April 01, 2020

Faculty and staff have resources to help on the job, at home

In the university’s second week operating under the governor’s “stay-at-home” order, faculty and staff continue to adapt to changes in how they work.

Those with jobs that require them to be on campus have adjusted to social distancing requirements that may include shift changes or providing services differently. Those who are not required on campus and able to work from home are finding creative ways to get their work done using traditional and new technological tools.

Whether they’re on the front lines or behind the scenes, SIU employees are working hard to keep the university on track, according to Chancellor John M. Dunn.

“I am very proud of how well faculty, staff and students have adjusted to the current situation,” Dunn said in a March 28 message to campus. “We are at our best in times of crisis, and we are strongest when we pull together.”

A new web page brings together resources for employees as they work in this new environment. It offers links to help learn about options for working and teaching from home, suggestions about staying physically and mentally healthy during stressful times, tips for managers when employees are in distress, and ideas for projects and professional development for those able to work remotely.

“We know that every job and every situation is different,” said Judy Marshall, vice chancellor for administration and finance. “Our goal is to provide information, tools and ideas as they develop creative solutions to get work done.”

For example, employees working remotely might talk with supervisors about opportunities to take on projects that have been put off, such as benchmarking or documenting business processes. This is good time for training and professional development – learning Excel or PowerPoint, for example. Information Technology has links to online tutorials for Zoom and the Microsoft Office suite, and many staff members are members of professional organizations that offer online training.

The site includes links to online workouts, links to apps for meditation, advice on reducing stress and ways to stay connected with colleagues, family and friends.

“We want to help employees think about ways they can take care of themselves during stressful times,” Marshall said. “It’s not only about work, but also about work/life balance.”