We are now starting to gradually return to a working life without pandemic restrictions.
Two working groups have been set up. One, led by Roger Pettersson, is focusing on teaching and examination in a post-covid environment. The other one, led by Anna-Karin Olofsdotter, is focusing on the work environment and flexible ways of working.
”It’s too soon to start talking about how things will be done at SLU in the new year. First, we need to thoroughly analyse the experience we’ve gained and look at these issues in a group with broad representation,” explains HR Director Anna-Karin Olofsdotter.
More flexible ways of working was a topic on the agenda even before the pandemic, but the fact that we had to make this radical transition more or less overnight has made it more of a priority.
”We were already combining digital and analogue ways of working at SLU, but the pandemic has had an impact on competence, possibilities and expectations when it comes to increased use of digital working methods. We need a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of different ways of working.”
Last week, the vice-chancellor approved guidelines for a gradual return to work as pandemic restrictions have now been lifted.
”It’ll be a gradual return. During November and December, those who’ve had to work from home are expected back in the office two days a week. We’ve chosen to do things this way to allow managers sufficient time to do a risk and impact assessment for their part of the organisation. To support managers in this, there is a checklist.”
The gradual return also means more staff and students are expected to be vaccinated by the time they return to our campuses. As a public authority, SLU cannot require that staff or students get vaccinated, but the Public Health Agency of Sweden has issued special advice for adults who have not been vaccinated. (https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-press/nyhetsarkiv/2021/september/ovaccinerade-bor-fortsatta-vara-forsiktiga-efter-den-29-september/) (In Swedish only)
”SLU has applied the Public Health Agency guidelines throughout the pandemic, and one of these guidelines is that everyone should get vaccinated. It’s the best protection against serious illness or death due to Covid-19.”
As restrictions have now been lifted, those who wish to return to their place of work are welcome to do so.
“One of the most important things to keep in mind is that we must continue to do everything we can to prevent the spread of infection on our campuses. It’s not just the coronavirus that causes illness, we can all help create healthy places of work by observing good hand hygiene and staying at home when we feel ill or show symptoms.”