The Future of Work at JHU

Johns Hopkins University will implement its Future of Work model beginning February 1, 2023.  Employees will hear more about key dates and details from their managers in the days ahead.

In approximately 150 meetings and town halls and 9,000 survey responses, we heard your perspectives on how best to protect and nurture the essential in-person character of our education, research, and service mission while also making long-term plans to incorporate flexible workplace practices.

Your input has been instrumental in developing our plans and will inform a number of initiatives ahead.

Below you will find more information about JHU’s Future of Work plan, including a summary of the data that was gathered during the decision-making process, the Flexible Work Arrangement policy, and answers to frequently asked questions.

News from Hub at Work:
Is your workday about to change? Read tips from JHU pros

Key Takeaways

Our long-term flexible workplace will consist of four, clearly defined work modalities effective for staff on February 1, 2023. The four defined staff modalities are:

    • In-Person: Onsite 5 days/week
    • Hybrid: Onsite 3-4 days/week
    • Modified Hybrid: Onsite 1-2 days/week
    • Remote: Not onsite (or rarely/not regularly on-site)

In-Person and Hybrid will be our preferred modalities. As a leading academic research institution, our character is predicated on in-person interactions among our faculty, staff, students, and neighbors. Sustaining these in-person connections is essential to our educational, research, and clinical missions, and both staff and faculty are critical to a vibrant in-person university community.

Work arrangements involving Remote and Modified Hybrid modalities will be available on a more limited basis for a specified business purpose, need, or circumstance. These modalities will take into account equity considerations and they will require review and approval by the leadership of your division or administrative department. Given the size and complexity of our institution, the precise mix of in-person, hybrid, modified hybrid and remote work will vary by role and division. That said, we are mindful of the need to apply to consistent principles and guidelines across divisions.

Administrative departments and offices should be staffed with some in-person presence 5 days per week. Upon implementation of the four defined modalities above, most departments and offices should be staffed five days per week with some in-person presence during core work hours (e.g., Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

All unit managers are encouraged to create staff engagement plans to ensure that teams have meaningful opportunities to gather, collaborate, and socialize in person. For units operating in remote or modified hybrid modalities, such plans will be required at the time of approval for work arrangements. Divisions and administrative departments also will develop intentional plans for building workplace connections across all modalities, and ensure that flexible work arrangements support professional growth and opportunities for advancement.

Listening Process and Employee Feedback

Summary of Employee Engagement

The university has sought feedback from our faculty and staff to inform the work of creating the “Future of Work at JHU.” Efforts to gather employee feedback have included:

  • Data Gathering from Divisions Regarding Current Workplace Arrangements
  • Future of Work Employee Survey (8,110 responses from JHU faculty and staff)
  • Divisional Listening Sessions (115 sessions, with more than 4,400 attendees)
  • Townhall Meetings with JHU Leaders (two sessions, with 955 participants)

Data Gathering

Each JHU division was asked to conduct an analysis of the current workplace arrangement for staff. As of October 2022, just under 40% of the staff workforce was coming to campus 5 days per week. The largest group, or 42% of the staff workforce, was working hybrid. 19% of JHU staff were working remote, rarely coming to JHU. Note that “Hybrid” in this context is on-site 1-4 days each week. Faculty were not included in this analysis.

This baseline understanding of the current JHU staff workforce is helpful to capture a snapshot of where we are now and point us toward where we need to be. The university’s goal is to bring more people back to campus more of the time. Our character as a leading academic research institution is predicated on in-person interactions among our faculty, staff, students, and neighbors. We need sustained in-person collaboration and connection in order to achieve our education, research, and service mission.

JHU Staff Workplace Assignments, as of October 2022

Future of Work Employee Survey

The Future of Work employee survey was open from September 29 through October 14, 2022. The total participation was 8,110 employees, including 5,919 staff, 1,637 faculty/adjunct faculty, 7 post-docs, and 547 who did not specify their employee type.

Survey respondents were from all ages groups, with the top three groups represented as follows: 35-44 (25%), 45-54 (23%), and 55-64 (17%). The largest group of employees were those who have been at the university for more than 10 years (39%), followed by 5-10 years (22%), and finally, new tenured employees who have been at JHU for less than one year (12%).

All Race/Ethnicity groups were represented in the survey, with the largest group being white (54%), followed by Black or African American (12%), and Asian employees (7%). Note that a large group of survey respondents (23%) chose not to specify their race/ethnicity in the anonymous survey.

