Phased Approach to On-Campus Work

Please refer to the guide below, organized in steps, for planning tips, resources, and information to help unit leaders navigate this new blended work environment. The steps have been organized to help you meet your goals while you consider the unique needs of your department, faculty, staff, students and other customers.

As you identify essential on-campus work needs, use the steps to develop a phased return plan that is safe and appropriate. Complete the Team Roster in Step 3 and share the roster with your VP/Dean. Contact your unit leader, BAO or HRC with any questions.

  • Step 1: Know Where Work Happens

    The last year helped us rethink how our work is done and where our employees are most effective. Some work can be completed remotely while other activities require an on-campus presence. This step will help you consider the overall mission/purpose and needs of your department, customers and stakeholders to determine how to most effectively meet goals and objectives. 

    Return to Campus Planning:

    • Consider forming a logistics team — and provide them with a copy of this guide — to help develop your return to campus plan. This team could consist of unit leadership (i.e., chair, associate/assistant dean, director, business affairs officer, building coordinator, administrative assistant, or others deemed necessary for decision-making purposes). While this may not be needed for smaller units, it may be helpful for larger units.
    • Determine who will help complete certain sections as needed.
    • Determine what work must be done on campus and what can be performed remotely for employees who may want or need a flexible work arrangement (FWA). A hybrid team should be considered, as many employees have demonstrated their ability to work remotely.
      • Analyze the work being performed in each role, remembering to balance the needs of those we serve with expectations for work outcomes.
      • Determine if the work is customer facing.  These jobs may require onsite work for a number of days/week.
      • Identify what aspects of the work must be done on campus and what aspects could continue to be performed remotely. Is there an opportunity to develop a blended schedule of both on-campus and teleworking activities?
      • Could individuals work a few hours on specified days of the week for certain tasks instead of working onsite all day, five days a week?
    • Contact other supervisors in your department or your Human Resources Consultant (HRC) and/or Business Affairs Officer (BAO) for help analyzing role/job requirements and developing a schedule to best meet customers' needs.
    • Consider options that enable the partial continuation of remote work for those whose jobs can be done remotely while allowing other on-campus work. Options include:
      • Staggered shifts
      • Flexible schedules (e.g., Flex Time, FWAs)
      • Job sharing
      • Partial remote/partial on-campus
      • Walk-in hours or appointments
    • Automate manual processes where possible to make operations as efficient as possible.
    • Update your unit website to include revised office hours, on-campus services, etc.
    • Revise contact lists (with email addresses and current office and/or contact phone numbers).
    • Contact Ashley Flintoff, director of space planning for Facilities and Planning and Management, for assistance with fit testing your office area. Remember, social distancing guidelines currently apply to accommodate areas where all employees are not fully vaccinated. This item is subject to change based on evolving guidance from the Campus Health Committee (formerly the Public Health Committee).
    Resource Website

    Benefits and Wellness

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Update

    FFCRA Page

    CDC Resources

    (please note that WSU guidelines may be more restrictive than CDC guidelines)


    Fully Vaccinated

    CDC Critical Infrastructure Work Planning

    People at Risk - CDC

    CDC Considerations for Higher Ed

    University-wide information

    WSU coronavirus website

    Employee and Labor Relations

    Employee and Labor Relations page 


    Enterprise Risk Management and Insurance Programs

    Work injury/illness information website

    COVID-19 resources for faculty and academic staff

    Resources from Provost's office

    Ensuring Student Success


    State guidelines

    State of Michigan coronavirus website

  • Step 2: Determine Who Works Where and When

    While we encourage flexibility where appropriate, President Wilson has stressed that everyone spend some of their work time on campus — even those who can complete all of their work remotely. This is vital to nurturing Wayne State's culture of collaboration, engagement and support, and to allowing everyone to participate in the events that define the university experience. To that end, please consider these factors when planning for your team's return:

