COVID19 Toolkit

Tips for Working Remotely

 

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way we work in what seems like only a matter of weeks, especially for those in education.

Millions of people suddenly found themselves in a remote work environment, perhaps for the first time ever. While there are many benefits to working remotely, there are even more differences when compared to traditional on-site work — especially when you’re forced into this situation.

But even if you’re new to working remotely, following certain informal measures can help you thrive and be productive.

Here are four tips for working remotely:

Communication is Key

Communication is important in any job, even when you see your colleagues or students every day. When you’re working remotely, the need for communication is enhanced. Let others know how they can reach you — whether that’s through email, text, phone calls or online chat — and respond in a timely manner.

You also want to make sure that you communicate often.

Let others know what you are doing, when you need help and what you expect from them. This is not the time to assume that others know what’s going on. Err on the side of over-communication to help ease fears and keep everyone on the same page. Of course, don’t expect to get immediate responses as you would in a face-to-face conversation.

Most importantly, give others a little grace since they’re also adjusting to the new normal.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Working from home can present technological difficulty. You may be required to log in to a network in order to access certain systems or software. You will have to be your own IT department in some ways.

For example, you may need to set up your computer, printer, call forwarding and other office equipment to do your job at own home. It’s important to ask questions if you need assistance. Reach out to colleagues or your organization’s IT department if something isn’t working. You might even be able to connect with students or instructors at your institution to learn how they’re using technology and what’s working for them.

Chances are, someone else has experienced the same issues you’re facing and might be able to help.

Create Check-Ins

Even under the best of circumstances, change isn’t always easy. It’s even more difficult when facing uncertain days ahead. This is exactly why you should make it a priority to check in with your coworkers on a regular basis.

Check-ins are dedicated times set to communicate with coworkers, present updates and collaborate. Similar to office hours, check-ins should be scheduled for a few times each week at minimum. In today’s workplace, most check-ins are done with video meeting apps such as Zoom, Google Meets, and Microsoft Teams or via online chat software like Slack.

It’s easy to feel isolated and overwhelmed during this time, but personal and professional connection will help ease this transition.

Have Some Fun

When working remotely, some people tend to overwork. This is why you also need to make time to have a little fun.

Schedule group calls or chats with your coworkers where you get together and talk about something other than work. Catch up with others, hear stories about kids and pets interrupting work, bond over the lack of supplies like toilet paper in your local grocery store or simply share positive things you’ve seen people doing during this crisis.

Trust us, this is important. These informal conversations don’t need to be scheduled at a regular cadence, but they will help you and everyone you work with feel less isolated when you do get a chance to connect.

Working remotely doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When done properly, it can lead to increased productivity, reduced stress, higher morale and greater job satisfaction.

As always, if you have any questions or if we can support you in anyway during this time, don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager

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Shifting Online: How to Support Your Learning Community During Crisis

Across the country, colleges and universities were forced to flip the switch to distance learning almost overnight. For many, this was not an easy switch.

In a recent article about the need for online education during the COVID-19 outbreak, The New York Times stated that “online education accomplishes at least three distinct things: distance, scale and personalization.”

Students need courses that are not just accessible, but also well designed—courses that will fully prepare them to learn during situations like this. While that may seem like a tall order, here’s how you can scale your online continuing education program:

Expand your online catalog and map courses to your on-campus programs

This crisis caught many off guard. You try to plan for all possible learning disruptions, but it is hard to be fully prepared for something of this magnitude. 

But, there’s good news. Expanding your online continuing education catalog is one of the most direct ways to reach people in your community, especially those who expected to take on-campus classes. To serve a broader number of learners, we recommend doing the following (if you don’t already):

We continually update our catalogs to reflect changes in various industries and local job markets. So, by expanding your catalog offerings, you can instantly roll out courses that compliment what students were studying on campus.

While there was no way to truly prepare, there is a way to react to this crisis. Right now, the primary goal of every higher education institution should be to continue providing quality education and ensuring the safety of its students.

Learn more about expanding your catalog.

Market online courses to your student population

One of the many problems institutions are facing in this crisis is the abrupt end to campus-based learning. Students and faculty were forced to leave before a plan could be formed for the remainder of the semester. This presents a number of challenges, including ensuring that mitigation plans are properly communicated as they are rolled out.

Our digital, email and print marketing resources are ideal for promptly communicating and marketing your online courses to students. We also provide you with detailed course descriptions, branding guidelines to ensure the student portals look and feel like your institution.

Beyond this, we provide best practices for working in a distance learning format, as well as high-touch service and access to real-time student data and reporting.

Access the COVID-19 marketing toolkit.

Identify and promote skills that align with working remotely

Remote work was already on the rise, but it became standard almost over night. Huge numbers of Americans now find themselves in a remote work situation, with many more. expected to “work from home” in the coming weeks.

However, some human resource experts predict a shift to remote work as the norm after the pandemic subsides. In fact, FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics reported that the number of remote workers grew 44% in the five years before this crisis. It is increasingly important that institutions are preparing students to perform well in remote work environments.

Courses like Keys to Effective Communication, Individual Excellence and the Fundamentals of Supervision and Management can be extremely helpful in our current work climate.

Look toward the future of online learning

Online learning shouldn’t stop when on-campus classes start back up.

Our online courses are continuously updated and tested for quality and positive outcomes. Most importantly, offering a robust online catalog going forward simply means that you can reach more learners. Today’s pandemic showed the need for tomorrow’s flexible learning solution, so as learning needs and challenges evolve you should evolve with it. 

When this situation subsides, there will be economic recovery efforts that rely on workforce and skills training — which you can start providing immediately. Pulling certain levers right now (expanding your catalog and marketing your courses) is the best way to help learners in need of flexible education now and in the future. 

For more information on expanding your online catalog, please reach out to your account manager.

 

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Flyer: Use your time to learn online
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