Implementing Remote Work Arrangements under Stay At Home Order

Sent on behalf of Melissa Mlynski, Senior Director of Human Resources

March 21, 2020

Good afternoon,

A Message from the Chancellor dated March 16, 2020, encouraged units to be as flexible as possible in allowing employees to work remotely to minimize the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Yesterday, Gov. Pritzker announced a stay-at-home order for the entire state that will take effect at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21 through Tuesday, April 7.

It is now more important than ever that employees be allowed to work remotely. Employees who can work remotely should do so.

Of course, even under the stay-at-home order, some essential services must continue to be done on- site. Messages sent yesterday (Friday, March 20) by President Killeen and Chancellor Koch further clarify who is deemed “essential” under the governor’s order, including police, healthcare workers, power plant operators, and housing and dining personnel.

All other units are expected to implement remote work arrangements to the greatest extent possible.  Some additional factors to consider when determining whether a unit can work remotely:

  • Does the work truly require the employee to be physically present on campus, or can the work be reasonably performed by phone, email, Skype/Zoom or some other means?
  • Can arrangements be made to either hold the mail or have a staff member come to campus once every few days to pick up time-sensitive mail in the mailroom?
  • Can certain functions that need to be performed on-site be put on hold until after April 7 without having a long-term detrimental impact on the campus community?

Units should consult with the Dean, Director or Division Head if they have questions on implementing remote work for their employees.  Supervisors should provide employees working remotely a copy of the attached Remote Work Guidelines and continue to forward acknowledgments from employees that they have reviewed the Guidelines to uishr@uis.edu.

Many job functions allow for a seamless transition to remote work while others present more of a challenge. Units are encouraged to be as flexible and creative as possible in assigning remote work for employees. This may include, but is not limited to, reminding employees to complete their Title IX training, assigning additional online training or providing professional development reading.

Timekeeping during this period of remote work should be recorded as if the employee is working their normal schedule. Employees are still allowed to use sick, vacation and leave time in accordance with university policies.

Human Resources remains available to answer any questions you may have regarding remote work or absences related to the COVID-19 virus. Human Resources staff will be working remotely but will be regularly checking emails and voice messages and will continue to support critical hiring needs. Feel free to call or email a member of the Human Resources staff directly or call the main line at 217-206-6652 or email uishr@uis.edu. We will respond to all inquiries as promptly as possible.

Finally, supervisors should continue to monitor the UIS COVID-19 Homepage for additional announcements.   Thank you.​