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Dean-ing from home

Today President Vaccarino sent a letter to staff and faculty about changes to way the university works in lights of developments and decisions around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Beginning Tuesday, March 17, employees are asked to work from home when operationally possible. Employees who are required to perform a critical function and/or whose physical presence is necessary to perform their work as determined by their supervisor will need to continue to come to campus.”

I was on campus in the morning and early afternoon–good thing as I needed to rescue my running shoes from my gym locker before the campus centre closed at 1 pm–but after my 2 pm meeting I decided to head home and join the members of the university community working from home. My panniers were stuffed to the gills but I did an extra 15 km loop on the way strictly for de-stressing purposes.

I posted to Twitter: “Okay, we’ve set up staff to work from home. I’m packing up my office and moving home too. I’ll be Dean-ing from my dining room table. Full day of WebEx and teleconference meetings tomorrow. Let’s see how this goes! #StayAtHome

Now you might wonder why the dining room table? Don’t I have a home office? The answer is no. Like many of the staff and faculty, we’ll be brainstorming about this working at home thing as a family tonight over dinner.

I confess I’ve never been good at working at home. It’s worked well for me in terms of work-life balance to think of work as a place I go to. I know that makes me an unusual academic! I’ve always worked in my office. I may keep long hours as a Dean but when I’m home, I’m home. The few times I have attempted working from home it’s been as a writer/researcher and not as an administrator. This will be interesting challenge.

It felt so strange leaving work today not knowing when I’d see people in person again. I mean, we’ll meet virtually everyday. I guess it’s a good thing that I teared up leaving the office. I have the best co-workers.

I even moved my office plants home.

Image may contain: plant, tree, table and outdoor

I’ll miss the College of Arts community immensely during the time ahead.

Let’s stay in touch virtually.

You can follow me on Twitter, and for more fun, follow the College of Arts on Instagram.

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