For Staff

Work Remotely

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As we prepare for a transition out of the face-to-face work environment to online resources, we have created this site to serve as a guide to work remotely. Here you will find best practices for online pedagogy along with information on technology and tools to support your remote work. We are here to help. If you cannot easily find what you need please contact Human Resources.

These challenging and difficult times require understanding, empathy, and patience from the entire Gallaudet community. Communication is critical. Please do your best to over-communicate. The only bad question is the one not asked.

As Gallaudet University goes virtual, we want to give you some tips to get the most out of working remotely. We will stay productive no matter where we are working from!

  • Identify a Workspace
    Identify a workspace in your remote location
  • Daily check-in with the team (colleagues and supervisors)
    Communicate, communicate, communicate – remember to discuss expectations with your team and colleagues.
  • Discuss, Set, Execute and Communicate Goals
    Establish boundaries in your remote location to minimize distractions – for work and for personal errands.
  • Consistent Communication
    Establish daily and/or weekly meeting time with supervisors and colleagues.
  • Be ready to Participate in video conferencing (Zoom and Google Hangouts)
    Establish weekly and daily goals for yourself and your team.

Best Practices

This section is designed to help you think about how you’ll work virtually.

Getting online office hours started:

  • Step 1: Quick Start: Zoom Overview
  • Step 2: Determine a set time. Decide on a time when you can be available online, e.g., Tuesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Announce this time and instructions for connecting to the online platform in class and on the syllabus. Consider that you may have students in different time zones.
  • Step 3: Connect with students! Confirm that students know when the office hour is and how to participate online.
    • Set meeting norms: If using Zoom to convene your meetings, circulate clear expectations around behavior. See Accessibility Tips for a better Zoom/viral meeting experience.
    • Determine your priorities: As you think about working remotely, consider what you can realistically accomplish. What activities are better rescheduled, and what can or must be done online? Will you emphasize some things and de-emphasize others in order to add engagement and accountability? Keep in mind the impact this situation may have on coworkers’ ability to meet those expectations.
  • Don’t expect to master everything on day one!

Technology and Tools

  • Quick Start: Zoom Overview
  • Start a class and send an invitation to team members (Please note that staff will not need to register for an account to join.)
  • Virtual Office Hours

University Resources

Gallaudet Technology Services is offering walk-in hours for training every weekday through the week of March 23-27 from 1 to 5 p.m. in MLC B220. GTS will also host a Zoom walk-in hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. GTS is also hosting live streaming workshops on specific topics during the week of March 23-27.  GTS online resources are regularly updated. However, many faculty use software and resources, not on the GTS list. If this applies to you, please let GTS know so that they can add it to their list and ensure that the IT Service Desk can provide an appropriate level of response. Faculty also should check in on their students’ academics and well-being. Being informed, being prepared, and being flexible are the three linchpins of an effective transition to online teaching and learning to ensure academic quality and continuity, as well as a successful conclusion to the semester. Faculty should check the Gallaudet University coronavirus website for updated information.

  • We are looking for volunteers 

If you are particularly adept or experienced at teaching online and willing to provide support to faculty who need some help, please contact Jacquelyn Lally: jacquelyn.lally @gallaudet.edu. We will compile a list of names and faculty who need help transitioning to online teaching will be paired with a “faculty tech expert.” 

  • Student access 

Before choosing what resources you will use for your online course, it is important to check with each student to find out what technology they have access to for the rest of the semester. This will drive what resources you can use to ensure everyone has access.

  • Gallaudet-issued desktop computers during the Coronavirus pandemic  

To provide the University employees the ability to continue working remotely, employees will be allowed to bring their Gallaudet-issued desktop to their home. For more information, please go to this link.

  • Textbooks/Online Software 

An increasing number of publishers and software companies are providing their content online for free. Faculty should check with the publishers to see what options they might have. 

GIS will be in touch directly with faculty who have communication access services in their classes to gather information and collaborate on plans for continued access in an online format. Please watch for direct communication from GIS with more information. If you have any questions, please contact GIS (gis@gallaudet.edu).

Resources for Employees

Leading Employees through a Crisis

To view these guidelines in American Sign Language, please visit this link: https://youtu.be/uPV91O9uOGY.

During these times of uncertainty, there is heightened fear and anxiety among our employees. There is disruption in their daily lives, both personal and professional. The University is counting on supervisors to manage, motivate, and lead employees during times of crisis.  Instead of administrative work and meetings, supervisors should prioritize focusing on coaching their employees to ensure that the quality of work has not been impacted significantly. While it is impossible to predict where this will lead us, we need to remember one thing: the University is stronger together than we are alone. You can lead employees by following the tips below:

  • Convey a calm, confident and reassuring leadership style. When things are uncertain, there can be feelings of tension and feelings of insecurity. It is important to maintain a consistent attitude and demeanor with your team members to promote a sense of stability. 

  • Remind yourself that you will get through this, and there are people who are counting on you to lead the way. Do ask other supervisors’ support in sharing advice and tips.

  • Although you cannot always share every detail of what is happening, providing your team with relevant information in a timely and professional manner will help reduce their speculation and fear.

  • Be available for your team. You should allow your employees to ask questions and share their concerns with you. If you are uncertain of yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out to the right department and ask questions.

  • We are looking for volunteers 

If you are particularly adept or experienced at teaching online and willing to provide support to faculty who need some help, please contact Jacquelyn Lally: jacquelyn.lally @gallaudet.edu. We will compile a list of names and faculty who need help transitioning to online teaching will be paired with a “faculty tech expert.” 

  • Student access 

Before choosing what resources you will use for your online course, it is important to check with each student to find out what technology they have access to for the rest of the semester. This will drive what resources you can use to ensure everyone has access.

  • Gallaudet-issued desktop computers during the Coronavirus pandemic  

To provide the University employees the ability to continue working remotely, employees will be allowed to bring their Gallaudet-issued desktop to their home. For more information, please go to this link.

  • Textbooks/Online Software 

An increasing number of publishers and software companies are providing their content online for free. Faculty should check with the publishers to see what options they might have. 

  • This is a time where leadership presence is critical. Employees are going through a range of emotions during crises due to concerns for their own safety, families, friends, jobs, and financial security. It is important for supervisors/managers to acknowledge stress, listen to employees’ anxieties and concerns, and empathize with their struggles.

  • Ask questions. A general question such as “How is this work situation working out for you so far?” can elicit important information that you might not otherwise hear. Once you ask the question, be sure to listen carefully to the response, and briefly restate it back to the employee, to ensure that you understood correctly. Let the employee’s stress or concerns (rather than your own) be the focus of this conversation. 

  • You can promote available resources such as the Gallaudet Coronavirus website (which includes information on the 24/7 Call Center) and the Employee Assistance Program

  • Even though anger is part of this process, be sure the line is drawn at actual abuse, harassment and verbal venting of anger on other people. Make it clear, in no uncertain terms, that behavior of this sort will not be tolerated. 

  • If one of your team members is still displaying negative behavior, have a conversation with the employee about the behaviors being unacceptable.  Avoid using your own personal judgments–focus on the behaviors instead.

  • In times of crisis and managing a team, work becomes more efficient and satisfying when supervisors set clear expectations and guidance.

  • Give directions on what to do and what not to do.

  • Provide clear guidance on priorities for team members to rally around and contribute to. 

  • Set structured regular check-ins, whether it is daily, several times per week, or periodically, depending on your employees’ needs and your needs. This could take the form of a series of one-on-one calls (if your employees work more independently from each other) or a team call (if their work is highly collaborative).

  • The important feature is that the check-ins are regular and predictable and that they are a forum in which employees know that they can consult with you and that their concerns and questions will be heard.  This helps provide structure and invites feedback.  

  • During this time, it is important to acknowledge the hard work of your team during the crisis. Demonstrate to them that you are genuinely appreciative of their effort.

  • Effective leaders take a two-pronged approach, both acknowledging the stress and anxiety that employees may be feeling in difficult circumstances, but also providing affirmation of their confidence in their teams, using phrases such as “We’ve got this,” or “This is tough, but I know we can handle it,” or “Let’s look for ways to use our strengths during this time.” With this support, employees are more likely to take up the challenge with a sense of purpose and focus. 

If you are unsure how to support your team in this unprecedented situation and need more support, Human Resources is available to provide that support. There are also other resources outside of Human Resources, including the Office of the Ombuds or the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs

*Note: This is a compendium of guidelines and practical advice compiled from the human resources community and adapted to our circumstances at Gallaudet.*

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