Remote work at UBC

An opportunity to reimagine how we work

Many of us at UBC have experienced some form of remote work since March 2020 as a result of BC’s public health orders. With these orders shifting, and students returning to campus in September 2021, we have the opportunity to consider how future work arrangements will continue to make UBC an inspiring place for students to learn, as well as for faculty and staff to research, teach and work.

At the centre of the remote work program is the need to preserve the student experience, advance the academic mission, support research excellence and impact, and maintain the high quality of our programs. Creating a flexible workplace environment will support a range of UBC’s institutional goals, including the attraction and retention of faculty and staff, as well as our commitments to inclusion, wellbeing, and climate action.

The new remote work program is modelled to respect the highly different roles and contexts that exist across UBC, while continuing to support the student experience and academic mandate of the university. Our academic mission depends on face-to-face teaching and learning, as well as on the interpersonal interactions that catalyze and drive research and innovation. There is a need for many faculty and staff to work fully on-campus by virtue of their roles in research, teaching, creative activity, or administration. Many others, notably faculty, have always worked remotely at least some of the time. Remote work arrangements will not be suitable for all roles or teams.

Staff and leaders alike need to understand the objectives, principles, guidelines and considerations of the remote work program. The information on the following pages is the basis for decision-making and the remote work agreement. Employees who are interested in entering into a Remote Work Agreement are encouraged to speak with their supervisor or manager. Leaders will then consider the arrangements of the individual as well as the team.

About the program

The first year of the remote work program (September 2021 – August 2022) will be transitional, and the following parameters will apply:

  • 100% remote work arrangements will not be considered at this time
  • All remote work arrangements will be approved on an individual basis with consideration to the impact on the team
  • A formal agreement in Workday will be required for all remote work arrangements

Next steps

The information on the following pages is designed to inform employees and their leaders about the remote work program and provide support through this process. 

  1. Review the objectives, principles and guidelines of the remote work program.
  2. Review the information for employees—and for leaders, if applicable to you—to familiarize yourself with the remote work program.
  3. If you are interested in participating in the program, start by having an informed conversation with your supervisor.
  4. Once you have discussed options with your supervisor and come to an understanding, complete a Remote Work Agreement in Workday.
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