Due to rising concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Denver employees were instructed on Monday, March 16, to work remotely wherever possible. To help with this transition, we asked Daniels staff members with experience working from home to share their top remote work tips. Here’s what they offered:
(1) Get your technology in order. To effectively work from home, there are certain physical pieces of technology you may need like a laptop, charger and mouse, but DU offers additional technological tools that can make working from home easier.
- To access the shared drives via the VPN, download and sign in to Citrix
- To chat and share information online, get familiar with Office 365 and set up Microsoft Teams
- To virtually meet with one another, download and use Zoom
- To make and receive phone calls, download Cisco Jabber or forward your calls and check voicemail remotely
(2) Create a dedicated workspace. Clearly define the part of your house where work happens. You may already have a home office but if not, set up your computer or laptop in a designated area, preferably one with a flat surface for your tools and a chair for you.
(3) Treat working from home like working at the office. This may include showering and getting dressed in the morning; waking up and going to bed at the same times; starting and ending your day with a routine; “commuting” to and from work by taking a short walk around the block in the morning and at night when you log off; minimizing distractions (ahem, turn off the TV); eating how you would normally eat; and taking a lunch break.
(4) Interact via video. Instead of dialing in to meetings, opt for video conferencing as it’s often more engaging than simply listening to a speakerphone. Do your best to actively participate during virtual meetings and speak up as it’s easy to drift into the background, especially if you aren’t leading the meeting.
(5) Overcommunicate with your colleagues (at least at first). Reduce feelings of distance and any potential frustrations by communicating with your colleagues more than you might in the office, at least until you get more comfortable working together remotely. Chat online via Microsoft Teams, check in via Zoom or connect via phone/email when possible.
For additional work-from-home tips, visit DU’s Human Resources and Inclusive Community website. DU’s Human Resources Partners are also available to assist with questions about remote work.