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.
I’ll miss the College of Arts community immensely during the time ahead.
Let’s stay in touch virtually.