and custodial services are adequate for the employee population in each building. 

Units must consider the maximum occupancy of office spaces that takes current physical distancing guidelines into account. Employee on-site work may need to be staggered in order to comply with these guidelines.  

Units should work with their Pandemic Safety Officer and Facility Coordinator to ensure that Physical Plant building operations and custodial services are adequate for the employee population in each building. Units must see that there are adequate procedures, PPE, and cleaning supplies for an increase in employees onsite to maintain physical distancing and proper hygiene practices.  

Additionally, the return to campus work is in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health guidelines. Currently, protocols include wearing face masks and adhering to physical distancing practices, including maintaining six feet of physical distance between another person. 

The transition strategy includes flexibility as state and federal guidelines may change. Additional information about masking and physical distancing is available on the Health Guidelines page

For employees that are working in this type of situation, it is advised that they meet with their supervisor or academic unit leader to discuss working arrangements upon the return to campus work for all employees. 

The University strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to take whichever vaccine is available to them the soonest. Currently, protocols include wearing face masks and adhering to physical distancing practices, including maintaining six feet of physical distance between another person. Additional information about masking and physical distancing is available on the Health Guidelines page.

If a Penn State employee chooses to disclose their vaccination status, they are free to do so; however, the University will not disclose employee vaccine information to other employees or supervisors. Those who choose to be vaccinated are protecting themselves, as well as others, and therefore should have no concerns about the non-vaccinated individuals in their office.

Employee vaccine information will not be disclosed to other employees. If a Penn State employee chooses to disclose their vaccination status, they are free to do so; however, the University will not share confidential medical information of individual employees. 

Resources For

Faculty and staff

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Travel guidelines

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Commonwealth Campus resources

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