Welcome Staff & Faculty
If you are a staff or faculty member who recently transitioned to working at home due to the COVID-19 crisis, we understand that you may be faced with many challenges as you adjust your work style and get used to this new normal. Remaining engaged and motivated while working from home can be difficult, especially when you've had little or no time to prepare.
We hope this website provides some tools and resources to help you adjust to working in a remote environment. If you find yourself needing additional guidance or support, please reach out to your supervisor, HR Partner or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
The purpose of this site is to provide employees with strategies, solutions and other resources to maximize wellness while working from home. For updates, announcements and technical resources (including IT resources) related to COVID-19, please continue checking the UMS Public Health Advisory Page for Employees and the USM Coronavirus Community Updates page.
As you set up your remote work space, ensure that, to the extent possible:
- Your work space is clearly defined, neat, clean and free of clutter;
- Temperature, noise and lighting levels are adequate for maintaining your normal level of job performance; and
- Electrical cords and extension wires are secured under a desk or alongside a baseboard.
For Zoom backgrounds and instructions, please click here.
The following information is adapted from the New York Post article, Working from home? Here’s how to make your setup more ergonomic.
- Get off the couch. Although tempting, working from your couch is one of the worst things you can do for your long-term back health. “I have never seen anyone be able to maintain both their cervical and lumbar lordosis while sitting on any kind of couch for extended periods of time,” says Devoe, referring to when your lower back curves inward too much. Maintain spine health by going for a chair or a barstool during working hours.
- Make your own standing desk. Even if you’re sitting, you might need to elevate your computer. “The middle of your screen should be in line with your eyes while you’re working, not below,” Devoe says. Some no-no spots for your laptop? “Never on your lap, definitely not on your coffee table,” he says. Instead, “your laptop should be elevated approximately 6 to 12 inches above your desk,” he says. Use books or boxes to get to that sweet spot.
- Stay put. Cabin fever might have you rearranging all of your furniture, but Devoe suggests setting up a workspace in your apartment and staying put. “Once you start thinking you can work from bed, it’s all over,” he says. “Be consistent with where your designated work space is,” he says. That way you won’t slip when it comes to elevating your screen, and sitting up in a real chair.
- Take breaks from your screen. Limiting screen time might be out of the question while working from home, but you should still step away “for five minutes once every hour of screen time,” says Devoe. Beyond checking the fridge or walking your dog, five minutes of standing up and walking around “will reset your body’s natural position and prevent you from getting comfortable in the wrong position.”
The following Cigna EAP Wellness Webcasts are available to UMS employees. To browse these and other EAP Wellness Webcasts, click here.
- Managing Anxiety: Coronavirus Fears & Concerns: The coronavirus outbreak can trigger natural fears and concerns. This can make day-to-day life more difficult. Get strategies to manage stressful thoughts and emotions.
- Work @ Home: Keys to Success: Transitioning suddenly to working from home can be stressful. We’ll share ideas and best practices to help you navigate the challenges.
- Resilience in Challenging Times: It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by ongoing changes and challenges. But you are stronger than you think. Gain tips for building your natural resilience.
- Managing the Return to Work: Explore the factors that can make going back to work feel challenging, and gain strategies to smooth the transition for you and your family.
- Kids, Teens, and Coronavirus Stress: Like us, kids and teens are stressed in these unsettled times. How can we help? We’ll share talking tips and strategies to help children feel more secure and resilient.
Please review the following resources for information on IT, safe computing from home, and more.