COVID-19 Update: You are encouraged to work remotely. So now what?
With the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, U-M faculty and staff are encouraged to work remotely if possible. A quick Google search of "best practices for working from home" yields thousands of results (including this Wall Street Journal article).
While the next few weeks will pose some challenges, we can all help out by being understanding and supportive of one another. Here are a few key suggestions to help you be effective in working remotely.
- Be sure you have the tools you need to work remotely. For example, if you have a laptop, be sure to take your power cable. The ITS Remote Resource Guide contains a list of recommended technology resources, including information on safe computing while working remotely.
- Be sure you're connected - Internet connection will be key for maintaining your ability to do work outside of the office. Check with your provider to ensure your connection speed is good. Some are also offering special services for those with limited means.
- Keep your typical routine - wake up at a similar time, get dressed, eat a healthy meal.
- Set up a dedicated space for your work. This can help you reduce distractions and get into the proper frame of mind for completing your tasks.
- Check-in with your team frequently. BlueJeans is one great option for staying connected and supporting one another. ITS has a training page if you are new to BlueJeans video conferencing.
- Keep a similar structure to your workday. Take breaks and have a healthy lunch.
- Work when you're most effective - but be sure to know when to call it a day.
- Stay social. Interpersonal connection is important, even if it is done virtually. When connecting with your colleagues, be sure to take time to talk about what's working and in what ways you need support.
Questions or suggestions?
Email COVID-19HR@umich.edu.Or join the "Working at Michigan" group on Workplace. This group shares messages from UHR about work-related issues, benefits, well-being, and more. During the next few weeks, we will share more suggestions about working remotely, to help everyone manage their responsibilities over the next few weeks. Workplace is a collaboration platform that everyone with an @umich email has access to.
Flexible Work Options - “Workflex”
The way that people work is evolving. At U-M, many units have a variety of work schedules and locations to match the needs of both employees and employer. There are many documented benefits for all parties in using a range of workflex to achieve high productivity, enhance creativity and innovation, enhance health and wellbeing, and create dynamic working conditions that contribute to the University’s mission of excellence in teaching, research and service.
This information is designed to acquaint users with new ways of working and to assist both employees and managers with the decisions needed to implement flexibility that is mutually beneficial.