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’s priorities continue to be the health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and local communities, and the plans for substantially expanded in-person classes have the flexibility built in to quickly respond to changing pandemic conditions, if necessary. Penn State is committed to notifying students, faculty and staff as quickly as possible if conditions require the University to pivot to a remote or hybrid teaching and learning model.

The health and safety of our employees remains our priority, and the University is mindful that individual circumstances may make some faculty members or members of their household more vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Our expectation is that faculty members who are able to teach in person will return to the classroom, but a committee is currently being formed to define the exception process.

At this time, employees who are currently working from home should plan on continuing to do so under an order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, “telework must continue unless impossible.” However, more guidance will be forthcoming for the summer and fall.

Employees can find detailed information and guidance on the Health Guidelines, Contact Tracing, and Quarantine and Isolation pages.

To help keep students and employees healthy, the Office of Physical Plant is taking a multi-pronged approach to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 in classrooms, labs, offices, restrooms, residence halls and other indoor spaces. This includes increased cleaning and disinfecting of buildings and high-touch surfaces. All desks, podiums, doorknobs, elevators, restrooms and other high-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected daily with EPA-approved disinfectants.

OPP also has placed additional hand-sanitizing stations at building entrances and other common areas, installed plexiglass shields where warranted in areas of close personal contact, increased signage and reminders of health and safety requirements, and reduced occupancy limits for 1,700 instructional spaces.

In addition, units have cleaning protocols and schedules to disinfect high-touch surfaces and shared equipment within their areas and offices. Guidance is available on the Environmental Health and Safety website. As part of these efforts, employees should avoid sharing tools and equipment as much as possible. supervisors should stagger shifts, if possible, for high-use shared equipment and establish disinfection protocols between uses. Individual employees also will be responsible for helping to maintain a clean work environment for themselves and others by cleaning and disinfecting desks, equipment, and materials before and after use.

From a building systems perspective, OPP has carefully evaluated all building mechanical and life safety systems to determine that they are fully functional and ready for occupancy, meeting or exceeding all of the building systems requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and undertaking intensive corrective and preventive maintenance for every building at every campus.

Resources For

Faculty and staff

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Travel guidelines

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Commonwealth Campus resources

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