Remote work to continue throughout spring semester, where possible

Employees to telecommute in continued effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

University employees who have been working from home during the fall semester will continue to do so for the remainder of the calendar year, as well as spring semester. Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

Penn State is directing all employees who have been working from home during the fall semester to continue doing so following the transition to remote learning on Nov. 20 and throughout the upcoming spring semester, if not notified by their supervisors of the need to return to onsite work. This decision aligns with Gov. Tom Wolf's order mandating telework, whenever possible. 

In association with the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s efforts, the decision also is a continuation of the University’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and promote the health and well-being of Penn State students, faculty, staff and surrounding local communities. 

While positive COVID-19 cases remain stable at Penn State campuses, climbing numbers of cases within the commonwealth and on a national and global scale have further solidified the need to continue remote work as a primary mitigation measure. 

However, employees are reminded that "remote from home" does not include remote work from outside of the country unless the employee and supervisor have requested and received specific approval.

The University recognizes that telecommuting is not possible for every employee across all campuses. As with the current and previous semesters, leaders and managers in each campus, college and unit will determine which employees can telecommute. For employees whose duties require them to keep working on campus, the University will continue to follow appropriate health and safety measures, which include wearing masks, practicing social distancing and other similar actions.

Faculty will continue to instruct students through a combination of in-person, hybrid and online classes during the spring semester. For the remainder of the fall semester following Nov. 30, faculty will be permitted to utilize classrooms for remote instruction. Details on classroom use can be found on the Penn State Virus Info website. In partnership with faculty members, deans and department heads will determine the modes of instruction for specific courses and programs. 

Employees in the Applied Research Laboratory should continue to follow ARL-specific guidelines to maintain critical national security needs while promoting health and safety through maximizing social distancing and masking while adopting remote working protocols. 

On-campus research can continue using safety protocols currently in place, including maximizing social distancing and requiring universal masking. Guidelines for sustaining safe research during the pandemic can be found here.   

Employees should contact their supervisors with any questions regarding expectations for the remainder of the year and for the upcoming spring semester. 

For the latest updates and information on Penn State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including an extensive FAQ and critical information specific for students, faculty and staff, visit online.


Last Updated January 14, 2021