To Our Case Western Reserve Faculty and Staff:
With the new academic year soon to start, we write to share updates to the university’s staff hybrid work program. Since the university began welcoming large numbers of faculty and staff back to campus in 2021, we all have learned far more about the benefits and challenges of hybrid arrangements, and there is now plenty of literature documenting these same benefits and challenges. Working with senior leaders, we have developed some adjustments that we feel will work best for our university community. We will continue to evaluate our hybrid work program going forward.
The adjustments are as follows, beginning Oct. 1, 2023:
- The maximum number of days worked remotely is two per week.
- The following staff will work on campus five days a week: those in the Office of the President; Office of the Provost; Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance; Office of the Senior Vice President for University Relations and Development; Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Engagement; Office of the Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Management; Office of the General Counsel; Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and Technology Management; Office of the Vice President for Human Resources; Office of the Vice President for University Technology; and the deans’ offices.
- Outside of their immediate office, college/school deans and vice presidents have discretion regarding whether to permit a hybrid schedule within the areas they oversee.
- Staff in our new Undergraduate Advising Support Office will work on campus five days a week, as will leaders in the Division of Student Affairs (including the Dean of Students office).
- We have eliminated the hybrid work petition process. We ask that supervisors send their schedules to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 1, 2023, for tax and audit purposes.
- Based on lessons learned, we ask supervisors to ensure that when working remotely, staff members forward their on-campus phones to their cell phones and respond to voicemails and other messages in a timely manner. Likewise, if an in-person meeting or event is held on a staff member’s remote day, the staff member is expected to attend the meeting or event in-person and cannot move their remote day to another day. This is necessary because of the complexity involved in tracking multiple timing changes to meet tax and other reporting requirements.
- Employees who have received work-from-home accommodations through the Office of Equity are entirely separate from the Staff Hybrid Work program and are not affected by any of these changes.
Additional details regarding the university’s most current policies and procedures for hybrid work can be found on the Human Resources website. The university also will offer an online training opportunity from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31. This session is primarily for supervisors and others involved in staff-related reporting processes, but is open to all faculty and staff. To register, please visit this webpage.
We want to emphasize our appreciation for all staff who contribute meaningfully to the university regardless of whether they are on or off campus. Our goal with these updates and reminders is to maintain the option of flexibility for as many of you as possible, while also realizing our goals in research and education.
Thank you for all that you do for Case Western Reserve.
Eric W. Kaler
Joy K. Ward