Departmental Management/HR Guidance

Guidelines for Returning Staff to On-site Work – Summer 2021 (as of July 2)

The university is planning for the resumption of on-site classes and expanded research in the fall, and will maintain safety protocols such as Health Check, surveillance testing, and the use of face coverings in shared indoor/public workplace settings to help support the health and safety of our community and to minimize disruptions in the event of an increase or resurgence. You may view the latest requirements before returning to work on Stanford campuses on Health Alerts.

While many employees will continue to telework over the summer, certain employees will be needed on-site to support the return of our students, the resumption of research activities, and in support of the Flexible Work pilots process. Employees not required to have an on-site presence during the summer will continue to work from home through early September 2021, although greater access to on-site work may be possible sooner as noted on the Work Arrangements interim policy page.

In Stage 3, school/unit Deans, Vice Provosts, and Vice Presidents (or an assigned delegate) will determine whether an on-site staff presence is required for the summer and moving into fall, either fully or partially, and must approve all recommendations for revised work arrangements, including those participating in pilot programs for flexible work.

Staff invited to return to on-site work, including for flexible work pilots, will be notified at least two weeks prior to the employee’s scheduled return.

For the summer, below are additional guidelines for Managers and HR Managers to consider:

  • Prioritize roles that are truly essential to supporting the operational/business needs in support of safety, well-being, and access to learning for all of our students, and roles that are necessary to support research, teaching, residential and patient care.
    • Through early September, both exempt and non-exempt may continue to work from home if their work does not require on-site duties. Staff members should be informed that this date may be changed based on operational needs, and they may be asked to return on-site sooner, if needed, or to continue telecommuting for a longer period of time.
    • Staff who wish to work on-site when their duties do not require them to return may be allowed to do so if approved by the Dean, Vice Provost, or Vice President (or assigned delegate).
  • The summer period is an opportunity to challenge pre-pandemic assumptions and pilot the various flexible work roles/functions:
    • On-site role as more faculty and students return on campus.
    • The hybrid role, a mix of telecommuting and on-site work.
    • Fully remote role (while considering whether there is a need for the role to come into the office in an emergency or for coverage in the event that other staff who are on-site or hybrid cannot come in).
  • Set rotational schedules amongst the team if more than one staff member can perform the essential on-site work so that no individual is performing all of the in-person responsibilities while colleagues work from home.
  • Provide workplace accommodations as needed for individuals at higher risk from infection with COVID-19, including those with underlying medical conditions or in a higher risk age group. Accommodations could include use of private office space where possible, provision of additional PPE (such as plexiglass screens), change in shift assignment, continued telecommuting, or personal leave time. (See the Administrative Guide and resources on the HRM Toolkit for further information about the accommodation process.)
  • Coordinate in advance with building managers and facilities to ensure that appropriate space is available for planned in-person staffing levels and there is sufficient time for preparations such as cleaning protocols.
  • Whenever possible, give employees a minimum of two weeks’ notice when requesting return to on-site work to allow for dependent care arrangements, transportation requirements, etc. Use the Return to On-site Work notification template in the HRM Toolkit.


Strategies for Managing Distributed Teams

As the HR or operational leader within your department, you may need to develop strategies to manage distributed teams as some employees may continue to work from home while others will return to on-site work. Here are a few tips to give you an idea of where to start when making plans for your unit.

  • Consider core business hours (both online and in-person)
  • Establish a staffing structure to ensure staff coverage, especially during vacations, time off, etc.
  • Continue to hold all-hands meetings, or larger meetings, on virtual platforms

Rotational Schedule Recommendation

Each HR manager should work with their team members and supervisors to determine a preset calendar of who will be in the office at certain dates/times of the week.

As an alternate option for smaller, more flexible units, you may have supervisors/managers coordinate with team members to determine which days of the week they will be in the office without having it be set the same from week to week.

Workplace Accommodations

Staff with disabilities needing workplace accommodations pertaining to the university’s updated guidance for mask-wearing should contact their immediate supervisor or human resources manager. Additional information can be found on the HRM Toolkit. Faculty should contact their department chair, departmental or school faculty affairs office, or the Diversity and Access Office ( Students should contact the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) to request academic and/or housing accommodations. Previous workspace accommodations should be honored and considered when planning workplace distancing strategies.

Return-to-Campus Purchasing Information

Departments returning to campus can generally order all supplies using the same resources they have in the past. However, the expected delivery timeframe for some products could take up to eight weeks. Because of the longer lead times, departments are encouraged to plan ahead and order as early as possible.

Purchasing protective supplies

Departments may order hand sanitizer, gloves, cleaning products, disposable face coverings and other supplies from resources in SmartMart, including:

  • Fisher Scientific
  • VWR
  • Sigma
  • Office Depot

Protective supplies may also be ordered directly from sellers on Amazon Business through Oracle iProcurement.

Having trouble purchasing products?

In order to ensure timely delivery of the items needed, departments are encouraged to purchase their supplies directly from vendors as soon as they know they will be returning to on-site activity. The EOC Logistics and Safety teams may be able to help departments identify vendors with products available for purchase and delivery within the department’s required time frames.

Additionally, the EOC Logistics and Safety teams have a limited supply of protective products in the Logistics inventory. This inventory is intended to be a short-term supply used to facilitate departments returning to work on-site. If a department is unable to order supplies directly from a vendor for delivery in a timely manner, it may request up to a one-month supply for use while it waits for the delivery of its orders. After receiving a one-month interim supply, departments will be charged for items received from the Logistics inventory.

How to request:

  • Reusable Face Coverings: Contact your DOC to request reusable face coverings to distribute to your team when they move back to work on-site. DOCs should submit consolidated orders for their units at least 10 days before individuals return to work on-site.
  • All other Face Coverings: Email directly to request disposable face coverings, N95 respirators, or face shields.
  • Digital Thermometers: Contact your DOC to request a digital thermometer for any faculty, staff or post-doc who needs one to complete Health Check. DOCs should submit consolidated orders for SOCs at least 10 days before individuals return to work on-site.
  • Hand Sanitizer (16.9 oz bottles only)/Disinfectant/Gloves: To request up to a one-month supply, submit the request directly using the Supply Request Form.
  • Other items: For assistance finding suppliers for any other items, email