Fitzpatrick Center interior

You are here

Memo to Pratt Staff: Working Remotely During COVID-19

March 13, 2020

Dear Pratt staff, 

While Duke University and our school remain operational, we are taking steps to support social distancing measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 through our community.

Toward that end, Duke and Pratt have strongly encouraged all managers to consider how their team members can work remotely over the short term until the situation stabilizes, and how staff who do need to come into work can best maintain social distancing to mitigate risks. Please note that this is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance is subject to change.

At present, all Pratt staff should do the following as soon as possible:

  1. Talk to your manager about plans for working remotely either full-time or part-time. If you decide together to work remotely for a specified short time, a Flexible Work Agreement should be completed with your manager to formalize the arrangement and determine how work progress will be measured and communicated. Note that working from home also includes abiding by Duke’s Standards of Conduct and Duke’s Flexible Work Guidelines
  2. Even if you plan to come into work for the time being, this is a rapidly changing situation and you should prepare to work remotely on short notice if possible. Please review Duke’s "Quick Start Guide to Working Remotely."  Note that many Pratt and Duke groups will be using communication tools such as Zoom to conduct meetings remotely.
  3. Work with your manager to ensure that you have the appropriate equipment, Internet availability, and security measures in place to work from home.  Pratt IT ( can consult and assist as needed. 
  4. If you have a work laptop or other materials you need to be productive, remember to take them home with you daily.
  5. We recognize that not all jobs can be performed remotely. Please discuss with your manager ways you and your team can reduce social interaction through practices such as holding meetings online.

Research staff and lab members should pay close attention to special guidance regarding changes to lab operations at this time. Please see and speak with your faculty PI for lab-specific plans.

This is a critical time for us to support each other, come together as a school, and demonstrate our strength as a community. Your efforts are vital to the Pratt School’s effective operation during this time, and we truly appreciate everything you’re doing to support our important teaching and research missions.  

Susan Bonifield
Sr. Associate Dean, Finance and Administration