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Workplace Reimagined

Webinar May 20  |  Resources and Guidance for Fall Planning                Learn More & Register

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly changed how and where we work. We've already reacted, now let's re-imagine.

In March 2020, the University pivoted to remote work as a mandate, and it has proven to be a viable and efficient way to deliver some of our services. It also has the potential to save money, free up space and enhance employee satisfaction. 

We're reviewing the lessons we’ve learned this past year and applying them to our post-pandemic workplace. As we move to in-person instruction in the fall, we must strike a balance that:

  • Realizes the benefits of flexible work arrangements
  • Considers the employee's needs
  • Never sacrifices delivery of critical services to our students, employees, and research enterprise

We cannot return to the pre-pandemic normal - we have come too far already - and we have to take this opportunity to outgrow the expected. 

Key Milestones

  • Between now and July 1
    Davis Campus staff will continue in their current work arrangements as they have during the pandemic. 

  • Between July 1 and September 1
    Our fall planning will be gradually implemented according to these guiding principles:
    • On-site staffing will be driven by operational needs and the recognition that operational needs differ across units and some employees may return to campus sooner or later than September 
    • Our operating models for the fall will reflect the lessons learned during the pandemic. We’ve discovered better ways to deliver some services and we need to take advantage of flexible hybrid-remote work arrangements, where it makes sense for the university and the employee.
    • As appropriate, managers should begin discussions with employees about long-term flexible work arrangements and testing those arrangements. Managers will do their best to provide thirty (30) days’ advance notice of changes to current work arrangements, and afford flexibility for staff.
    • Departmental plans will integrate new tools and resources to help units identify the remote-ability of assigned duties in an objective manner to promote equitable decision making.
  • After September 1
    We will ask supervisors and employees to formalize any long-term flexible work arrangements, while continuing to reimagine the workplace in the spirit of continuous improvement and the staff experience in mind. 


Workplace Reimagined Workgroup

Representing diverse constituencies across the Davis campus and bringing broad expertise, the Workplace Reimagined Workgroup was charged with considering flexible working arrangements for Davis campus employees through a more strategic lens.

"While the pandemic forced our immediate reaction, we're going to use what we learned to re-imagine how our workplace looks with innovation, sustainability and employee experience in mind. My hope is that this working group produces forward-thinking, creative and transformational recommendations for UC Davis." 
- Christine Lovely, Chief Human Resources Officer and co-sponsor.

Recommendations Coming by May 2021

The workgroup is focused on deliverables in several key areas that will ensure UC Davis remains an employer of choice:

  • Resources & Finances
  • Overview & Focus Areas

    > Policies around Information Technology with respect to working off-site:
         –Physical Security

    > Equipment Needed or Desired

    > Costs Related to Teleworking
         –IT equipment
         –Other office items (i.e., desk, chair)
         –Consideration for ergonomic, ADA, etc.
         –Impact of strategic sourcing
         –Any tax impacts?

    > Develop Options on funding - or other incentives – for an office at home

    > Understand other campus’s approach
  • Legal, Policy & Tax
  • Overview & Focus Areas

    > Tax resources available

    > Payroll and timekeeping systems in place

    > Policies - review underway
         –Remote work policies and agreements
         –Other policies requiring revision to apply to remote work environment

  • Space & Sustainability
  • Overview & Focus Areas

    > Develop plan/timeline to step-down space leasing

    > Identify opportunities and framework for innovative space allocation – e.g. collaboration spaces 

    > Identify supporting transportation programs  

    > Green Workplace: Home Office certification 

    > Support for home worker (technology, access, interaction, etc.) 

    > Transportation – new commute practices; daily parking rates

    > Using resources that we already have (e.g. not throwing away all the furniture we have) 

    > Dialing back our utility use in less occupied areas

  • People & Culture
  • Overview & Focus Areas

    > Establish and ensure equitable methodology for determining what positions are acceptable and effective for a FWA

    > Provide guidance, training and tools for FWA for both managers and employees

    > Develop an employee relations strategy based on transparency that conveys the new mindset of FWS being a business strategy with an adaptive, strategic process—not a pre-determined end-point.

    > All recommended objectives and processes will be grounded in employee well-being as well as a DEI lens regarding all planning and implementation.

    > Focus on Flexible Work Arrangements rather than the narrow definition of "Remote Work".  Provide the advantages of encompassing all forms of FWA.

    > Examine alternative work models utilizing existing programs that can create win-win situations and positively affect recruitment and retention.

    > Re-set expectation that post-COVID FWA will look very different from During-COVID FWA.

Supporting UC Davis' Strategic Plan

The workgroup's actions are aimed squarely at advancing Strategic Plan Goal 3

Embrace diversity, practice inclusive excellence and strive for equity. Make UC Davis a place of excellence for learning and working by supporting a culture that values the contributions and aspirations of all our students, staff and faculty; promotes wellness and a culture of sustainability; and cultivates the open interchange of ideas.

What's Driving Our Efforts & Thinking

  • 81% of employees say that the option to work remotely will make them recommend their company
  • 50% of remote workers state that remote work has reduced their sick days
  • Loneliness and communication are the biggest challenges for remote workers
  • 25% of US employees would take a pay cut of up to 10% to be able to work remote