University HR focuses on new framework for today’s work world


The University of Michigan is working to develop clear descriptions of workplace expectations and support for current and prospective employees amid changes prompted by the public health landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A working group coordinated by University Human Resources and composed of staff from all campuses and Michigan Medicine is developing practical tools and resources. This effort is informed by recommendations from the Future of Work Steering Group.

Three modes of work and definitions have been established: onsite, hybrid, and mobile/remote. Guiding principles also have been set and a practical guide will be developed to support leaders and units in understanding and applying the principles in day-to-day decision-making related to work arrangements.

Additionally, UHR is developing a uniform, centralized system to house hybrid and mobile/remote work agreements. Such a system will enable more effective data reporting to help U-M better understand how and where employees work, what support might be needed for different populations, and what policies and practices are most valuable for its workforce.

The comprehensive approach is intended to support an inclusive work environment for employees while prioritizing the university’s missions of education, research, patient care and service. The work group will build on the successful practices of many university units.

Additional information will be shared with unit HR staff in the coming months to assist with implementation of the three work modes as well as adoption of the guiding principles. Support also will be provided as units transition to the updated work agreement process expected to launch during the 2024 calendar year.

More details, including modes of work definitions and details on the guiding principles as well as how they align with the university’s values, are available on the Ways We Work Resource Center on the UHR website.



  1. Min-Hui Huang
    on October 23, 2023 at 10:45 am

    Would the work group consider the environmental and climate effects of different work models? In the Washtenaw County alone, we have had two historical rain storms in 2021 and recently in August 2023. Please read the article published in Washington Post “Working from home now has another powerful benefit” by Allyson Chu.

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