The staff will return to campus this autumn
Hi Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH. On 25 May, you made the decision concerning adapting workplace activities in summer 2021. What does it mean?
“That we will continue to work as we have been doing since last Christmas. That is to say that personnel that must be in the workplace for operational reasons, are to continue to do so and everyone else shall work from home as before.”
This decision extends to 15 August. What will happen after that?
“From that date, the 16th, everyone will be welcome to return to their normal way of working. More people will be needed on campus when the semester starts. It will be possible to work from home two days a week if your work allows this and with the agreement of your manager. Staff with non-regulated working hours are, as before, expected to be on site when their work tasks require it.”
Won’t there be a risk of an increase in the infection rate if everyone comes back at the same time?
“Naturally, we should continue to think about social distancing, use hand sanitiser and avoid larger gatherings until the restrictions are lifted in full. But it is also important to plan the presence of personnel in the best possible ways.”
The government has extended its 12 May decision that only employees at public authorities whose physical presence is necessary to manage operations, should be in the workplace until 15 September. At KTH 15 August applies. Why is that?
“Because it is necessary for us to have more people on site to enable us to welcome our 3,500 new students in a good way. Many of them have possibly spent half their upper secondary school time studying remotely and KTH needs to be ready to have additional staff available at the start of the semester. The government order applies to all public authorities. In the case of universities, we are a special case and we are in the best position to assess what we need to do, obviously based on the Public Health Agency of Sweden forecasts for the infection rate in summer and autumn.”
What lessons have we learnt during the pandemic and what will KTH continue with in the future?
“That we can change rapidly and we have shown that, despite our size, we are a flexible organisation. We will take these experiences onboard in future development work in a clear and methodical way. On the education side, there will be more variation where physical and digital attendance complement and strengthen each other in a more effective and better way.”
The corona information has been updated on the Intranet.
Text: Jill Klackenberg