    • Allow enough time for returning employees including student assistants and temporary employees to complete the required training and Campus Daily Screener.
    • Identify individuals who would ordinarily perform required on-campus work and confirm whether these employees are able to return to campus when needed.
    • Facilitate respectful dialogue to create a "win-win" situation that addresses the needs and desires of both the department and the employee. Try to understand employees' concerns about returning to campus (i.e., vaccines, facility cleanliness, personal circumstances and concerns for family and/or self could include health, care for a family member, schools/daycare schedules, financial concerns, anxiety, stress, etc.). Please refer to the Flexible Work Arrangement Dialogue Decision Criteria for assistance in this discussion.
    • Complete the Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) form for those who may be eligible to work remotely for some portion of the work week; discuss and document clear expectations and the timeframe of the FWA .
    • Create a Team Roster of who will return to campus and their schedules (e.g., days/times – MWF 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; TTH remote) and those who will be partially remote.  Be sure to update your unit's webpage, departmental contact lists and any needed signage with this new information so your team and your customers are aware of the schedule.  
    • Initially, include only a limited number of employees for on-campus operations to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus. Please refer to the phased approach recommendations in this guide.
    • Speak with returning employees to confirm the first day of return, schedule, shift and hours.
    • Download, customize, sign and send "Return to Campus" employee notification letter to returning staff as soon as possible, but no later than 2-3 business days prior to their return to campus date. (Under "Further Resources" in HR Guide for Supervisors.)
    • Remind returning employees to complete required Stay Warrior Safe training prior to their first day back and to forward confirmation of their completion to their supervisor.  This training will be updated and required by all employees prior to the fall semester.
    • Remind returning employees to complete the Campus Daily Screener each day before coming to work. This will allow early detection of any potential cases on campus and careful contact tracing to limit any spread.
    • Remind returning employees to review the Health and Safety Guidelines for Employees.
    • Confirm returning and/or new employees have OneCard and after-hours building access, if needed.  
    • Remind employees to return all university equipment upon their return to campus. Employees should work with their local C&IT support staff to accurately inventory all computer equipment at home and in the office.  C&IT can provide equipment to help support you as we transition through the various phases of teleworking and returning to campus.
    • Discuss guidelines and expectations for safe practices while on campus; refer to the Guide for Employees and the Campus Health and Safety Guidelines, which may be more restrictive than the CDC Guidelines for fully vaccinated employees.

    Phased Approach to On-Campus Work

    To continue facilitating a safe campus atmosphere and allow your team time to plan for their return, we recommend using the following phased approach to develop a departmental staffing plan that includes both onsite and remote work. Please allow a minimum of 14 working days between each phase to allow the Campus Health Committee to assess any changes in campus metrics. This approach should help maintain a safe and healthy environment. The goal is to have your plan finalized and implemented by the start of the fall semester, but no later than Sept. 7, 2021.  Please note that the implementation of your plan may include both onsite and partially remote staff. The recommended phases below are based only on those employees who will be working on campus.

    Please remember, if the Campus Health Committee deems that there are positive changes in campus metrics, you may perform the following:

    Phase I:  Beginning June 21, 2021, only include a limited number of individuals needed for onsite workforce and workspace planning.

    Phase II: After 14 working days from the beginning of Phase I (or July 12), expand on-campus staff to include no more than 25% of your team.  More staff may be included if they have been fully vaccinated. 

    Phase III: After 14 working days from the beginning of Phase II (or Aug. 2), expand on-campus staff to include no more than 50% of your team.  More staff may be included if they have been fully vaccinated.

    Phase IV: After 14 working days from the beginning of Phase III (or Aug. 23), expand on-campus staff to include up to 100% of your team.

    Please ensure that everyone complies with campus health and safety guidelines. This approach is subject to change contingent upon changes in the pandemic and other requirements set forth by the Campus Health Committee and university. 

    Team Roster FWA Decision Criteria Tool

    After-Hours Building Access:

    This a security system designed for after-hours access that has been modified due to COVID-19.

    • Unit supervisor or BAO must sign the Card Key I.D. Badge Authorization Form. WSU Police Department accepts forms via email. Send the completed form to:
    • WSUPD needs 1-2 days to enter information.
    • Employees must come to WSUPD and present OneCard to encode and test it; hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
    • Add a building: if the employee already has after-hours access but needs a building added, they do not need to fill out another form.  The unit supervisor or BAO can email the request to Jacquelyn Triplett with a copy to Lt. Barron.
    • Employee can use existing PIN code and does not have to come to WSUPD in person.

    Card Key I.D. Badge Authorization Form

  • Step 3: Ensure Workplace Safety

    From the start of the pandemic, Wayne State University has worked to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus and implement guidelines that promote the health and safety of our community. Facilities, Planning and Management is dedicated to providing clean, well-ventilated buildings, and we have enacted guidelines and training to help everyone stay safe and prevent the spread of illness. The following are tips to provide your team with a safe work environment.

    Physical Safety Planning

    The Facilities, Planning & Management (FP&M) Campus Restart Playbook is available on the FP&M website. It provides answers to frequently asked questions as well as general guidelines regarding maintaining safety in our differing physical workspace environments.

    FP&M will work with you to devise a plan based on your specific needs. This could include a simple phone conversation, floor-plan markup or a walkthrough of your area. Determine the level of support you need:

    • Continue to follow the heath and safety guidelines for employees. Refer back to them regularly as they are subject to change based on the latest data and guidance. 
    • Reference the guidelines for maintaining safe environments in the Stay Warrior Safe training.
    • Review FP&M Campus Restart Playbook and FAQ on the FP&M website for detailed information and become familiar with the section "Area Types and Responsibility" to determine the tasks that will be performed by the units versus FP&M.
    • Assess your environment to determine the level of FP&M support needed (use below considerations).
    • Contact Ashley Flintoff with questions and to schedule an assessment of your environment for adequate social distancing as needed.
    • Work with FP&M to create and implement your unit's workspace plan.
    • Continue to use Teams, Zoom, and phone calls in lieu of in-person meetings in offices and conference rooms for those employees who are not fully vaccinated or who may have medical reasons for maintaining their distance.
    • Please reinforce how employees can protect themselves and others through constant communication and encouraging compliance with PPE requirements.

    These recommendations are subject to change contingent upon changes in the pandemic and requirements set forth by the Campus Health Committee and university administration.

    Optional considerations to assess your environment for necessary on-campus operations

    • Description of space(s) and how they are used (offices, classrooms, labs, common areas, cubicles, conference rooms, etc.):
    • How many people could potentially be together in these spaces at one time?

    Personal Safety Planning

    Refer to the WSU coronavirus website and the Campus Health Center website regularly for the latest information and updates.

    • Complete the Stay Warrior Safe training to be able to reinforce and coach learning.
    • Complete the Campus Daily Screener each day before coming to campus.
    • Advise staff to stay home if they feel unwell and consult with their primary care provider or the Campus Health Center.
    • If someone becomes sick during the workday, instruct them to go home, contact their doctor and/or call the Campus Health Center for a telehealth examination or visit. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 should not return to campus for onsite work until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation as determined by the Campus Health Center.
    • Employees who are immunocompromised should consult with their health care provider before returning to work on campus. A flexible work arrangement is available if needed and feasible. Employees should discuss this option with their leaders and the Public Health Subcommittee. Employees may also request an accommodation through the Office of Equal Opportunity if circumstances warrant.
    • Employees should continue to follow the health and safety guidelines for employees.
    • Reinforce guidelines and procedures regarding campus visitors.
    • Work with your Business Affairs Officer (BAO) to obtain masks for your unit (only if you did not receive them during previous distributions). Work with your BAO to purchase additional supplies if you believe there is a need for your team (e.g. hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, etc.).
    • Please be sensitive to employee concerns about returning to campus.  Many have not been on campus since early 2020.  Since that time, individuals may have experienced a variety of different situations and emotions (e.g., illness, death and grief, financial difficulties, etc.) that cause them to be fearful or anxious about returning to campus.  We want this experience to be as positive as possible. Many sources of support are available for you and your team on p.23.  Ensure team members are aware of how to report safety concerns. Be sure to scroll down to the "Prepare for the return" section of the Return to Campus Guide and Checklist website.

    Information for campus visitors:

    Wayne State remains open to those with business or academic needs whose presence is required on campus. However, to ensure your safety and the safety of our campus community, you must adhere to the following if you are required to visit campus:

    • Complete the Guest Campus Screener prior to coming to campus or upon checking in.  Refrain from coming to campus if you have: 
      • Experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, new cough, shortness of breath, new muscle aches, chills, sore throat or runny nose, or new loss of taste and smell)
      • Have been in close contact in the last 14 days with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19
      • Have had a COVID-19 test and are currently awaiting results
    • Face coverings that cover both the nose and mouth are required indoors when visiting Wayne State for visitors who are not fully vaccinated.

