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Auburn University remains operationally open, but it is not business as usual for many supervisors.

As we have entered week three of our alternate operations model, several of you have expressed concerns regarding the best ways to assign and perform job duties, all while being sensitive to the unique challenges that your employees are facing during this period. Please know that we are continuing to address your questions via email and on our coronavirus website. This “Good to Know!”, the first in a series regarding supervisory challenges during this unique period, is also meant to assist you. In this communication, we want to focus on flexible scheduling and work arrangements.

Flexible Scheduling

As a supervisor, you are likely receiving a crash course on flexible scheduling -- especially if you have employees who cannot or are struggling to perform their duties during the normal workday. If you or your employees are parents and guardians, this may become an even greater challenge as you all address schooling and childcare concerns for the remainder of the academic year. In many cases, you can and should consider flexible work arrangements:

  • For example, if your employee is not able to work their normal schedule of 7:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., you can often work with them to modify their working hours – either remotely, or on-site if necessary and safe. Maybe they can start earlier, or later, in the day.

  • You may also ask your employees to work reduced shifts on-site (fewer hours or fewer days). This can be coupled with remote work assignments, including online training (see below), for the time not spent on-site. IMPORTANT: If you have employees who are working remotely, they must still do the job(s) that they are assigned to do, while remaining available for any assignments as directed by you or other leadership.

  • As a reminder, current employees will be paid through May 9 at their regular rate of pay, even if they are unable to perform their normal job responsibilities. This applies to all current administrative and professional employees, university staff, graduate assistants, temporary service workers, post-doctoral students, visiting scholars and graduate/undergraduate student workers who are scheduled to work between now and May 9.

Reallocation of Resources

When positions cannot be supported either in part or in whole, by remote work, supervisors may reallocate staff into departments or positions that have a need for additional personnel support. This may be within the same division or even to support other areas of campus. Supervisors should contact their department’s leadership and their HR Liaison if looking to redeploy staff. IMPORTANT: During this period, all employees, whether working on campus or remotely, may be assigned modified job duties as necessary to continue the University’s normal business operations.

Online Training

This is also a good time to identify opportunities for both training and learning and development.

  • Supervisors can review training records of their employees and prioritize any past due trainings that would be available to complete now.

  • HR Development offers several eLearning courses, and will also offer remote courses via Zoom in the next few weeks (additional information forthcoming).

  • We also recommend checking out courses and learning paths from our partners at LinkedIn Learningwhich provide development opportunities that all members of our Auburn community can access.

  • Some supervisors may find it beneficial to start a professional development book study for engagement and learning activities while managing a remote workforce.

Next Steps

We appreciate the burden that these significant operational changes are placing on you and other supervisors, and thank you in advance for your cooperation. Your flexibility and support are indispensable as we move forward together as a community. Please email or contact your HR Liaison for assistance in managing any employment-related issues.

Last updated: 09/11/2023