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Guidance to employees on telecommuting

March 13, 2020

In response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) is preparing for multiple scenarios related to work flexibility for employees, including the possibility that many employees may need to telecommute. We are operating in a fluid environment with new information becoming available all the time.

Telecommuting will be extended as an option for employees who are able to work remotely as our campus situation or other external factors dictate. Supervisors will approve telecommuting on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the employee’s ability to perform work responsibilities (or necessary special projects) remotely. Supervisors will also consider the employee’s access to technology needed to complete these tasks. If approved, telecommuting arrangements should include accountability measures such as regular check-ins between the telecommuting employee and supervisor.

OHR has recently developed a process to streamline the approval process for telecommuting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If telecommuting is an option, supervisors will work with employees to outline the parameters of the telecommuting arrangement. Note that this process only applies to telecommuting related to the campus response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future correspondence will provide more details about employee leave policies, including those related to telecommuting. Please contact your supervisor or unit HR representative with questions specific to telecommuting.

For more information UW–Madison’s response to COVID-19, please visit Individual questions may be directed to All employees are encouraged to follow best practices to avoid spreading illness, including washing your hands and staying home if you are sick.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we continue to navigate this situation together.

Mark Walters
Chief Human Resources Officer
Associate Vice Chancellor
Office of Human Resources
University of Wisconsin–Madison