COVID-19 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Working From Home

The tips below can help set your up for success when you’re working remotely. Visit our the Employee FAQ page on U of G’s COVID-19 website for information on setting up your home workstation and accessing equipment from your on-campus work space.

Working Well at Home

Find a chair and table that allows your arms to rest comfortably by your side, while your upper arm and forearm are at a 90-degree angle. Raise your screen so you’re not looking down at it. Add back support to your chair by placing a small cushion behind you. Don’t forget to move. Set reminders to get up, move and stretch once every 20 minutes.

Human Resources has also compiled the following resources to help make your remote work space more ergonomic.

Shift your mindset by changing into clothes rather than staying in your pajamas. Establish a designated area that you keep tidy and free of non-work-related items. Keep a pad of paper close by to write down notes and keep on top of your tasks. Take time for lunch breaks and move into a different area of the house when consuming food.

Try to schedule at least one video meeting a day to keep connected with coworkers. Reach out to your colleagues that you would normally see at lunch to see how they are doing.
Listen to calming or nostalgic music while working or getting ready for work. Set a reminder to do some deep breathing every hour or try a guided breathing exercise. Open up a window to let in some fresh air.

Take some quick stretch breaks to help relieve tensions in your body. Follow along to this 10-minute stretching routine, created by Gryphon Athletics, that you can do from your work chair.

Equipment for a home workout can be as simple as running shoes, a chair and a yoga mat. Set up a good playlist or follow along with an exercise video online during a work break.

Gryphons Fitness has daily workouts on Instagram Live. The schedule is updated online every week. Try a 15-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) workout with Fitness Program Supervisor, Lynne Skilton-Hayes.

Ask yourself the following questions

  • Who of my coworkers am I checking in on, or connecting with, today?
  • What expectations of my normal work schedule or environment am I letting go of today?
  • How does the work that I do help those around me? How do those around help me?

Give yourself time to adjust to your new routine. Practice self-compassion and realize that strategies that work for other may not work for you. Keep trying new things until you find what works for you, you don’t have to figure everything out right this second.

Working at Home With Kids

Being both a parent and an employee while working remotely can be a major challenge. These tips can help you manage working from home with little ones. Also, check out:

If two guardians are working at home, take turns watching the kids. Set up workspace in a kids’ area and in a quiet area and rotate with your partner who works where. Communicate with each other and plan who is in which location based on importance of work tasks and deadlines.

If you are parenting alone, try using visual or audio cues to let your child know when you’re available and when you need to work. Consider scheduling regular virtual video calls with grandparents, babysitters or other trusted adults your child typically spends time with. These calls may give you an opportunity to focus on a work task while a trusted adult connects with your child.

Create a space with engaging activities for kids to hang out while you work. Setting up activities (e.g., movie time, colouring time, play time) in advance as something to look forward to can help to keep kids engaged for longer. Create a Boredom Box as a backup filled with craft supplies, toys or games.

Consider taking your work outside on the balcony or in the backyard. While you work, your children can get fresh air, Vitamin D and an opportunity to run, move and be loud, which is important for their growth and development.

Create an at-home routine by designating time for certain activities or by keeping a list of ‘tasks’ that need to be accomplished that day.

Time is slippery when you work from home. Do your best to begin and end your work day, just as you would if you were at the office. This may mean shutting off your email after a specific time. Have family time and prioritize your children – they need to feel special too.

Plan to do tasks that require the most concentration while your kids are having downtime whether that be naptime, colouring or doing schoolwork.

Set rules like “when the door is closed I am on the phone,” or “when I have my slippers on it is my time with you, when my work shoes are on I have to work.” Let your kids know what your working hours are, when you’ll take a break  and what they can do while you’re working.

Prioritizing your own health and well-being will help you best support your child. Take time to do something for yourself everyday. Daily self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity for our overall well-being.

More information for employees can also be found on the following pages: