How to work from home…

There are a few very simple steps to make working from home as productive as possible without feeling isolated.

Make communication the top priority.

Download Zoom: This is a free video-conferencing platform – for both mobiles/tablets and computers.

We in the UCU Committee also use Slack: as a workspace messaging system. There are reports of the Microsoft Office 365 platform for messaging failing.

There is always skype, but it seems that multi-users are only available at a cost.

Loneliness with remote working is the most reported issue – keep up communications with your colleagues. If you are a line manager keep regular Zoom meetings in the diary.

Face to face interactions are key to remote working, we cannot stress this enough.

It is still your job, treat it as such – you are still working

Set yourself your work hours. Remember you are still in ASOS – so it’s a 7 hour day. But give yourself your hour for lunch, and make sure you take regular breaks from the computer screen.

However, and this is as important – do not overwork. Do not suddenly find yourself still at your new desk at 8pm at night. Time management is very important.

You may be communicating with students via video, make sure you have a structure in place for this. We are aware that online crits and tutorials are being planned – please share good practice with your colleagues.

Transfer all your files to OneDrive as you will not be able to access your shared drive from home – that or Google Drive. This means you can access your files anywhere you may be.

OneDrive is part of the Office 365 installation – but for those of you on a Mac, you will need to access it through a web browser. Though be mindful of GDPR issues, and don’t store anything with personal data on unencrypted shared platforms. Google Drive and DropBox are encrypted, and Mega supply a totally encrypted platform.

Work/Life balance

Working from home can be hard, to begin with, it does require some discipline, and we cannot rely on management helping us. Those of you with children will also have childcare issues once the schools are closed and the whole family is at home.

If you only have one computer in the household, the needs of others have to be taken into consideration. But not all work is computer-based.

Also, look after yourself – create a space that is ergonomically well laid out. The kitchen table is better than a laptop in bed.

And most of all, take care of your health – keep to the advice given by the health professionals and keep social distancing.