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Penn State Launches ‘Return to Work’ Survey for Employees

by on May 21, 2020 1:29 PM

Penn State has released another survey to help make decisions about potentially returning to campus in the coming months.

The university’s newest questionnaire, which is being sent to Penn State employees via email, hopes to receive feedback to help leaders plan to bring personnel back to work. Questions included cover topics such as how employees would feel about returning to their offices, what preventative measures they’d be willing to comply with, and anticipated lifestyle changes they’d need to address.

The survey can be taken anonymously, is voluntary, and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Submissions will remain open until Wednesday, May 27.

“As we’ve said throughout our planning process for the potential return to work, the health, safety and well-being of all employees are key elements that are driving decisions, and we believe it is critical to hear from those who will be impacted,” Lorraine Goffe, vice president for Human Resources, said. “We encourage all employees to respond to the survey to provide us with a deeper sense of the challenges, concerns or expectations we may face in the coming months and beyond.”

Once the survey is completed and feedback is analyzed, results will be shared with the Penn State community at a later date, according to the university.

Multiple university task forces are working on planning for students, faculty and staff to return to campus with the necessary infrastructure and processes. 

"Currently, the Return to Work Task Group is analyzing, among many items, a phased return to work plan with a coordinated, timed and measured return to the on-site workplace, beginning with mission-critical employees only; continuation of remote work where possible; creation of a 'work authorization form' specifically for unit supervisors (not individuals) to request permission for any employee(s) to return to work; determination of resources that must be in place before any return to campus/work can proceed; new policies to support a 'new normal;' health and safety measures for employees in the workplace; and ongoing public health training and communications for all employees on all campuses," a university news release said.

Last weekend, Penn State launched a similar survey to gauge how students would feel about returning to campus in the fall. Questionnaires were sent to a random sample of 17,000 students via email and are being accepted through Friday, May 22.

Earlier this spring, Penn State stated it would announce the fate of the fall semester by June 15 at the latest. Administrators remain optimistic about returning to campus come August but have numerous plans in place for any scenario.

“By providing this meaningful feedback, employees are contributing to creating a safe community for all,” Goffe said.

Matt DiSanto is a Penn State student and writer for Onward State.
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