computer on desk

Tips, tricks and suggestions gathered from DoBS staff and other resources to help keep our productivity and morale high.

DoBS Employees Working Remotely

Many of us are now working remotely during the coronavirus outbreak, and might be wondering what we can all do to stay productive, creative and inspired? 

We’ve gathered tips and tricks, ideas and practical suggestions from Division of Business Services staff and other resources to help keep productivity and morale high.

If you have any other suggestions or resources to include, please forward them to michelle.bacon@wisc.edu

WORKING EFFECTIVELY FROM HOME

  • Keep a set schedule – both starting and ending your day.
  • Set up a dedicated work space – University Health Services provides information on preparing  ergonomic workstations that make work more comfortable and safer. A PDF on how to telecommute and set up a remote work station is also available.
  • Promptly respond to emails and voicemails – coworkers tend to be more aware of time when working remotely.
  • Use Video – WebEx and Teams meetings with video are not comfortable for everyone, but the human interaction can help with productivity and emotional well-being. (Pro tip: When you’re speaking, look up at the camera on your computer – not at the screen – so people can see your eyes!)
  • Online Etiquette – remember to MUTE your microphone when not speaking during a virtual meeting . . . and be cognizant of what people are watching you do when using your video (eating, spinning in chair, etc.)
  • WebEx Presentations – consider a slide with visual and written directions for new or infrequent users:  https://intranet.bussvc.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/112/2020/03/WebEx-slide.pdf
  • Everyone works differently – remember that not every coworker wants to work from home and the shift can be stressful for some.  Have patience and be kind.

WORK EFFECTIVELY WITH YOUR DoBS UNIT

  • Use Microsoft Teams to keep shared documents and for conference calls, video chats and remote screen sharing among team members.
  • Over communicate – If you question whether your coworkers will want to know something, share it . . . maintain an unit chat group for discussions.
  • Use WebEx to meet daily/weekly to touch base with discussions or issues.
  • Resolve issues quickly with a phone call – email, text, IM, and other written methods of communication are prone to misunderstandings. When you sense this is happening, pick up the phone.
  • Maintain your Unit Culture – make sure that the little things you did in the office continue . . . chatting about sports or your family or anything else you would normally do in passing.  This can help reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety.

SELF CARE

  • Morning Routine – do everything as if you were going to the office . . . shower, dress, breakfast, etc.
  • Keep Moving – set an alarm to get up and stretch every hour, walk around while chatting on the phone.
  • Breaks and Lunch – step away from your computer.  And ask yourself before grabbing a snack – are you hungry or bored?
  • Turn off your computer when your workday is done.
  • Employees can call the Employee Assistance Office at 608-263-2987. Employees also have access to Life Matters, a free and confidential statewide service that provides 24/7 telephone and text support for employees’ personal and work-related concerns.
  • Positive Thoughts – remind yourself that you’re doing great!

OTHER RESOURCES