Setting In-Person Employees Up for Success

Your team may have remained on premises, fully returned to the workplace, or is adopting a staggered entry back onto campus. Regardless of the approach that works best for your team, it’s important you focus on employees and ensure their work environment is optimal for productivity, collaboration, and learning. When welcoming an employee to an on-campus workspace, consider the following for optimal engagement.

Creating Standardized Working Norms

To eliminate the potential for staff burnout and create an environment of inclusivity, we strongly encourage departments and units to establish standardized working norms, including meeting hours, team norms, and health and well-being best practices. Working norms across the Institute will allow staff to maintain a better work-life balance and give them time to accomplish collaborative activities, as well as administrative work within a reasonable set of hours. Below are a few examples departments can discuss and adopt based on their team needs and individual working preferences:     

  • Set 25 and 50-minute meeting limits in Outlook/Teams to allow breaks between meetings. This procedure can be done manually when creating new meetings in Outlook. 
  • Create core meeting hours for no more than six hours per day (can vary per department/unit).  
  • Establish expectations of respect and etiquette for teams and their work schedules. 
  • Discuss professional development strategies with our customer service-oriented employees that allow continued development of our staff while meeting the needs of our students and campus community. 

Under the discretion of team leadership, other ideas could be deployed including “reduced meeting days” or routine walking meetings.  

We Are Responsible Stewards


Click here to learn how employees can help reduce waste on campus through the AWARE program. 

Keeping In-Person Employees Engaged

  • Communicate clear goals and expectations - When employees know they are a part of something bigger and are working collaboratively to accomplish shared goals, they will be more committed and engaged. Ensure communication is readily given and that routine check-ins are established. 

  • Ensure that role responsibilities are aligned with flexible work norms - In many job roles, an on-campus presence is essential to fulfill the responsibilities of that particular function. However, to ensure enhanced equity among staff, we encourage people leaders and employees to assess job priorities and brainstorm if flexible work schedules are probable for interested employees.   

  • Identify opportunities for professional development and support employees’ active participation – Employees who receive coaching, training, and opportunities to learn and grow identify as more engaged than those who do not. While an essential, on-campus employee may have more structured, routine job responsibilities, it’s imperative they receive meaningful professional development opportunities to advance their leadership acumen. A benefit of on-campus training is that employees can engage and learn with one another in person, as well as partner in the workplace utilizing tools they’ve recently acquired.  

  • Facilitate opportunities for team members to connect – Ensure that while the entire team may not physically be together, you’ve created opportunities for them to collaborate, get to know one another, and celebrate accomplishments.  

  • Infuse team-building exercises into regular meetings. 

  • Establish a shared communication channel where team accomplishments can be celebrated. 

  • Create opportunities for teams to connect in fun and engaging ways through team outings and activities.  

  • Recognize employees’ special moments or achievements. 

  • Build trust - Trust is essential for engagement, regardless of the employee’s work location. As a people leader, it’s important that you establish a transparent and honest work environment where employees feel valued and are encouraged to thrive.  

  • Ensure equitable arrangements for all employees. Consult with your HR representative to assist in mitigating bias and establishing collective norms for your entire team. 

  • Allow team members to share leadership responsibilities. By allowing them opportunities to be responsible for a project or initiative, you foster a greater sense of importance and meaning for them, all while promoting collaboration and creativity.   

  • Communicate with transparency and clarity. Once you are aware of information, make sure you inform your team in a timely manner, regardless of their working location. Allow for employees to process information and ask questions. Recognize that it’s ok if you don’t have all the answers – your employees will value your honesty and humility more than if you provided incorrect information. 

Managing Hybrid Team Meetings

Although your team may be primarily on-campus, most likely they will need to organize a meeting with others who are working remotely. Managing hybrid team meetings can be successfully accomplished once you understand best practices and space capabilities across campus. 

Visit Georgia Tech Professional Education’s resource guide for effectively managing hybrid team meetings.