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Continuing Remote Work

Identify how employees are impacted and what supports they need

As you plan for continued remote work or a return to campus, it’s important to check in with your team to get a sense of how they are doing.

Consider sending a check-in feedback questionnaire to gather information from employees on how they are doing and what support they may need. Your human resources partner can help you determine what questions to ask and how.

Support home office setup and coordinate office equipment retrieval for continued remote work. To help with this, review the google docRemote Office Setup Guidelines, external link.

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Check in on work life balance. Remote work is new for our community, and brings unique stressors as employees balance work and home. Check in on how your employees are balancing deliverables and time off.

Recognize that your employees have unique circumstances. COVID-19 is impacting our community members in different ways including increased racism, as well as unique personal circumstances such as dependent care or isolation. Continue to be flexible, managing primarily through deliverables rather than monitoring time. You may also need to adjust expectations and workload as appropriate. You may wish to consult your HRP to assist with this.

Support employees with dependent care

Leaders should do their best to accommodate employees who are managing different challenges and commitments at this time. Employees should continue to work from home where possible. Ryerson is having employees return to campus gradually and so try to think creatively about how or when the employee might be able to perform the work.

Consider the following questions:

  • What changes to the work would help the employee be successful (e.g. eliminating low-priority work, focusing on projects that are not time sensitive)?
  • What daily schedule would help the employee be successful (e.g.  modified hours, split shift, compressed work week)?
  • What leaves might be available to help the employee manage during this time (e.g. vacation, personal)?

Supporting work life balance 

As the university shifted quickly to remote work, there has been an increased blurring of boundaries between work and home. Now that we are settled into a remote work setting for some time, leaders need to take time to set up adequate boundaries for everyone to thrive. Some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Your employees may feel more pressure to perform and show value.
  • The impacts of work stress may be amplified by feeling disconnected. 
  • As we adapt to virtual meetings, the impact of video meeting fatigue and exhaustion should not be underestimated. 

As we navigate the new challenges posed by remote work, leaders need to be mindful of their employees’ (and their own) wellbeing:

  • Ensure employees are balancing time in meetings, and time to meet deliverables. 
  • Be mindful of blurred boundaries for start and end times that may extend beyond the regular hour work day. Keep in mind that work days may be shifted to balance responsibilities like dependent care.  
  • Encourage regular microbreaks, as well as extended breaks away from computers.
  • Work with your employees to schedule extended time away from work through vacation or CTO hours.