Lakers Returning to the Workplace

As we return to the workplace beginning June 22, staffing and services of the University will be conducted in a deliberate method to ensure safety of the entire community.

As we return to the workplace, all employees are expected to:

  • Consult with your supervisor to understand your work schedule, work expectations, the needs of your area, and to discuss your personal circumstances.
  • Complete a self-assessment before coming to campus. Do not come to campus if you are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19. Please note, this form does not need to be turned in to GVSU Human Resources or your supervisor or unit head.  If your department has an alternate electronic form, utilize your departmental form. 
  • GVSU employees are required to access and review the COVID-19 employee training material and confirm they read the content. It is expected that all employees verify reviewing the information before, or on, their first day returning to the workplace.
  • Review information on Lakers Together regularly for the most up-to-date information on returning to campus.

Guiding Principles

As we plan for Fall 2020, a ramp up plan over the next three months will allow us to be ready to support our students.

  • The University is reviewing the physical environments very carefully, ensuring the utmost attention is paid to enable social distancing, decrease density on campus, clean and disinfect,monitor air quality inside buildings, and encourage personal responsibility by providing supplies and resources to assist individuals in creating the safest environment possible.
  • Creating a safe environment is a shared responsibility amongst everyone in our community.
  • Individuals can contribute to our safety by practicing healthy hygiene habits including frequent hand washing, wearing a mask when in common areas and when around others, practicing social distancing, completing a daily self-assessment before coming to campus, and keeping work areas clean.
  • Given the current health guidance, we recognize we must reduce the number of students, faculty, and staff on campus at any given time and decrease overall density on campus
  • We will greatly limit non-students, faculty, and staff on campus by only hosting and serving of visitors engaged in university life and prospective students
  • We will have fewer large scale events and greatly reduce use of our campus to those who are not students, faculty, or staff
  • In general, if it is safe to do so, we expect offices to be open July 27th, 2020 to prepare for the beginning of classes August 31st.

Return to the Workplace-Phased Approach

Key Dates


June 5

Appointing Officers complete June and July return to the workplace planning and review with Executive Officer

June 8

Appointing Officers review return to workplace plan for June and July with their departments

June 15

Children’s Enrichment Center reopens

June 19

Limited student housing is available and move-in ensues

Weeks of June 22-July 20

Weeks 1 through 5 of ramp up for return to the workplace

Staff already working on campus continue

Gradual and deliberate return to work for other departments as determined by Appointing Officer with review by Executive Officer

July 27

Week 6 of ramp up

• Offices and other areas expected to be open
• Staffing should be in accordance with safe work environments which includes overall low density of staff in offices
• Remote work and other work arrangements (staggered shifts, alternate working weeks, etc.) should be fully implemented
• Public spaces (computer labs, libraries, Kirkhof Center, etc.) will reopen no later than July 27 if possible and in compliance with federal, state, and local   government and health agency guidance and in accordance with regular summer hours of operation


Appointing Officer Planning Guide and Staffing Protocol

COVID-19 Request for Remote Work AO Guidance

The Request for Remote Work Arrangement form has recently been enhanced in the following ways:

  1. Now in an CMS online format
    1. Includes behind the scenes routing for approval and notification
    2. HR can pull data/create reports including number of applicants and those approved
    3. Notification built in for employee requesting – no lost forms or waiting on a reply as someone forgot to respond
    4. Ensures accessibility
  1. Dual approval for request – Supervisor and AO
    1. Allows for supervisor to evaluate the needs of the department prior to AO getting the request
    2. Many supervisors expressed concern that they needed to be actively involved in this process
    3. If either level denies approval, employee and other approval level will receive notification
    4. Supervisors can help AO’s with decision making process
  • To facilitate approval, as an AO, you may want to set and communicate a deadline for submission of the Request for Remote Work Arrangement form for your area.  This will to allow for you to have a full picture of the requests when you make the decision on approval.  If others come in after the deadline, they will have to be evaluated in comparison to other requests previously approved.
  • Once approved, it is expected that requests for fully remote work will stand.  In case of changing regulations or other circumstances, remote work agreements may be re-evaluated when needed to meet employee and university needs. 
  • While the Request for Remote Work Arrangement process requires communication between the AO and supervisor, please remember that is sensitive health information.   The form, itself, does not ask for specific medical information, however, it is not something that should be discussed in large groups or displayed in a team meeting.  Please protect this sensitive and confidential information.  

Return to the Workplace Staffing Protocol

Staffing Protocol Checklist

Grand Valley is preparing for a vibrant campus experience with face-to-face learning and living for Fall 2020. Our top concern is to provide a safe and healthy environment for our Laker community. As we gear up for our return to campus, we are guided by our mission to provide a high-impact learning environment and high-engagement teaching. The University is working to ensure the safest facilities possible while following guidance from the CDC and state and public health officials.

Appointing officers (and their designees) should create a staffing plan and incorporate creative work arrangements as it is feasible to reduce onsite density, provide ample space for social distancing in the work areas, and consider the employee’s personal circumstance. This may include planning for staggering on-site work schedules; a mixture of on-site and remote work time; allowing fully remote work if it is feasible based on the essential functions of the role and staffing needs for your area; moving an employees work area/desk to enable social distancing; and other considerations. 

Given the unprecedented time we are navigating, planning and processes will be iterative, and the campus will continue to update and improve the model based on feedback received from the campus community. Continue to refer to for the most up-to-date information on all aspects of Lakers Together Fall 2020.

The following guidance will go into effect on June 22, 2020 to coincide with the start of the Return to the Workplace ramp up timeline. Please contact Deb Sanders, Director of Staff Relations with any general questions or if you need assistance, or Ed Aboufadel, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, for faculty specific questions. Please note, University policies, collective bargaining agreements, existing guidelines and procedures should also be referenced, and remain in effect.

Creating Your Staffing Plan

  • All offices must have some presence beginning July 27
  • Consideration for the start of classes on August 31
  • What work must be done on-site
  • What work can be completed remotely
  • Ensure maximum safety during the on-site work time
  • Support and enable physical distancing
  • Eliminate shared working areas
  • Staggering on-site work schedules
  • Blending on-site and remote work time
  • Allowing fully remote work if it is feasible based on the essential functions of the role

a. Appointing officers should ask employees what obstacles they may have in coming back to campus and do their best to accommodate the needs of their employees while maintaining operational and academic continuity.

b. If your employee identifies a COVID-19 related need to work remotely, employee should submit a request to work remote form. Process for considering these requests is in the employee scenario and guidance webpage.

a. Identify gaps based on staffing needs and employee needs (refer to employee scenarios and guidance)

b. Consult with Deb Sanders, HR Director of Staff Relations, if you have questions or need assistance

c. Include in your overall Return to Workplace Plan to be reviewed and approved by your Executive Officer by June 5, 2020

Wellness Resources

As we begin this journey forward together, a reminder that as a Laker employee, a number of resources are available to support physical and mental health and well-being.

Visit the Lakers Working Together web page for more information and resources on flexible and remote work.