    Other Safety Resources

    Resource Website

    Police and Campus Safety

    If an emergency call: 313-577-2222

    Non-emergency help

    Police and Campus Safety website

    Campus Health Center resources

    Campus Health Center website

    Campus Health Center Testing Recommendations

    CHC coronavirus page

    Campus health ask an expert

    Restart Committees

    Campus Restart Committee and subcommittee pages

    Office of Environmental Health and Safety resources

    Best practices for cleaning and disinfecting

    CDC resources


    (please note that WSU guidelines may be more restrictive than CDC guidelines)


    CDC Considerations for Higher Ed

    CDC Social Distancing

    Housing, Dining and Campus Retail Restart Subcommittee

    Housing Subcommittee Updates

    Face Coverings

    Campus message regarding face coverings

    Guidance on face coverings

    Campus Operations updates

    Campus operation updates

  • Step 4: Assess Information Technology & Other Access Needs

    Most faculty and staff have not been into their workspaces for more than a year. As we prepare for their return, it's important to confirm that they have all the tools they need to do their job, whether on campus or remotely. This section will help you assess your department's needs and take the proper steps to ensure that your team has the tools and access to work effectively upon their return. 

    Consider how work is accomplished and ensure your team members have the necessary equipment, materials, systems, support and connections. Have all documents pertaining to the distribution and/or return of university equipment readily available. Contact Melissa Crabtree, senior director, campus and classroom technology, C&IT, for assistance in returning IT equipment and assessing any additional technology needs.

    • Confirm returning and/or new employees have OneCard and after-hours building access if needed. If after-hours building access is needed, complete the Card Key I.D. Badge/Access Card Authorization form and submit to the Department of Public Safety (see sample).
      • Obtain signature from appropriate authority/signatory for that university building.*
      • Submit completed form to WSU Public Safety via email.*
      • Employees may need to obtain a new OneCard with bar code if their card is old.
    • Remind returning employees to check the parking website for the latest parking and shuttle information.
    • Remind staff to contact C&IT for technology toolkits that could aid in working from their campus or home offices (including webcams and headsets). 
    • Please consult with C&IT when planning for hybrid meetings to include both in-person and remote team members.

    Optional considerations:

    • Now that I may have a blended team, what types of meetings, gatherings or communications are needed to do our work?
    • What changes do we need to ensure we are connecting at the right levels to meet the unique needs of employees and the university?


    Resource Website

    C&IT Resources

    C&IT Knowledge Base

    C&IT Communication and Collaboration tips

    Enterprise Risk Management and Insurance Programs

    Off-campus computer equipment information

    Microsoft Teams resources

    Teams Getting Started


    Procurement & Strategic Sourcing

    Vendor Contact Info

  • Step 5: Check Effectiveness

    As we return to campus and some departments begin to operate in blended environments, it's important to continually assess our work habits, productivity and quality. Some employees may find that they thrive in this new atmosphere; others may experience challenges. It's vital to regularly review the work being done, examine how employees are handling these shifts, keep communication lines open and make adjustments when necessary. This will help us remain focused on the mission of the university and strive for continual improvement.  

    Consider what work is being done to ensure productivity and enable employee success during this time of change and transition.

    • Review performance goals and expectations.
    • Discuss any changes and provide clear expectations.
    • Agree on measures of success and consider accomplishments along the way to larger goals.
    • Understand how changes may impact members of your team and others outside your team.
    • Gather feedback from those "upstream" and "downstream" from your team (colleagues, customers, students, etc.) to keep a pulse on levels of quality and service.
    • Support learning, sharing and applying new knowledge, skills and abilities; seek support for yourself and others to enable change.
    • Be sensitive to employee concerns over returning to campus. This has been a challenging year, and some employees may need additional flexibility and support to help them make a successful transition. Please refer to the additional resources on p. 23 that are available to you and your team for assistance in this area.

    Optional considerations to build effectiveness:

    • How can I use the strengths within my team to identify opportunities for innovation, continuous improvement and problem-solving? What ideas do workers have that meet both operational and personal needs?
    • Beyond safety precautions, do I understand what my staff believes would make coming to and being on campus more effective? How will I learn this?
    • What strategies are other units using to ensure that they are being effective in their work? What best practices have they implemented? How can I learn from and share best practices with others?

    Learn best practices.  Share best practices.  Support others to apply best practices.

    Leading others effectively begins with our capacity to build new knowledge, skills and ways of approaching work. Whether self-directed learning experiences and facilitated webinars through our Accelerate eLearning Library; job aids, learning guides or wellness seminars from our employee assistance partner, Ulliance. Seek out these learning and support resources to help you navigate change in this unprecedented time.

