Next steps for remote work in SMPH

This message was sent to all SMPH employees on Monday, July 26. 

Dear colleagues,   

Thank you for all of your efforts and attention to how we will implement the UW–Madison Remote Work Policy within SMPH. We have worked to continually provide resources and information in advance of the release of the process and form that will be used to enter into a remote work agreement, if applicable.  

Starting today, the form is available, and employees can begin the process of entering a remote work agreement, in accordance with the campus remote work policy that takes effect on August 1. The remote work agreement documents the terms and conditions of an employee’s remote work arrangement. It is important to note that while the policy takes effect on August 1, this is not the deadline to enter into a remote work agreement.  

Employees and supervisors have until August 31 to have thorough conversations about possible remote work, follow the steps in the SMPH Remote Work Guide, and get a remote work agreement approved, if applicable. A remote work agreement, if approved, allows employees to specify and engage in a range of remote modalities, from fully remote to many hybrid options. The August 31 deadline to have an approved agreement is to work remotely starting September 1, but agreements can be entered into any time after that date as well.  

Following the appropriate steps in the SMPH Remote Work Guide will greatly increase the likelihood that a remote work agreement process will go smoothly and quickly. For example, using the PDF checklist in the guide will ensure the proper materials are at your fingertips when you start the process. An employee should not submit a remote work agreement for approval without the knowledge of their supervisor.  

Here is the timeline as it stands now:  

  • Starting today: Employees can begin the process of entering into a remote work agreement. Information and instructions from the UW–Madison Office of Human Resources for requesting an agreement are available here. This is Step 4 in the recommended steps we put together specifically for school employees in the SMPH Remote Work Guide. You will find the Remote Work Agreement in MyUW at, under Personal Information > Update My Personal Information. 
  • August 1: UW–Madison Remote Work Policy takes effect.  
  • August 31: Employees engaging in a work modality that includes remote work (either hybrid or fully remote schedule) must have a new approved agreement to be working remotely after this date.  
  • September 1: Employees without remote work agreements must report onsite, as onsite work becomes the default work modality. The UW–Madison Remote Work Policy will continue to be in effect, and remote work agreements can be initiated and changed at any time in accordance with the policy. For example, an employee can return to onsite work on September 1 but later decide to pursue a remote work agreement.  

SMPH supports the use of remote work where appropriate, and department and unit leadership can set parameters on remote work for their employees. As a reminder, the campus remote work policy applies to all academic and university staff looking to work remotely in any capacity from any location. It also applies to faculty and graduate students wishing to work remotely outside of the state of Wisconsin or internationally. In extremely rare and extenuating circumstances, if an individual is not able to enter into the appropriate remote work agreement by the deadline, they should reach out to their HR Business Partner 

Out of state and international remote work 

I want to draw special attention to remote work agreements that will seek to allow an employee to work outside of the state of Wisconsin or internationally. Due to increased costs and legal risks to UW–Madison and other considerations, these remote work agreements will be complex and require input from several campus offices. Supervisors should prioritize working on these agreements first as they have conversations with their employees.  

In addition, for those specifically pursuing international remote work, there is an additional step to determine if there is a justified business necessity. A business necessity request must be made by August 1 by a department chair or department administrator, or equivalent roles if your appointment is outside of an academic department. Get more information here.  

What to expect next 

We will continue to release helpful resources through August, including sharing some examples of remote and hybrid setups to help provide context for employees. Please use this time and these resources to foster robust conversations between employees and supervisors. August can continue to be a period of experimentation as we imagine the future of work in SMPH.  

Should you have any questions, reach out to 

Thank you for your partnership.  


Hope Broadus, JD
Associate Dean for Human Resources
School of Medicine and Public Health
University of Wisconsin–Madison