Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt has advised staff that from tomorrow, the 26th of March, onwards all ANU campuses will shift to remote work and study, in response to COVID-19. The movement to complete remote operations for the university is the most recent in a frequently changing strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping the globe.
In an email sent on Wednesday afternoon, Professor Schmidt outlined the reasoning behind the changes. He claims that reducing the number of interactions on campus is necessary to ‘control the spread of COVID-19.’ All university buildings will be locked, and 24/7 access will be removed from Monday 30 March. Despite this, a small number of staff will be given access to specific buildings on campus to look after on-site infrastructure, care for animals and deliver essential services. Alongside this, Daily Market, the pharmacy and childcare centres will remain open, in line with the current Government advice.
Schmidt advised that despite residential halls and colleges remaining open, they will have strict protocols to maintain safe environments for those students and staff. These protocols include the rostered use of shared spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms.
The university has created flexible working arrangements for those who may have to undertake extra responsibilities at home, and has allowed staff to spread their hours of work across the week. The full-time work week has been reduced to 25 hours (pro-rata for part-time staff).
A working from home guide will be available on the website for staff. All staff members must update details on their current working arrangements and individual circumstances through the link provided in the email.