Other demographic data that were collected include division, campus, frequency of student interaction, whether there are dependents at home, and if the respondent has a disability or health issue that impacts their ability/desire to work on-campus.

Deeper analysis of the survey data by demographic category has already begun, and key findings will help inform future work on programs and supports that address any specific issues that are identified. A full report will be prepared and posted to this page. In addition, a follow-up survey will help track trends and progress.


The following key themes emerged from the employee survey:

Most employees are satisfied with their current work arrangement. Most of the survey respondents are either “Very Satisfied” or “Somewhat Satisfied” with their current work arrangement. But many (~45%) have never been in a different work arrangement at JHU.

Satisfaction with Current Work Arrangements

Collaboration is the biggest benefit of working in-person. Socializing, relationships, and spontaneous/chance meetings with colleagues are the primary reasons that some employees enjoy coming to campus.

Benefits of Working In-Person

Reducing the time and expense of commuting is the biggest benefit of work from home. More than 85% of respondents indicated that reducing the time and cost of commuting is a benefit of working from home.

Benefits of Working From Home

Your Personalized Comments Were Heard. More than 11,000 responses to the open-ended questions from throughout the university were read and categorized by the divisions. The top 3 sentiments were the desire for hybrid flexibility, the ability to work remotely, and the desire to maintain the current work arrangements.

Divisional Listening Sessions and Townhall Meetings

Listening sessions focused on The Future of Work at JHU were conducted for faculty and staff throughout the university between September 28 and October 14, 2022.

JHU leadership also hosted two universitywide townhall meetings to discuss the Future of Work at JHU and hear employee questions, concerns, and ideas. The first session on October 13 included 255 participants; the second on October 18 included 700 participants. The sessions were moderated by JHU Vice President of HR Pierre Joanis, and the panel included President Daniels, Provost Kumar, divisional leaders, and leaders from Johns Hopkins University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).

The most common themes from these sessions were:

      • Transportation support to help reduce commuting and parking expenses.
      • The ability to flex hours to cover childcare before or after school.
      • More locally available, affordable, and quality food options.
      • Coordinating meetings so that we can make the most of in-office time together.
      • Ensure that campus security is keeping the areas on and around campus safe.
      • Improve on-campus collaboration spaces and lockers where employees who are hybrid can store their belongings.
      • Wellness programming, including classes/activities and access to workout spaces/gym.
      • Give divisions/departments the ability to decide if staff who aren’t patient- or student-facing need to be on-campus.
      • Employees noted that it will help the local Baltimore economy if more people are on-site.
      • There was discussion about ways to make on-campus spaces more collaborative and inviting.
      • Set up norms for things like core times when you need to be on email, using Teams, etc.
Flexible Work Guidelines

Please refer to the policy documents at the links below:

A summary of the guidance is shown below:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements are primarily initiated by JHU management. It is of utmost importance that there is seamless continuity of business operations while at the same time offering some flexibility in terms of work location and/or schedule for employees.
  • Unit managers are encouraged to create staff engagement plans to ensure that teams have meaningful opportunities to gather, collaborate, and socialize in person. For units operating in remote or modified hybrid modalities, such plans will be required at the time of approval for work arrangements. Divisions and administrative departments also will develop intentional plans for building workplace connections across all modalities, and ensure that flexible work arrangements support professional growth and opportunities for advancement. Staff will hear more specifics soon from divisions or administrative departments about what the new flexible work guidelines mean for you. Faculty will hear separately from academic leadership in the divisions about how best to support our staff and to offer further input to improving in-person engagement for everyone.
  • Flexible work arrangements must comply with all applicable university policies and practices regarding overtime, tax withholding, holidays, vacation leave, and sick time.
  • All arrangements should be documented, including the employee’s work location(s) and the number of days each week that the employee will work on site. Eventually these statuses and locations will need to be documented in SAP, in order to ensure proper state tax withholding. Instructions on procedures for this will be forthcoming.
  • Prior to approving an employee to work outside of the United States, the department must contact the Director of Global Human Resources to ensure that JHU employment from the proposed location is permitted.
  • If there are schedule or hours changes that impact timekeeping or pay, the appropriate adjustments must be made in E210 (timekeeping) and/or HRIS (payroll) systems.
  • Employees who split their work time between multiple states (e.g., teleworking with monthly travel to a university work location) likely will have their wages allocated to and taxes withheld from multiple states, which can result in W-2s issued for multiple states. If this happens to you, you will be required to file tax returns in each of those states. Employees should use their own personal tax advisor to determine their state tax filing requirements.
  • All flexible work arrangements will be subject to periodic review by management. Changes or termination of flexible work arrangements will be given with a minimum of 30 days’ notice unless there are extenuating circumstances where managers must make a change more rapidly.
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know what my approved work arrangement is?

