UC Berkeley staff, faculty advised to continue remote work through 2020

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Faculty and staff were directed by campus administration Monday to largely continue to work from home for the remainder of 2020 because of COVID-19.

The email informing faculty and staff of this decision was sent by UC Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Eugene Whitlock and Vice Provost for the Faculty Benjamin Hermalin. They advised employees who can work “effectively and efficiently” from home to continue to do so through Jan. 1, 2021 and said it will not be possible to accommodate all requests to return to campus.

“In the coming months, although the public health crisis will continue to evolve, the campus will begin gradually increasing on-campus operations, consistent with orders issued by public health authorities, and in close coordination with them,” Whitlock and Hermalin said in the email.

They added that this timeline of prolonged virtual work could change based on whether pandemic conditions improve or worsen, and said their goal is to keep the population density of on-campus buildings low to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Determination of where people will work will be made in conjunction with supervisors, according to the email.

“Supervisors should be willing to accept some loss of performance and efficiency in order to retain experienced and skilled employees who have temporary limitations due to COVID-19,” Whitlock and Hermalin said in the email. “Supervisors will only be permitted to require the return to on-site work of those employees for whom being on-site is necessary.”

In the coming weeks, some employees will be asked to return to on-campus work.

Kate Finman is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.