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Return to Campus and Remote Work Procedures

This document explains how the Nelson Institute implements campus's remote work policy.


As Provost Scholz and Vice Chancellor Heller wrote in their March 26, 2021 communication:

“We believe onsite connections and interactions between members of the campus community are crucial to building and sustaining a thriving campus culture. We also understand that the last year has shown that some jobs can be done through remote work. Where appropriate, hybrid strategies may be used where employees can perform part of their job responsibilities remotely but also have components of their work performed onsite.”

UW-Madison is in the process of finalizing its Remote Work Policy which provides guidance for remote-work practices across the campus. The policy is expected in May 2021. This document is based on a draft of the Remote Work Policy and outlines procedures specific to how the Nelson Institute will return to campus in Fall 2021 and make remote work available to employees. We are issuing this document now so employees can begin to plan for Fall 2021. This document is subject to change after the Remote Work Policy is finalized.


These procedures apply to Academic Staff, University Staff, Limited Employees, Temporary Employees, Student Hourly Employees, and those in Post-Degree Training Appointments and Zero-Dollar Appointments. These procedures do not apply to Faculty or Graduate Assistants (TAs, RAs, PAs).

Working Onsite/On Campus

The Nelson Institute was formed as an interdisciplinary institute to bridge the gap between people with diverse knowledge, perspectives, skills, and experiences. Building community is core to our mission, and community often develops best through face-to-face interactions.

To fulfill the institute’s mission, and help restore the vibrancy of our campus culture, it is anticipated that most staff will return to work on campus gradually during the fall of 2021. Supervisors will have discussions with all their employees to identify who must work on onsite/on campus to fulfill the responsibilities of their job. These discussions should happen by May 14, 2021.

We will need to establish a new normal for working on campus so that all employees feel safe and respected. All campus health and safety guidelines will be followed. Additionally, employees who work in shared spaces should discuss how the guidelines will be implemented in their spaces and what additional procedures, if any, they would like to follow. We are working on creating signs that employees can display on their workspaces to indicate how they would like to interact with colleagues. And we will continue to discuss and reevaluate our norms for how we work together in a way that is safe and comfortable for all.

Working Remotely

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that not all job responsibilities must be completed onsite/on campus to be done well. Remote work arrangements can provide flexibility for employees, increase job satisfaction and productivity, reduce turnover, and increase our ability to attract and retain talent.

Employees or supervisors may initiate a conversation about remote work. Requests are first approved by supervisors, then the Dean, then sent to divisional Human Resources for record keeping. Requests to work remotely will be reviewed based on whether they fulfill the criteria in the campus Remote Work Policy, and:

  1. The nature of the work
  2. The needs and potential costs savings to the Nelson Institute
  3. The needs and preferences of the employee
  4. Employee performance
  5. Job responsibilities
  6. Equipment needs, workspace design considerations, office space, and scheduling issues
  7. Access to talent pools

Supervisors will have discussions with all their employees to identify who may be interested in working remotely. These discussions should happen by May 14, 2021 to coordinate the fall 2021 return to campus, and may happen any time thereafter at the discretion of the employee or supervisor.

Supervisors should complete the attached “ReturntoCampusSupevisorTemplate.xlsx” for all of their employees and email it to Associate Dean for Administration Colleen Godfriaux by May 17, 2021.

An employee approved to work remotely must complete a Remote Work Agreement form. Remote work agreements can be modified or revoked with 30 days’ notice. Supervisors will review remote work agreements as part of the performance management process—at the mid-year check-in and the annual summary review. Remote work will be evaluated the same as on-campus work, using the Performance Management Development System. Supervisors will review remote work agreements for employees who are not part of the performance management process or the Performance Management Development System at least once per year.

Employees who work remotely are expected to attend certain meetings and functions in-person, on campus, including on days they would normally work remotely. These expectations should be specified in detail on the Remote Work Agreement form.

Nelson Institute Spaces on Campus

Employees who work remotely will always have a space to work on campus. It is anticipated that employees who work four or more days remotely will use a shared space while on campus. Employees may need to move out of their current office space. Any such office moves will occur gradually during summer and fall 2021 as we expect this to be a time of transition and uncertainty in long-term work arrangements.

Remote Work Timeline

Pending, 2021: Campus issues Remote Work Policy
May 3, 2021: Nelson Institute issues Return to Campus and Remote Work Procedures
May 14, 2021: Supervisor and employee discussions completed
May 17, 2021: Supervisors email proposed employee schedules to Associate Dean for Administration Colleen Godfriaux
May 24, 2021: Associate Dean Colleen Godfriaux notifies supervisors of Dean approved/denied proposed schedules
May 28, 2021: Supervisors complete notifying employees of approved schedules

Procedure Approver

These procedures were approved by the Nelson Institute Dean, Paul Robbins, on May 3, 2021.

Procedure Contact

If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact the Nelson Institute Associate Dean for Administration, Colleen Godfriaux,

Related Policy

UW-Madison Policy Library: Remote Work

Remote Work: Guidance and Resources for Employees  (UW-Madison Human Resources)

Keywords:On site, on campus, work from home, policy, staff, remote work, telecommute   Doc ID:110767
Owner:Colleen G.Group:Nelson Administrative Hub
Created:2021-05-12 09:38 CDTUpdated:2022-09-01 14:03 CDT
Sites:Nelson Administrative Hub
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