Fall 2021 planning resources

What should guide our planning?

  • Use your May 2020 Return to Work Plan as a guide – your Fall 2021 plan should include a lot of the same information
  • We encourage units to create these plans as “living documents” in SharePoint or OneDrive for ease of updating and ease of access
  • Plans are for department/unit use and will not be centrally reviewed
  • Understand and mitigate individuals’ risk related to COVID-19
  • Protect the health and wellness of the NMSU community and the communities we serve
  • Support the mission, vision, goals, and values of NMSU LEADS 2025 

What should our plan include?

  • List of functions that must take place on campus to support the unit or department’s mission
  • Staffing overview of how teams and/or individuals will use alternative work arrangements(See ARP 6.87 for more AWA info)
    • Fully in-person
    • Staggered scheduling (a portion of the team works only certain days or alternating weeks)
    • Hoteling (more than one person uses a designated desk or office on a staggered schedule)
    • Hot desking (desk or office that’s available for anyone to use as needed)
    • Fully remote
  • Continuity of operations plan (COOP) in case multiple employees are out
  • Assessment of safety and risk points in the workspace
    • Proximity of staff
    • Interface with the public
    • Review by EHSRM if operating differently than Spring 2021
  • Mitigation plans for each risk point
    • Safety practices such as workspace or schedule modifications
    • Policies and procedures specific to unit or department
    • Personal protective equipment usage, if needed 
    • Specialized training, if needed
    • Controlled public access
  • Assessment of potential internal action triggers, such as plans for when an employee reports likely exposure to the COVID-19 virus 

What other requirements should our plan meet?

  • Adhere to New Mexico’s Required COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers
  • Adhere to maximum occupancy and staffing limits per the latest New Mexico Public Health Order
  • Utilize signs, stanchions and/or floor decals to support 6-foot social distancing, including one-way traffic and separate entry/exit wherever possible. 
  • Maintain a schedule of stringent daily cleaning and sanitizing. Clean and sanitize shared workstations between shifts. 
  • Restrict use of communal dishware and provide single-use items in break rooms and cafeterias. 

What are other recommendations to follow?

  • Install large plexiglass sneeze guards where regular interaction is common. 
  • Install large dividers between workstations. 
  • Provide face coverings and gloves to visitors. 
  • For employees who cannot work entirely remotely, stagger work schedules to lower workplace density. Divide employees into static teams and arrange for each team to be in the office one week and working remotely for the following two weeks, for example. Avoid in-person interaction between teams.

Considerations for remote work

Supervisors are asked to be flexible with employees while maintaining clear performance expectations. Conversations between supervisors and employees should include: 

  • Hours of work/schedule: If an employee is actively caring for a child or family member, that time is not considered work time; appropriate leave should be used during those times.
  • Balance of presence in virtual and on-site meetings: Supervisors should set clear expectations on how employees should participate in meetings. Zoom or Teams should continue to be used to provide all meeting attendees the opportunity to participate.
  • Expectations for focused, uninterrupted time for completing job responsibilities and attending meetings. If an employee is unable to set boundaries for work time then the employee is expected to use leave.
  • Performance management expectations, metrics of monitoring work performance and creating a plan that sets standards for measuring productivity.
  • Guidance for entering into an Alternative Work Arrangement.

Sample Unit Plans