Section 5 Expectations

5.1 Work environment

Principles for creating a hybrid schedule for emLab

We are excited for emLab to adopt a hybrid schedule starting this fall so that the emLab community can use campus and our offices as a tool for supporting connection, community and culture across our team. In thinking about what kind of working model and balance between remote and in-person work would best support the emLab community, we considered our mission, values and culture, learned from the hybrid pilots over the past year and used data and information about hybrid and remote work (e.g., Adam Grant’s podcast).

One of emLab’s main goals is to build a vibrant intellectual community of people to collaborate on innovative, impactful research. As a team who iterates together on ideas, research, writing and coding, spending time together in the office is important to support this flow of ideas and information. We each balance both team oriented activities and tasks with individual tasks, so having time to focus on individual work is also important. We provide guidance below on the structure of the hybrid schedule, and realize that remaining flexible and adapting as needed is essential as we all try to navigate this phase of pandemic life together in the best way possible.

Overview of the hybrid model

  • emLab will return to in-person work starting the week of September 12.
  • All Santa Barbara-based team members will be expected to work from campus Tuesday - Thursday and have the option to work remotely Monday and Friday.
    • If the University requires or strongly recommends that masks be worn in indoor spaces, the in-person days will be Tuesday and Wednesday with the additional option to work remotely on Thursday.
    • Take advantage of in person/on campus days for things like: internal team meetings, structured and unstructured time with your project teams, brainstorming sessions, walking and running meetings, collaborative writing, working sessions, troubleshooting with colleagues, white board sessions, etc.
    • Take advantage of remote days for things like: focused work, ‘deep’ work, coding, focused writing, 1:1 meetings that don’t fit in other days, etc
  • All Santa Barbara-based team members will have assigned office space on the UCSB campus.



  • All-team meetings and events will take place on in-person team days
    • emLab’s “MMM” will move to Tuesdays from 9:30 -10 am - now called emLab Tuesday Team Time (TTT)
    • emLab watercoolers will be held on Wednesdays or Thursdays
    • emLab/Environmental Resource Economics (ERE) seminars will be held on Thursdays
    • emLab lunches are returning in a new form - this will be a casual, informal time to have lunch and catch up with colleagues on Decker’s Deck. Note: emLab lunches will be Wednesdays from 12-1 pm. emLab will provide lunch for everyone for the first month we are in-person and after that, it will transition to a brown bag lunch.
  • Zoom/remote meetings on in-person days
    • We work with lots of collaborators and partners around the world, so it is likely you may also have zoom calls on in-person days. Here are some options and suggestions for hybrid/zoom meetings:
      • MSI 1304 is available to reserve for zoom meetings - add to any calendar invite to reserve the room
      • Bren Hall has 7 conference rooms of varying sizes that you can book up to 14 days in advance.
      • For full details on MSI and Bren conference room sign-ups, see the emLab manual
      • Call in via phone and take it outside/walking
      • If someone on the call has a solo office, plan to take the call from their office
      • Calls can also be taken from shared offices - everyone should have access to noise canceling headphones, so just give your office mates a heads up if you’re going to be jumping on a call/zoom.

Hours and remote work

  • All team members are responsible for setting their own hours within the work week and getting their work done on time in coordination with their project teams.
    • Please use your google calendar to communicate to the team when you are not available during the work week.
    • Individuals are welcome to work, send emails, etc. outside of ‘normal’ working hours (e.g., nights and weekends) but immediate responses are not expected outside of normal working hours
  • Ad hoc remote work may be permitted on a case-by-case basis. Contact your supervisor to discuss and get approval for ad hoc remote working days and communicate/coordinate with your project teams as needed.

Equipment and commuting

  • emLab will provide equipment for one workstation that will include: a laptop or desktop computer, a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, up to two computer monitors, and noise canceling headphones.
  • emLab will also provide a desk and chair in your university office, and miscellaneous office supplies (notebooks, pens, etc.) as needed.
    • Please notify your supervisor for approval and contact Erin to assist with re-allocation or purchasing if you need any of the items listed above.
  • The University provides these resources (TAP) for commuting to and from campus.

Fully remote team members

  • emLab team members will be based at the UCSB campus unless you have a previously agreed-upon arrangement with your supervisor. Exceptions to this may be granted on an as-needed basis for projects requiring remote work.

