HR Guidance on Employee Social Distancing Practices, Alternative Work Arrangements

NC State Faculty and Staff:

As you are aware, recently we shared some significant news with the campus community about our response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Campus remains open and fully operational as we transition many of our courses to online and alternative formats and implement social distancing practices.

There are understandably many questions about how we will move forward, and I want to reassure you that a large number of dedicated professionals are working diligently to maintain continuity across the institution. I appreciate your patience and commitment as we all work together to make sure campus remains a safe place to work and learn.

To further help ensure a healthy campus community and help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are asking faculty and staff to implement social distancing practices where appropriate. Some examples include reducing face-to-face exposure by using conference calls and video conferencing such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. Learn more about available options here.

Establishing flexible hours and scheduling employees who work in densely populated spaces in shifts are potential social distancing options to minimize heavily populated workspaces. While not all positions are appropriate or eligible to work remotely, such an arrangement can be an option when the employee, supervisor and work are compatible. Any remote or alternative work arrangements must be approved by supervisors.

NC State Human Resources has developed a guideline on pandemic and communicable disease, which outlines important information about social distancing, alternative work provisions including telework, accounting for absences, leave and pay and other topics. Human Resources has also developed a website with additional resources to assist supervisors and staff in considering and setting up remote and alternative working arrangements.

In the coming days, NC State will provide additional guidance and resources for employees, including frequently asked questions. Those materials will be available here and linked from the university’s COVID-19 response website. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is a resource available to help employees through stressful situations and events. If you are feeling worried or anxious about the development of COVID-19 and its impact, please don’t hesitate to use this free service.

Thank you for your flexibility as our community tackles this challenge, and thank you for all you do to keep NC State safe and healthy. Your commitment and support ensure we are able to continue meeting our mission at an unprecedented time in our world.

Randy Woodson