A: Implementation will begin February 1. Employees will receive an email from their division’s HR business partner that confirms their approved work arrangement and provides key dates and details that specifically apply to them. Employees should save this email for their records.

Q: What feedback from the employee survey and listening sessions were considered when making the final decision for JHU’s Future of Work plans?

A: A large majority of feedback and data captured from the employee survey and listening sessions included a desire for:

      • Flexible work arrangements to be made at the local level by divisions;
      • Current employee work arrangements to be maintained;
      • Improved onsite programs and offerings (e.g., healthy and convenient food options, transportation/parking enhancements, and social events).

This feedback helped to shape JHU’s go-forward flexible work model, as 85% of JHU employees will maintain their same/current work arrangements, with 15% either working more days onsite or shifting to a hybrid work arrangement. Additionally, JHU is committed to ensuring a quality experience for staff onsite, through transportation supports, expanded dining and food access, technology improvements, more robust, in-person wellness options, and on-campus events and programs that bring together the JHU community.

Q: How can I request a change to my work arrangement (e.g., change my modality—in-person, hybrid, modified hybrid, or remote—or change my work schedule)?

A: At JHU, the vast majority of flexible work arrangements (i.e., work modality and work schedule) are initiated/decided by management at the divisional level. On rare occasions, staff who would like an exception to their approved work modality can discuss this with their manager; however, in all such instances, the staff member’s manager must request the exception to divisional management and Human Resources. Those exceptions are reviewed and approved at the discretion of divisional management and Divisional/Central Human Resources.

Q: What if I don’t agree with my assigned work arrangement? Can I appeal my manager’s decision?

A: Staff are not eligible to file appeals under the University’s appeal policy with respect to any matters relating to a flexible work arrangements.

Q: Can managers revoke employees’ flexible work arrangements?

A: All flexible work arrangements are subject to review by management periodically as needed and usually once per year. Managers may implement changes to or terminate an FWA at any time and must provide at least 30 days’ advance notice to the staff member of intent to change or terminate the FWA, unless there are extenuating circumstances where managers must make a change more rapidly.

 Q: I was hired during the COVID pandemic and approved to work fully remote. Will I have to begin working in person?

A: Now that the university’s posture toward COVID has changed and we are back to fully in person, some JHU employees may experience a change to their work arrangements depending on the business and operational needs of their unit.

Q: Can I request to work remotely if I have a vaccine exception?

A:Having a vaccine exception does not automatically grant employees permission to work remotely. Employees should work with their manager and divisional HR director to determine if they need accommodations. Employees may be required to submit an accommodation request.

Q: Who can I contact to answer my questions about JHU’s flexible work model or policy?

A: Staff can speak directly to their supervisor or contact the HR business partner for their division. A list of HR business partners for each school and division can be found here:

Resources for Managers and Staff

JHU Future of Work Learning Resources: Support for managers and staff with hybrid work arrangements.

Managing Hybrid Teams E-Course:  This self-paced course provides managers with protocols and best practices for effectively managing a hybrid team.

Managing Hybrid Teams Resource ToolkitThis toolkit includes links to Podcasts, LinkedIn Learning courses, myLearning Instructor-led Courses, Articles, Worksheets, Templates, Checklists, Best Practices on Evaluating Individuals and Teams and more. This toolkit also has fillable forms that managers and teams can populate together to document best practices for things like communication and staying connected.

Future of Work E-CourseThis self-paced e-course provides a framework to support employees and managers using a hybrid work model and includes topics such as:

  • Defining Onsite, Hybrid, and Remote Work Models:  Various Ways of Working, Focus of Work, Understanding Hybrid Team Dynamics, and Desk Sharing
  • Staying Connected:  Virtual Tools, Hybrid Meetings, and One-on-One Meetings
  • Being Healthy and Safer at Work:  Important Reminders and Register Your Vaccination
  • Managing Wellbeing:  Working Together, Keeping Your Work/Life Balance, and Continue Moving Forward
  • Resources:  Commuting and Parking and References