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Working Remotely

We’ve gathered helpful information from departments across the institution to provide details on temporary procedural changes, contact information and more, to help you remain productive away from your regular office routines.

Remember, we’re all in this together, and we’ll get through this together.

Resources and Tips for Working Remotely

What if I cannot work remotely?

Supervisors may continue to use non-closure emergency leave as needed to support those employees whose roles do not allow them to work remotely.  If you do need to come to campus, please be sure to have your key or ID card to gain entry, as most facilities will be locked due to minimal staff on-site. 

Stay Secure - Be Aware of Spam and Phishing

UNG continues to be a target of malicious phishing attacks. UNG, as well as other USG institutions, are frequently targeted by various scams. The most recent attack requested our employees buy gift cards and then email the activation codes to the attacker. The Cyber Security team at UNG regularly monitors for these types of activities. On average, we block between 100-200 of these malicious messages per MONTH. Unfortunately, some of these messages do circumvent our safeguards.  

As a reminder, note the following warning signs:

  • Emails asking for personal information
  • Badly written emails
  • Hidden or misleading links
  • Unexpected attachments
  • A sense of urgency
  • Incorrect or “spoofed” sender addresses

If you receive any questionable emails, do not click links within the message or open any attachments. Instead, forward the message to spam@ung.edu to be evaluated by our team.

Well-being and Mindfulness
Use UNG's eight dimensions of wellness and practice mindfulness in the context of work

Maintain normal routines

  • If you normally chat with colleagues during the day, maintain those communications — it will help you to feel more “normal”
  • Create a “commute” — build in time to transition in and out of your work role before engaging in other roles
  • If you use an organizational system at work, use that same system from home
Maintaining work productivity
  • Dress as you would normally dress for work — the data suggests that remaining in pajamas results in lower motivation
  • Stage a workspace — your workspace should be quiet, contain all of the technologies and tools that you need to complete tasks, and should be free of distractions
  • Keep the workspace separate from home spaces — if you are working from home with children, keep the children out of the workspace
  • Maintain defined work hours — communicate those hours to family members and maintain those hours
  • Set defined hours for other required tasks (caring for family members or teaching children) — set defined hours for these tasks and create routine
  • Set virtual office hours and communicate to both students and colleagues when you will be online each day of the week

Cultivate a Growth Mindset about moving work and teaching online

Communicate with colleagues using best practices
  • Set up camera and picture of speaker near camera to make eye contact while teleconferencing
  • Give the speaker your full attention
  • Affirm (nod your head, respond)
  • Summarize (“Let me be sure I understand.”, “You suggested ___”, “Is this what you mean?”)
  • Give positive feedback (“Thank you for communicating this.”, “Thank you for sharing.”, “I appreciate your taking the time to explain.”)

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Mitigating Stress
Think of this as “Distance Socializing” instead of “Social Distancing”
  • We can continue to socialize with others with the use of technology — take advantage of that
  • Craft opportunities to interact with groups of friends (use meeting platforms)
  • Create a digital “happy hour”
  • Start a digital book group
  • Watch a streamed music or theater event together
Take time outside — the research is clear about this
  • Your environment and routine has changed dramatically, which creates stress
  • Exposure to sunlight decreases stress
  • Physical activity — but particularly physical activity outside decreases stress
  • Set specific times to be outdoors
  • Incorporate outside time into your daily routine
  • Consider beginning a gardening project and involve family members
Take breaks with the children or family members
  • Take breaks outside with children or family members
  • Engage in an ongoing activity you can come back to with children or family members (puzzles, an art project, a book you are reading aloud, etc.)
  • Create time for hobbies (art projects, gardening projects, reading a non-academic book, engaging with music, yoga, puzzles, etc.)
  • Consider early bed time for children, so that you have a few hours in the evening to engage in restful and regenerating activities
Physical activity in the absence of a gym
  • Begin an exercise regimen and involve your family
  • Incorporate outdoor activities (walking, outdoor yoga, cycling, etc.)
  • Consider remote workouts and online trainers
  • Join a remote workout community
Contemplative practices
  • Engage in Mindfulness (see Wellness section)
  • Join a remote meditation or spiritual community
  • Engage in real “music listening” — select an unfamiliar song from a liked genre, turn the lights off, close your eyes, and really listen
  • Take time to be silent and to focus on the present each morning

Employ gratefulness — spend time each day thinking of the good things in the present moment

More Resources

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Working from Home with Family and Kids
Balancing work from home and children from home
  • Separate the physical spaces
  • Consider putting up a sign labeling the workspace (e.g., “Mommy’s Workspace”)
  • Clearly communicate the rules for interaction during work time in the workspace
  • Consider having a sign that reads “In a meeting” when family members should not knock

Keeping children and family members busy

  • Consider Pinterest or other websites to find activities
  • Set a schedule for children that includes school work, break times, meal times, a rewards system, and time for crafts and activities
  • Allow the children to select their own activities and plug them into a schedule template
  • Take breaks if you are in a partnership — set times for you to be the primary caregiver and times for your partner to be the primary caregiver
  • Consider setting times for a “complete” break (give your partner an evening off while you handle all of the domestic and care-giving tasks, then you get the next break)
  • Consider allowing more “screen time” than you typically would, when appropriate
  • If you are a single parent or single caregiver, consider involving family members in “work” of their own (give them a task)

More Resources

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Staging the Workspace
Create an effective remote workspace
  • Make sure that all of the technology and chargers that are needed are at hand
  • Remove all visual and aural distractions from the workspace
  • Make sure the space is neat and organized
  • Consider posting a schedule of work to be completed each day
Dealing with distractions
  • Some are inevitable 
  • Ask family members “May I finish this task, and then come to help you?”
  • Let the laundry go (set times to accomplish other chores, and do not consider them while in the workspace)
  • If you are easily distracted by noise, consider wearing earplugs when appropriate
  • Utilizing spacing helps to remain focused when there are distractions outside of the workspace

More Resources

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Time Management

Pomodoro Technique

  • Pick one task you want to focus on
  • Set a timer and work for 25 minutes
  • Take a 2-3 minute break, then work for another 25 minutes
  • Complete four 25 minute work periods, then take a longer break
  • During the longer break, go into another space or do something entirely different
  • More information in the article "The Pomodoro Technique Explained

Create effective to-do lists

Take “brain breaks”

  • After a period of protracted concentration, give your mind a rest before returning to concentrated work
  • Listen to a favorite song
  • Get up and move around
  • Engage in a fun and non-academic activity

Spacing

  • Literature suggests that 6 shorter 20-minute sessions of concentrated effort over time is more effective than two hours of concentrated effort

Project management

  • Check in with the team at regularly scheduled times
  • Communicate expectations clearly and frequently
  • Use a live document for group collaboration
  • Ensure adequate face-to-face time
  • Develop a mindset of flexibility focused on results, rather than on time invested on projects

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

SkillPort Learning Recommendations

In support of our employees' online learning, HR has curated several collections of modules. Check out the Learning Programs on SkillPort linked on the left hand menu bar, built specifically for Administrative Support  and New Managers, as well as built around our 5 institutional values. 

Anyone who completes one of these modules by April 30 will be recognized in a campus-wide email, and entered into a drawing for a bookstore giftcard!

If you have a particular interest and need help navigating or finding material, please reach out to Elizabeth.King@ung.edu for suggestions.

Need Help Getting Connected ?

Accessing UNG Services While Working Remote

Accounts Payable

Check requests, including appropriate documentation, are due to Accounts Payable by 9 a.m. on Thursdays for processing each Thursday.

Auxiliary Services

During this time most Auxiliary operations are served by phone 706-864-1641. 

Dining Hall offers a two-hour meal pick-up window for each meal for students remaining on the Dahlonega Campus. All other dining operations, including Starbucks, are closed until further notice.

Bookstores are determining the best way to handle textbook returns. Please check the website for updated information as it becomes available. 

Housing, Dining, and Transportation and Activity Fees partial refunds should be processed by April 1, or soon thereafter. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we strive to serve our campus communities in this unprecedented situation.

Budget Office

Personal Services Budget Amendments in response to COVID-19 changes will be accepted through the Non-Personal Services Amendment deadline of May 1.

IT is working on transitioning the Budget Amendment form to an entirely electronic process and temporary stop gaps are being developed until this new system is fully operational.

Bursar's Office / Business Office

Staff are teleworking as much as possible.  Please email business.office@ung.edu to make an appointment for dropping off a departmental deposit.

Student partial refunds (housing, meal plans, transportation, and activity fees) are in process, with targeted completion by April 1, or soon thereafter.

Comptroller

Please continue using the electronic journal request forms, including appropriate documentation.  Staff are teleworking and email should be used for the fastest response.

Facilities

Starting Monday, March 30, UNG Facilities will provide reduced services to all UNG campuses in an effort to abide by state and federal guidance to reduce employees at the workplace. Because of these reduced services, we ask for the following cooperation from anyone utilizing an office or workspace on any campus:

  • Move garbage receptacles from office areas to the nearest hallway for emptying at the end of each workday.
  • Limit the storage of food in offices to deter insects and rodents.
  • For routine maintenance needs, please submit work order requests via the facilities website.
IT Helpdesk & Service Desk

UNG's Information Technology Service Desk support is still available, with staff working remotely during normal business hours. Please email, utilize self-service, or call the IT Service Desk for a remote help session before planning a trip onsite. For additional assistance you may:

The helpdesk walk-in locations are open Monday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Logistical Services

Dahlonega and Gainesville

  • Hours of operation:  9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday and 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Friday
  • Please contact the following to schedule a pick-up:

Oconee

  • Limited operations, with courier service on Wednesdays.  Please contact Eddie Morgan for additional information.
Payroll

The Payroll Department is teleworking and will respond to your payroll questions.  For service, send emails to payroll@ung.edu.  Staff are also able to retrieve voice mail via email, so please leave your name, number, and a brief message, and they will respond as soon as possible.

Postal Services

Postal Services is providing limited services.  Departmental deliveries are suspended at this time. 

Intercampus courier services are operating on a limited schedule as follows:

  • Dahlonega/Gainesville: Tuesday and Thursday
  • Gainesville/Oconee: Wednesday

Campus-specific operations are as follow:

  • Dahlonega: Incoming mail pick-up and out-going mail drop-off is available at the loading dock between Hoag and the Rec Center between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Friday by appointment. Please contact Haley McDaniel to schedule.
  • Gainesville: Incoming mail pick-up and out-going mail drop-off is available at the Logistical Services warehouse loading dock.  Please contact Eddie Morgan to schedule.
Public Safety

Public Safety can be reached at any time by dialing 706-864-1500 to address any emergency need you may have.

Purchasing
  • P-card statements may be scanned and emailed to Milton Hansen (hansen@ung.edu); however, they must be signed by both the P-Card holder and the approver and include all appropriate documentation.
  • Check Requests: Whenever possible please use the automated check request through PeopleSoft. Handwritten check requests will be processed once weekly. 
  • Purchase Orders, including GFMs, are being handled remotely and are current. 

 

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