Workplace Assessment

As BGSU prepares to repopulate our campus, we need to do so safely. There will be inherent risk in all activities, however, a calculated and thorough return to work plan allows us to mitigate much of this risk. The following guidelines are designed to assist each department in completing an assessment of their office space layout and use, staffing levels and scheduling, and overall day-to-day operations. This guidance has been developed with direction from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Ohio and Ohio Department of Health, and the Wood County Health Department.

Supervisors are required to conduct an assessment of unit operations to determine the staffing levels needed on campus, those which can remain remote, and any needed adjustments to physical spaces.

Workplace Assessment Guidance document has been created to assist supervisors with key aspects to consider when reviewing their space. As part of the assessment, supervisors should evaluate:

On-Campus Staffing Levels

Consider how many and which employees will be needed in the on-campus workspace during fall semester to effectively and efficiently accomplish necessary tasks and roles. In doing so, determine:

  • Which employees can effectively and efficiently continue to work from home indefinitely;
  • How to reasonably accommodate employees who qualify as an individual at higher risk, as described by the CDC, of severe illness from COVID-19 if they request accommodation - please refer to BGSU's COVID-19 Employee Considerations.
  • How many of the remaining employees can occupy the workspace within occupancy limits and distancing protocols; and then
  • Designate employee assignments to work from home indefinitely, work staggered reporting schedules with other employees, or report to campus to work as necessary.

Workplace Environment

After determining the number of employees physically needed in the on-campus setting at the same time (as described above), supervisors should determine if current workstations and configurations fit the necessary criteria for distancing and occupancy limits, and what modifications are needed.

  • A distance of 6 feet from others must be maintained in open spaces. In open spaces, this requires 36 square feet per person as described by the CDC and the State of Ohio.  Please note that this 6-foot rule applies to open spaces between people but does not apply if a barrier is in place. Thus, employees can be less than six feet apart if an office wall or other appropriate barrier is between them.
  • No alterations to the physical work environment are needed if employees have a private workspace, such as an enclosed office or 6 feet of physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Where the space constraints make physical distancing difficult, supervisors can consider creative solutions such as:
  • staggering employee work hours
  • employees’ ability to telework
  • employees altering work time on campus and telework
  • updating/expanding office hours to create greater flexibility for staffing and visitors
  • Office cubicle spaces may act as an appropriate barrier. Cubicle walls must be at a height that the person occupying the space cannot see the person next to them. This would include standing and sitting in the cubicle space. As such, not all cubicle walls are an effective tool in isolating individuals. As a result, the requirement related to 6 feet of physical distancing should be determined without regard to the presence of certain cubicle walls. To assist in physical distancing where cubicles are present, it may be necessary to consider occupying every other cubicle in order to maintain effective distancing or identify another alternative work station plan or installing a physical barrier, such as Plexiglas or plastic sheeting, between cubicle spaces.
  • If needed for planning purposes, floor plans for campus spaces can be obtained from Facilities Information.

All departments must conduct this assessment of operations and physical spaces prior to returning to campus. 

  • Assessments should be performed as soon as possible to allow for appropriate planning by staff and to accommodate any physical modifications which may be needed.
  • Each department must submit the Supplies and Move Request worksheet at least 10 days prior to the planned return to operations. Completing the worksheet sooner when possible is preferred as to allow Campus Operations sufficient time to fulfill all requests.
  • Technology should only be relocated with the assistance of Information Technology Services (ITS). Refer to the ITS web page for additional guidance on preparing technology in your workspace for your return to campus.
  • No physical space modification can occur without consulting Campus Operations. Campus Operations staff, along with Environmental Health and Safety, are trained in state fire code requirements.
  • General gathering spaces, lobbies and common areas will be assessed by a central team, and therefore are not required to be assessed by individual departments.
  • Classrooms are being evaluated by a committee and will be assessed and modified by that group.
  • Campus Operations and Environmental Health and Safety are prepared to assist with space assessments. Please review the Workplace Assessment Guidelines, complete and submit the Supplies and Move Request worksheet, and a team member will follow-up to review.
  • Once the request worksheet has been reviewed, Campus Operations will deliver requested supplies, move requested furniture, assist in placing signage, etc.