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Coronavirus Response Information

Information for Staff

Jump to: Working Remotely | Well-being

Due to Governor Baker’s emergency order, which is in effect Tuesday, March 24 at noon, campus access is restricted to essential access only. If you require access to campus and your access is essential for productively advancing teaching and learning or research activity please request building access here.  

We prioritize your health and well-being and have updated our plans for workplace solutions that help prevent or slow the spread of disease. Below are guidelines and policies to help you navigate your work environments during this time. Contact Assistant Dean for Human Resources Kelly Deliberato with questions and concerns.

Working Remotely

  • Staff are asked to work remotely in nearly all cases. Due to Governor Baker’s emergency order, which is in effect Tuesday, March 24 at noon, campus access is restricted to essential access only. If you require access to campus and your access is essential for productively advancing teaching and learning or research activity please email security@gse.harvard.edu.  
  • Managers and teams should make sure that the communities they serve know how to reach them and we will be following up to provide additional support to do this.
  • If you have challenges in working remotely, you and your manager should be in touch with Human Resources so that we can think creatively with you about how to address your challenge(s) and support you during this time.
  • HGSE IT services has ensured that staff have the appropriate tools to carry out teaching, research, and administrative functions remotely. HGSE will support the use of communications technologies such as Zoom, which is available to all HGSE affiliates. For more information about using Zoom, refer to Zoom 101 — Facts and Resources for the HGSE Community. Review HR's Remote Work Resources to understand guidelines and best practices for flex work.
  • If you have need to care for others, consider talking with your manager about flexing your hours as you are able and your role permits.   You may be able to do work early in the morning and then again over the course of the day/evening to work your full daily schedule. Excerpt from Harvard Workplace Policies:


    Employees may use paid family and dependent care sick time to care for immediate family and household members who are not ill but need care due to any COVID-19 related closures of schools or day care centers, or for other breakdowns in care arrangements. (Normally, Harvard’s flexible work guidelines prohibit remote workers from simultaneously caring for dependent family members. Those guidelines are being relaxed in these extraordinary circumstances.) Employees may not bring affected children or elders to work with them, even if the children or elders are well.

    • If not working in order to actively care for dependents or household members – use dependent care sick time
    • If working remotely with relatively self-sufficient dependents or household members at home due to COVID-19 disruptions – no need to report the use of paid time off

Staff Well-being

Many of us are facing challenges with school and daycare closures, as well as a host of additional family-related issues, concerns about your courses and research responsibilities, and the general stress of social distancing and uncertainty. We need to take care of ourselves. Please see information below regarding virtual sessions and resources to help you maintain your mental well-being, during this time.

Human Resources Open Zoom Sessions:

HGSE Human Resources Office is hosting a daily 30-minute session for anyone who would like to ask non-confidential questions. These are open, and people can join any time during the session. We will add more open sessions as needed but you should also feel free to reach out to your HR representative for any questions you have.

When: Daily 10-10:30 a.m.
How: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/238741370

Taking Good Care of Ourselves

The Office of Work Life has moved all spring mindfulness programming on-line. Please see their offerings here. A few resources they asked that we highlight:

  1. All of the spring mindfulness classes will now be held virtually. If you have already signed up, you will receive an e-mail with a Zoom link. If you have not yet signed up, take a look at what is available.
  2. The Team behind the 10% Happier app is offering a daily chat and free sessions on the app to help us through these challenging times. They have been working with their teachers to develop relevant guided meditations in our app for free. Every weekday at 3 p.m. EST, they'll offer a free live sanity break, featuring Dan Harris, and some of the world's best meditation teachers.
  3. Jonathan Levene, from ClearSight Leadership, will be offering a free 6-week mindfulness program, delivered virtually via Zoom on Tuesday evenings at 8 p.m., beginning in April. The program is designed as an introductory course for parents with little or no experience with mindfulness. It will help to establish a virtual community of support and build essential skills in stress reduction and personal resilience. Complete this form to sign up for the program.