As you are aware by now, Emerson leadership made the difficult decision to shift Boston classes from in-person to online. The last day of in-person classes is this Friday, March 13. This change carries significant challenges and through it all, we remain committed to the health and well-being of every member of our community.
We recognize that the coming weeks will be particularly challenging as we are still faced with uncertainty. This decision was made knowing that you’re all highly capable, innovative, and dedicated to the success of the institution and our students.
This is a very unique and challenging time and we, staff members, play a critical role in the College’s ability to support its mission. All of your efforts, hard work, flexibility and dedication are very much appreciated. These coming days and weeks will continue to challenge us but we are resilient and we will navigate this together, in partnership with faculty and students.
In this email, you’ll find key details and resources for you as a staff member. This is a very fluid and changing situation and more information will follow in the coming hours and days as the situation continues to evolve and we obtain more guidance from public health authorities. Please review this information, and as always, reach out directly to your HR Business Partner, to the broader HR team at 617-824-8580 or via email at HR@emerson.edu if you have further questions.
Emerson’s administrative and operational offices remain open at this time. We know that staff, faculty, and students, are concerned about exposure to COVID-19 and Emerson’s priority is to keep you healthy and safe. To that end, you can expect the following as we continue to prepare for various scenarios:
- If you are sick, it is important that you stay home and do not come to work until you are symptom free for at least 24 hours. Contact your supervisor and follow Emerson’s standard sick time policy.
- If you believe that you or someone in your household has been exposed to COVID-19 (not exhibiting symptoms), please contact your healthcare provider, notify your manager and Human Resources. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
- If you or someone in your household is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, notify your manager and Human Resources. In accordance with CDC guidance, you must stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days.
- If you want to remain home and not come to work due to other COVID-19 reasons, please contact Human Resources to explore a change in your work arrangements during this time.
- If you are in a CDC defined high-risk group and want to discuss a temporary change in work arrangements, please contact Human Resources. This may include a change in location, hours, specific duties or responsibilities, depending on your current duties.
Continuing to work in these changing times:
- Our goal is to ensure the safety of the entire Emerson community, and to be particularly sensitive to those identified as higher risk. We ask managers to be flexible, creative and adaptable to individual situations.
- In order to be prepared for the possibility of having to work remotely at some point in the future, department leaders will work with their teams to conduct a work-anywhere exercise to test capabilities. This can happen remotely or in a conference room. We ask that you conduct the exercise at some time in the next week, leveraging resources like Emerson IT’s Work Anywhere Guide.
- Please assess work equipment and access to the documents and systems required to accomplish anywhere work. Please pay attention to nuanced remote working needs.
- Each department has a Business Continuity Leader* who has been working with Chris Beaurpere and the Emergency Management Team to ensure that mission-critical activities remain uninterrupted. Please work with your department’s Business Continuity leader as you continue to prepare for the coming weeks.
- Managers are encouraged to work with their team members to be responsive and sensitive to individual needs. They may range from working to avoid peak commuting times, encouraging increased social distancing where possible, and/or identifying ways for those in high risk groups to have added precautions.
- Guidelines and suggestions for managers and the department Business Continuity leaders on supporting individual needs will be available in the next 24 hours.
- Emerson strongly encourages staff to limit non-essential gatherings wherever possible and maintain healthy social distancing. We recommend employees use Zoom for any and all large or dispersed meetings, including with external parties.
- Emerson COVID-19 Website
- CDC Recommendations
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Employee Assistance Program
Senior Associate Vice President, Human Resources