For any issues that relate to workload and contractual issues while working remotely, it is suggested that PSS members bring their concerns directly to UB Human Resources and the bargaining units that they themselves are a part of.
Please contact the Office of Shared Governance for any assistance needed in using the PSS list-servs to share information and/or solicit feedback.
We, the members of the Professional Staff Senate, have gathered an extensive list of resources, tips and tricks to help you during this challenging and unique situation. We have grouped these resources into categories. We hope that between UB Human Resources, UB's Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and the personal tips below from fellow employees, you will find some exceptional resources at your fingertips to get started on addressing any difficulties you may be experiencing. For additonal guidlines you can also visit the COVID-19: UB Planning and Response page.
Tip: With spring weather, take an outdoor break or two during the workday. Go for walk around the block. It would be good for you to get the fresh air, potential sunshine, and time away from your work. You’ll return energized!
Tip: Set an alarm every hour to make sure you're getting up and moving. At work we’d be getting up occasionally to talk to colleagues but that doesn’t happen as much at home, so you have to “force” the issue. Also be sure to get a drink of water during that time as well.
Tip: Recreate the ‘dining out’ experience from home. Choose a night to order in from a local restaurant to support local business, set the table up nicely, play music that would match the ambiance (Italian café type music, Chinese karaoke music you often see at restaurants, etc.) and get dressed up. Make a little night out of it!
Tip: There is an at-home yoga instructor on YouTube who offers free classes: Yoga with Adriene Mishler. Adriene helps users build their at-home yoga practice. She has many targeted class options (e.g. for your back, for sleep, digestion, etc.) and multiple 30 day challenges.
Tip: Be kind to yourself and others. Get rest. Forgive yourself. Yesterday is yesterday. Every day won’t be the same. Take small steps. Take a victory lap when you accomplish something that frustrated you.
Tip: Create a plan for what you hope to achieve in a given day. If possible, have your workspace be near a window, not at the kitchen table, and not in bed!
Tip: Make a boundary between “work” and “home” – given we are in the same space, it’s hard to do that. Make it a point to log off and step away completely at lunch time. Don't immediately log off from work and then jump right into personal email, other work, etc. Try to make clear breaking points so you don’t feel like you're sitting in the same spot from sun up to sun down.
Tip: Stick to a routine. Working at home opens the door for lots of new distractions (…need to refill my water bottle…let me just tidy up the counter…oh, I forgot about this mail....and down the rabbit hole of distraction you go).
Tip: Make a good ol’ to-do list. Without the heartbeat of the office environment and people asking for things in the moment, it can be overwhelming to decide where to even start (especially when you are already overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what you know needs to be done today).
Tip: Schedule breaks. Put them on your calendar, with a pop-up reminder.
Tip: Have a candid discussion with any family members that may also be home about limiting interruptions to only those they would have called you about if you were in the office.
Tip: Check your email for contact from HR as well as their website. They are holding regularly scheduled information sessions for everything from mental health to tips for at-home work.
Tip: Making sure the area that appears in your webcam is clean/professional. We can’t change the fact that we are in a living room or bedroom or wherever, but you don’t want to appear unprofessional.
Tip: Keep an open mind – don’t think about what you “can’t” do but rather what you “can” do.
Tip: Reach out – your supervisor can provide you with resources for mind and body wellness, technical issues, etc.
Tip: Learn a new skill to keep yourself marketable – think about other things at UB that other people do that you might want to learn. An active mind is a productive mind.
Tip: Do those things that you never have time to do while working: