Guide to Our Return to Normal Operations

These past 14 months have been challenging for everyone at UCF and beyond. We are thankful for how our employees have supported our students and upheld our core mission of teaching, research and service.

 

On June 23, UCF will begin operating more closely to the way we did before the pandemic. All staff members are expected to return to their pre-COVID schedules and on-campus workspaces by that date, or by then have in place an approved alternative work arrangement that follows UCF’s Remote Work Arrangements policy. Supervisors and employees should begin to discuss the return to campus as soon as possible.

 

We are still learning lessons about working virtually, and we know that flexibility and remote work can help our employees achieve better work-life balance. However, decisions about remote work arrangements must consider the effectiveness of the individual to perform their work assignments remotely and the impact it has on their team and the institution.

 

Review the resources below for more information. We welcome your input at hrconnection@ucf.edu.

 

Documents and FormsUCF Campus ResourcesSupervisor and Manager Resources | Upcoming Webinars for Supervisors and ManagersKey Takeaways for EmployeesYour Remote Worksite | Employee Resources | Upcoming Webinars for Employees

Q&A: UCF’s Return to Normal Operations and Remote Work Options

UCF Policy EP-20-6- Remote Work Arrangements

Remote Working Arrangement Program Manual

Remote Work Arrangement Request Form

UCF Campus Resources

UCF Coronavirus Updates and FAQs

UCF Working Remotely Resource Page

UCF IT Faculty and Staff Guide for Working Remotely

Supervisors and Manager Resources

LinkedIn Learning Courses

To take advantage of UCF’s free LinkedIn Learning account, you must have a personal LinkedIn account. Set up your account here. Once your account is set up, you can access LinkedIn Learning here.

  • Leading at a Distance: Tactics and strategies for empowering remote teams and team members, as well as teams that consist of remote and in-person employees
  • Leading Virtual Meetings: Explore the challenges and benefits associated with online meetings and discover strategies for leading an effective meeting from a

Videos

Articles

For more learning courses and videos for supervisors, visit the Supervisors/Managers Resources page.

Upcoming Webinars for Supervisors and Managers hosted by HealthAdvocate

HR Benefits has been working closely with HealthAdvocate to schedule several upcoming webinars related to navigating our return to campus. Please note: A maximum of 100 attendees are permitted for each webinar and registration is not required.

Wednesday, June 16 | 2PM-3PM
Adjusting Your Sails: Leading in Rough Seas (for Supervisors and Managers)
Since the pandemic began, the situation has evolved in many ways while remaining unchanged in others. The pressure to continue leading and leading well through these challenges can create burnout and other related issues, especially with so many other intense issues happening concurrently across the country. During this webinar we will discuss how to recognize and address employees’ concerns during this time, as well as provide tools for managers to cope with their own challenges and emotions.

Webinar Link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85990390250?pwd=ek9sUDQ2YjYxYjEyaUFibm94Z0dtZz09

Wednesday, June 30 | 3PM-4PM
Coaching and Counseling Manager Workshop (for Supervisors and Managers)
This workshop reviews the differences and benefits of coaching and counseling. Participants will explore case situations and determine which approach is most appropriate, as well as common early warning signs that indicate a need for intervention. The workshop also outlines tips for dealing with angry or difficult employees, as well as the necessary steps to take, including proper documentation and feedback.

Webinar Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81856003678?pwd=RkpWZW85ak1pMXd6VThhbFRjK1BWdz09

Thursday, July 1 | 1PM-2PM
Settling Employees in Unsettled Times Manager Workshop (for Supervisors and Managers)
In today’s world, we are bombarded with social media and news updates about horrific and terrifying events. As managers, we need to learn how to support employees in finding meaning in their personal and professional lives, so they can place these events in their proper perspective. Topics include how to talk to children about these events, how to stay engaged at work, how to respond to co-worker comments and coping strategies. Note: this is not an appropriate intervention for a current crisis such as an employee death, robbery, or recent traumatic event in the workplace. Rather, it is a global presentation to help employees living in uncertain times.

Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89452816171?pwd=RVA5RitweGJxM3ZPS1RZNzBXZWdIdz09

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For Employees

Key Takeaways for Employees

View sharable PDF of the information detailed below.

  • Set Up Your Workspace

    Find a space in your home where you can concentrate. Set up a workspace in a low-traffic area where you can put down your computer and spread out. A designated and uncluttered space will help you focus and physically separate your work life and home life. Refer to our guide on setting up your remote work site for more tips and ideas.

  • Stay Secure Online

    The UCF Information Security Office recommends to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing your office PC or data stored on the university system via remote desktop to create a secure connection between your home network and UCF. Learn more about what you can do to stay secure online.

  • Communicate Often

    Share your daily task lists, communicate information when collaborating with others, and speak to your team every day. There are several communication mediums at your disposal, the most common of which include emails, voice calls, video calls, and instant messages. Using Outlook calendars and out of office message are great ways to let people know you are not physically in the office that day. Also make sure to communicate if you will be away from your desk for a while.

  • Maintain Healthy Boundaries

    Make sure to take breaks, stay hydrated, and give yourself opportunities to “clock out” from remote work at the end of the day. Consider setting a routine for your day as this will help you stay productive and help you maintain a proper work/life balance. It’s also important to move your body throughout the day. Best practices include standing up and stretching every 30 minutes, looking away from the computer screen regularly and using correct posture.

  • Accountability

    Remote work arrangements are privileges, not rights. It is neither an entitlement nor a university benefit. The arrangement must be in the best interests of the university. The university reserves the right to terminate or adjust the Remote Work Arrangement or workplace schedule at any time.


Your Remote Work Site

View sharable PDF of the information detailed below.

Setting Up Your Home Office

As a remote employee, a designated work space can help separate your work life from your home life. When choosing that location, keep these tips in mind:

A Separate Room or Low-Traffic Area
Do you have a room where you can close the door and work quietly? While not a deal-breaker, a door creates a physical boundary between you and distractions like family members and pets. If you don’t have a separate room, choose a location that’s as low-traffic as possible. In addition, be sure that the remote workspace is free of any obstructions that could restrict visibility and movement.

Lighting and Ventilation
Adequate lighting levels are critical to having a productive and comfortable work space. Consider positioning your work space near natural light exposure. Temperature and ventilation are additional factors to keep in mind. Ensuring your workspace is properly equipped provides a safe and effective work environment.

Space for a Proper Surface and Chair
Ideally, you’ll have space for a traditional desk where you can create an ergonomically correct workstation. Additionally, a comfortable chair is one of the most important components of any office.

Safety and Security

Monitor and/or Laptop
Place monitors at the right height and be sure it is free from glare. If you are using a laptop, adjust your chair and how you are working to minimize potential problems.

Keyboard
Position the keyboard directly in front of your body and adjust it so your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in a neutral position.

Chair
Make sure your chair is at the right height for you:

  • Your feet should be flat on the floor.
  • Your back should be supported.
  • Your armrests should be adjusted so your shoulders are relaxed.

Desk
You can make a table, counter, or other flat surface work as a desk for your alternate work space. It’s up to you to figure our what desk arrangement works best for you.

Lighting
Your work area should be adequately illuminated with lighting directed toward the side or behind the line of vision to avoid eye strain from squinting in lighting that makes your work difficult to read. TIP: Using a desk lamp can help prevent headaches.

Electrical Equipment
Ensure your electrical equipment is free of recognized hazards that could cause physical harm and that your electrical system allows for grounding of electrical equipment. It’s also good practice to ensure a first aid kit, portable fire extinguisher and emergency phone numbers are easily accessible.

Securing University Information

Think about the University’s record-keeping requirements and government laws, such as the Sunshine Law and the Public Records Laws. These rules apply even if you are working on your own computer. Employees must follow security procedures established by the University to ensure the protection, security, and confidentiality of University information and data.

  • When accessing your office PC or data stored on the university system via remote desktop, use a Virtual Private Network(VPN) to create a secure connection between your home network and UCF.
    This article will provide steps on setting up your VPN connection.
  • The computer you use should have up-to-date anti-malware software installed. Control access to your system and make sure you lock or log out of your computer whenever you are not using it.
  • UCF Policy 4-008 outlines security requirements with regards to sensitive data. You must use a UCF-provided workstation or laptop to work with sensitive data (using remote desktop to access your work computer from a home computer will satisfy this requirement).

Employee Resources

LinkedIn Learning Courses

To take advantage of UCF’s free LinkedIn Learning account, you must have a personal LinkedIn account. Set up your account here. Once your account is set up, you can access LinkedIn Learning here.

Additional LinkedIn Learning Opportunities for Remote Employees

Articles

Books

 

Upcoming Webinars for Employees hosted by HealthAdvocate

HR Benefits has been working closely with HealthAdvocate to schedule several upcoming webinars related to navigating our return to campus. Please note: A maximum of 100 attendees are permitted for each webinar and registration is not required.

Tuesday, June 22 | 12PM-1PM
Conflict Resolution Employee Workshop
When people come together they bring their differences with them, and it is inevitable that conflicts will occasionally occur. Dealing with interpersonal conflict is an essential job skill. This workshop encourages employees to identify their individual conflict management styles, as well as the characteristics of different styles that are present in coworkers. Employing active listening and speaking with intent can increase open and effective conflict resolution, as well as lead to a more productive work environment.

Webinar Link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81012550183?pwd=ejlPMU9wbEdOYlhYNERBTk1sQ2ZVUT09

 

Wednesday, June 30 | 11AM-12PM
Working through Stressful and Changing Times Employee Workshop
Change is all around us, and without it we would be stagnant as individuals and organizations. We all respond differently to what we call “change,” so how can we make it work for us? This workshop examines what change means for employees and organizations, and how can they can get on the same page when discussing and understanding its attributes, benefits and pitfalls. For most people, adjusting their perception and viewpoint can help them adapt more successfully to changing roles and environments.

Webinar Link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87677038201?pwd=NVNYcm8vZTRXb0Q4N3pkVXp3YUJyQT09

 

Tuesday, July 6 | 1PM-2PM
The “Big” Transition- Returning to our Workspace
As an increasing number of regions and industries begin transitioning back to the workplace, it is normal to feel unsure of what this next step will look like. Recognizing potential challenges related to returning to work and preparing for the changes ahead can make it easier to manage uncertainty and expectations moving forward.

Join us for this webinar to explore future planning strategies to adapt to our changing environment and related stressors in the weeks and months ahead.

Webinar Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81107362624?pwd=azQxQVNseEpFRTlLR3AzUStKUmVOdz09