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Telecommuting the Eastern Way

Published on April 06, 2020

Telecommuting the Eastern Way

telecommuting graphicDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, Eastern Connecticut State University has joined other colleges and universities across the nation in continuing to provide instruction online, while non-faculty employees conduct their work assignments at home.  Telecommuting presents new challenges for the entire Eastern campus community — faculty, staff and students — and the Eastern Warriors are rising to the occasion.  New technology platforms and innovative approaches are ensuring that teaching and learning is taking place remotely, while other daily operations of the university continue as dedicated staff learn the nuances of telecommuting.

Staying motivated, organized and productive are key challenges for every member of the university.  SUOAF Chapter President Indira Petoskey shared some important tips on telecommuting that are now on the COVID-19 website.  Here are highlights of those tips and others we hope will help you maneuver through the current health care crisis.

Working at Home Tips

  • Getting Started. Get ready for work as you normally do. That may not mean a dress shirt and tie, but try following your daily ritual as much as possible to give you a sense of normalcy.
  • Find a room at home where you can work quietly. Close the door so you aren’t interrupted by family members. Establish and organize your workspace. It may not be as robust or spacious as your work area on campus but maximize whatever you can come up with.
  • Plan your workflow. What are your priorities for the day? Set daily and weekly goals as you do when you are on campus.
  • Make sure your home office is ergonomically supportive. Tips on how to do this (courtesy of Eric Germain) can be found at https://www.easternct.edu/coronavirus/working-from-home-ergonomic-tips.html
  • Organize and optimize meetings. If you are conducting business via Webex or another platform, prepare an agenda. Encourage dialog among the group, even though people are miles from each other. And make sure to recognize team members for their work.  Everyone can use encouragement during these times.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. Keep your work area clean; it helps you stay focused, organized and productive.
  • Communicate frequently and consistently. Without face-to-face meetings, staying in touch with your colleagues and associates is even more important.

Personal Health Tips

  • Take a break from your computer and desk every 30-40 minutes.
  • Make sure you keep your home life and work life separate and make time for yourself.
  • Stay hydrated, eat well, exercise, and get your rest. These good habits are more critical during times of stress such as the current pandemic.
  • Take walks; read a book; listen to some soothing music to relax and find balance.
  • Feeling stressed? Keep in mind Eastern offers an Employee Assistance Program.

Other considerations

Written by Dwight Bachman