When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada in early 2020, it forced workplaces such as Brock University to make a quick transition to remote work arrangements for many employees.
For many faculty and staff, these remote work arrangements have continued for the past 14 months, but as vaccines become available across the province, Brock employees are encouraged to continue planning for a significant return to campus in the fall.
As the University contemplates what this will mean for faculty and staff, it is exploring how working remotely can factor into the future design of work at Brock. This is an exercise that is being undertaken at organizations across the country, as many recognize the positive impacts on recruitment and retention, as well as job satisfaction, that a flexible work environment can have.
Staff across the University have indicated their support for a continuation of these more flexible work arrangements and understand that any future decisions around scheduling and location of work must be guided by the needs of our students and the institution. With so many factors to consider when exploring these opportunities, a working group comprised of members representing departments across the University was formed in early 2021, and a draft Work-From-Home Guideline was developed.
“As part of our overall planning for a return to campus in the fall, this group has been meeting regularly to discuss a framework for integrating flexible work arrangements — including remote work opportunities — into our workplace,” said Jennifer Guarasci, Associate Vice-President, Human Resources. “Now that we have a framework in place to begin a discussion, it’s important to hear from members of our University community who will tell us if we’re on the right path.”
Feedback on the draft plan is invited from faculty, staff and students over the next two weeks.
The document’s guiding principles and key considerations, along with a confidential survey to gather feedback, are available on the Brock Human Resources Sharepoint site here.
In addition, some supervisors from across the University will be invited to a focus group the week of May 24 to gather further input on the guideline and draft forms.
Once this feedback has been gathered, the guidelines will be finalized and shared.