    Resource Website

    Accelerate eLearning Library

    Remote Work Learning & Developmental Offerings

    Note: Log into Academica before clicking links.

    Leading Virtually

    Working Virtually

    Personal Wellbeing

    Virtual Productivity



    Employee Assistance Program

    Life Advisor Well-being Portal

    Ulliance Bulletin - Anxiety During Public Health Crisis

    Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)


    Campus Health Center

    Campus Health Center website

    Resources for parents

    Childcare resources


    Mental Health Support

  • Create Positive Employee Experiences: Recognize, Reinforce & Relate

    Help create a positive experience for all employees to promote enthusiasm about returning to campus. Here are a few tips to consider:

    • Create a welcoming environment by being excited about employees returning to campus.
    • Send an email welcoming employees back to campus 1-2 days prior to their scheduled return. Include a photo or video of the new workspace.
    • Create a "local orientation" to help employees know what to expect on their first day back. Note local procedures and environmental changes that might be different. Reference the HR guide for employees.
    • Focus on creative ways to connect in small, safe groups where appropriate.
    • Create a team "Warrior Safe Challenge" to share how individuals are practicing safety guidelines; recognize team members for their role in maintaining a safe campus; identify a team goal of 100% safety compliance – track progress in meetings and reward team when the goal is met.
    • Be available, visible, transparent and honest about your experiences during this challenging time; acknowledge that it's OK to feel anxious or uncertain.
    • Give employees a voice. Ask how they're doing and listen actively to concerns; remember that responses to working remotely and returning to work are varied and unique. Don't feel pressured or rush to debate, persuade, agree or provide a solution; acknowledge and seek to understand as a starting place.
    • Recognize that the shift back to working on campus and in blended teams may require a transition and adjustment period.
    • Recognize and thank employees for their efforts, resilience and other desired behaviors; remind them that their efforts have a positive impact on colleagues and help achieve our mission.
    • Make a sign to welcome back employees and place it on an entry door or other appropriate space.
    • Model behaviors to create the environment you want to see and work in. Set the example by:
      • Completing the Warrior Safe training
      • Completing the Campus Daily Screener
      • Wearing your mask at all times indoors if not fully vaccinated, except when eating or when alone in a private office
      • Respecting fellow Warriors by not inquiring whether someone has gotten their vaccinations
      • Washing your hands/using hand sanitizer
      • Leading the Warrior Safe Challenge for 100% safety in your department
      • Reminding your team that Warrior Safe IS Warrior Strong!
      • Celebrating and rewarding success (big and small)

    Optional: Help employees explore options to respond to concerns

    Create a positive and safe environment.

    • Request "please" and "thank you." Create and sustain change through "200% accountability." Help employees understand that they are not simply responsible to follow safe practices themselves — the first 100% — they are also responsible to ensure everyone around them does as well — the second 100%.
    • Discuss options for employees when they witness anyone not practicing safety protocol. They can remind them of Stay Warrior Safe guidelines with a polite, "please." For example, "Please wear a mask if you're not fully vaccinated. I appreciate it."
    • Ask everyone to commit to only one permissible response: an immediate "thank you" followed by compliance. Period.
    • Spectrum Health in west Michigan worked for months to encourage caregivers to issue reminders. When they asked reminder recipients to say thank you and comply, hand hygiene practice improved by more than 60% within a matter of weeks. When doctors were trained to "show gratitude, not attitude," reminding became a low-risk norm rather than a terrifying ordeal.
  • Contacts

    The following individuals can be contacted with any questions:


    Restart Committee

    Email address

    Laurie Clabo, Dean of the College of Nursing and Public Health

    Campus Health Committee

    Mark Kornbluh, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

    Academic Affairs

    Boris Baltes, Associate Provost, Faculty Affairs

    Academics/Teaching and Learning

    Steve Lanier, Vice President, Research


    Rob Davenport, Associate Vice President, Facilities Planning and Management


    Carolyn Hafner, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

    Human Resources

    Tim Michael, Associate Vice President, Business Operations

    Housing, Dining and Campus Retail

    Antonio Yancey, Associate Vice President, Research


    Lauri Washington, Director, Labor Relations

    Human Resources

    Ashley Flintoff, Director, Planning and Space Management


    Amy Weiss, IT Training Specialist (Microsoft Teams, Zoom)

    Computing and Information Technology

    Jacquelyn Triplett

    Public Safety

    Lt. Robert Barron

    Public Safety