COVID protocols for working from the office

  • Please do not come into the office if you are exhibiting any symptoms at all, have recently been exposed to covid or are not feeling 100%.
    • Information about where you can go for both asymptomatic and symptomatic testing is here.
  • We will follow UCSB masking requirements and recommendations. The current policies and campus updates are posted here. Here is the current guidance:
    • Effective June 13, masks are no longer required but are strongly recommended in indoor spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status, except when working alone in private offices.
  • All Santa Barbara-based employees must be fully vaccinated and have submitted proof of vaccination through the University here or have received an approved exemption before they will be allowed in any UC facility or office or to participate in any University programs.
  • All employees must also complete the “COVID-19 Returning to Work” training course required by Cal/OSHA, which is available through the UC Learning Center.
  • Please abide by University guidance related to COVID precautions for in-office work and in-person meetings.
  • Cleaning materials and hand sanitizers will be available for office use.

Guests and visitors

  • Guests and visitors should follow the University’s COVID-19 interim visitor’s protocol. A few key points:
    • Individuals invited to campus should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours prior to their visit for a PCR test, or 24 hours prior for a rapid antigen home test.
    • All visitors to campus are strongly recommended to wear face masks in any indoor space, and any individual who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should avoid campus altogether.
    • If you are unsure of a visitor’s vaccination status or prefer not to ask, you may send them the on-demand screening survey in advance to determine if they are cleared to be on campus and if and when they are required to test prior to arriving on campus, wear a mask or quarantine.

The health and safety of our team remains the most important thing above all else. As we learned these past couple of years, things can rapidly change, and we will continue to adapt as needed. If you do not feel safe coming into the office or if you have suggestions on additional measures that you would like to see in place, please come talk to me, any member of the Leadership Team, or your supervisor. Exceptions to these guidelines are permitted after they have been discussed and approved by your supervisor.

Please reach out to your supervisor or any member of the leadership team if you have any questions.

Last updated: August 17, 2022

5.2 Time management

It is important for every individual to understand and manage their workloads and responsibilities, and to ask for help when it is needed. Team members should prioritize the tasks that are most important and urgent. If you are having challenges prioritizing tasks, speak with your supervisor to discuss priorities.

emLab project staff are allocated to one or more projects, which is likely to shift over time as projects come to completion and new projects are launched. Staff should be aware of their general percentage time allocation across projects, which are tracked in the project tracking sheet in Drive. Due to the adaptive nature of our work, these percentages are likely to vary daily, weekly or monthly, and should be used as guidelines rather than strict allocations. If staff are feeling either underutilized or overstretched, they should speak with their supervisor.

5.3 Project roles

Principal Investigators Coming soon

Research Staff Coming soon

Project Managers Coming soon

Postdoctoral Researchers Coming soon

Graduate Students Coming soon

Undergraduate Students Coming soon

5.4 Meetings and events

emLab hosts a variety of events to foster a deep sense of community across roles and programs, and provide opportunities for our team to be as collaborative, functional, and fully integrated as possible.

We know things can come up that sometimes make it impossible to join everything, but we want to clarify that we do expect everyone to do their best to participate in team events, particularly the Monday Morning Meetings. Beyond that, if you find yourself with a lot on your plate, please use your discretion to decide when your participation will yield high returns, and do not feel obligated to participate in events that you don’t think will be a valuable use of your time. Each of us has unique interests, areas of expertise, and professional goals, and we trust that those will inform the decisions you make for yourself!

Here’s an overview of emLab events and the objectives of each:

  • Monday Morning Meeting: learn about current work at emLab, celebrate successes, share team-wide announcements
    • Who: emLab team
    • Structure: 15 minute presentation by an emLab team member, 5 minutes of operational updates and announcements, and 10 minutes of team shoutouts, roundtable updates (on the first Monday of the month), or mingling
    • Detailed guidelines live here and the schedule lives here
  • Research roundtable
    • Who: emLab PIs, affiliates, postdocs, faculty collaborators
    • This biweekly roundtable is to present, discuss, debate, and refine ideas and research questions.
    • Detailed guidelines and the schedule lives here
  • Quarterly fundraising update: review funding pipeline and upcoming projects
    • Who: Executive Director and project and operations staff
  • Monthly project management: provide updates on the status of current projects, discuss challenges, and brainstorm solutions
    • Who: Executive Director and project managers
  • Outside of work festivities: welcome new team members, celebrate big accomplishments, or entertain distinguished visitors