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WPI Employee Operational Updates

March 23, 2020

Please review the following important operational updates:

As you are aware from President Leshin’s message on Friday March 20th, WPI is moving to severely limited campus operations to further restrict physical access to campus. Only employees who have been notified that they have emergency designation for academic and business continuity will be permitted to be on campus effective at 5pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. If you have not received this notification, you must work remotely starting on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this directive.

There are employees designated specifically for business continuity purposes during this crisis. These employees have been designated and informed to report to work because they perform functions that are critical to the ongoing operation of our organization that cannot be performed remotely. An employee that has been designated to report to work may have to report to work at a time and/or location that they are not normally scheduled to work.

Important News Regarding University Operations
Rubin Campus Center & Foisie Innovation Studio Operations: As of 5pm Friday, March 20th, the Foisie Innovation Studio closed to the campus community. As of 5pm Tuesday, March 24th, the Rubin Campus Center will close to the campus community as well.  

General Building Access: Effective 5pm on Tuesday, March 24th, only employees that have been designated as Emergency Responders will be able to access buildings.

Mail Services Adjustments: WPI Mail Services Department, located in the lower level of the Rubin Campus Center, will be staffed tomorrow from 8am to 1pm to receive outgoing mail and packages. After 1pm tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24th, the mail room window and lockers will no longer be available to the campus community until further notice. Employees who have been notified of the emergency designation for academic and business continuity will receive instructions on how to pick up mail periodically.

Vendors/ Deliveries: WPI is no longer permitting vendors or deliveries on campus until further notice. Employees who have been notified of the emergency designation for academic and business continuity will receive separate instruction on this topic directly from the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT). Please reschedule or cancel all deliveries/services.  

Remote Work Directive
As noted, WPI is not closed and all offices will still perform their functions remotely. These new and enhanced remote work measures are designed to adhere to the guidance and recommendations from our state and federal infectious disease and public health experts.

This memo provides guidance for department heads, managers, and all employees on how WPI’s time off policies will be applied during this period, as well as other important operational updates to building access, mail services, and deliveries.

Communication Responsibilities of Employees and Managers: All employees are expected to provide up-to-date contact information to their managers to ensure they can receive communications about the operating status of WPI, broadly, and their organizational unit, specifically. Similarly, all managers are expected to obtain the contact information of their employees and to regularly communicate the operating status of WPI and to continue to manage the work of their departments. During this time, communication between employees and managers is critical. Managers should set clear goals, deadlines, and expectations with their employees and ensure that departmental functions, duties, and responsibilities continue to be performed during this time.

Employees who work remotely are expected to:

  • Work their full, typical schedule and be available online and by phone for the duration of their usual workday, minus breaks and rest periods. Employees must strive to maintain equivalent availability for colleague communication, supervisor questions, etc.
  • Strive to achieve the same level of production as if working from campus. Respond promptly to communication via messaging app, email, and phone. Communicate consistently to their manager regarding their workload and status (break, lunch, working on a project, etc.). Follow all institutional procedures and employee policies including those related to employee expectations, safety, and time off.

Time/Absence entry for employees:
Time Entry for all non-exempt employees—​make sure you communicate all absences with your manager and team.

  • All non-exempt employees should follow the same time and/or absence entry procedures and enter their time and/or absence in Workday by the payroll deadline.
  • If an employee is absent from work due to:

Illness

  • Non-COVID19: Enter appropriate sick time in Workday
  • COVID19-related illness: Contact Will Darling at Benefits@wpi.edu to assist with COVID19-related medical leave. 

Time Off

  • Enter Personal or Vacation time in Workday

Absence requests for all exempt employees—​​make sure you communicate all absences with your manager and team.

  • If an employee is absent from work due to:

Illness

  • Non-COVID19: Enter appropriate sick time in Workday​
  • COVID19-related illness: Contact Will Darling at Benefits@wpi.edu to assist with COVID19-related medical leave. 

Time Off

  • Enter Personal or Vacation time in Workday

We are regularly updating our Coronavirus website, and we ask that you keep referring to the Frequently Asked Questions section.

With gratitude,

Michelle Jones-Johnson
Vice President, Talent and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer