Preparing for Working Through Disruption

Plan to Minimize Disruption for Your Department

  • Make a plan – regardless of how the current situation unfolds, this is important work, plan now and you will be better prepared for any emergency.
  • Identify your department’s most critical functions, focus on them first.  What absolutely must get done for the college to function? What has lower priority?  
  • Be realistic about what can (and must) be done in extenuating circumstances.  What can your department do if a significant number of people are unable to work?  
  • Evaluate what services/resources will need to be expanded during disruption periods and support these expansions by evaluating what other services/resources may be temporarily curtailed.
  • Pick methods and tools to do your work that are familiar to your department and are already part of your workflows.  Only add new tools as absolutely necessary, normal business will be strained in an emergency and unfamiliar tools may add to confusion.
  • Reach out to your collaborators and clients – what do they most need from you and how can you provide that?  What do you need from them most and how will you function if that is impacted?
  • Create a departmental communication plan – how will you share information if you are not all in the same area?
  • Get everyone in sync and involved in this planning.  Start cross-training now.  
  • Encourage your colleagues to stay home when sick.  Consult the Employee Handbook (section 500.9) and contact HR with questions.

 Strategies and Tools

  • Communicate within your department and with your colleagues, then communicate more! 
  • Increase usage of the tools you will rely on now and everything will be much smoother when your work is disrupted.  Consider cross-training staff so your services will be less disrupted.  
  • The College’s Google suite—Drive, Docs, Sheets, Meet, Chat, and Slides—provide an excellent work and collaboration platform.
    The
    G Suite Learning Center has an excellent checklist where you can brush up on your knowledge of G Suite Apps or learn about ones you are not currently using to full potential.  There is also a search bar for searching the entire Learning Center. 
  • Do you need to access College resources like the Student Information System (Colleague) while not on campus?  Submit a WebHelpDesk ticket with a Request Type: VPN. LITS staff will help you determine the best way to proceed.

    Set up VPN

    Help Setting up VPN on Chromebooks, Macs, Windows
  • Need to have a meeting with remote participants?  Use Google Meet, it is an excellent video and/or audio conferencing system that is built into our G-Suite.  To create a Meet, just click “add conferencing” when you create a calendar invite. Participants do not need to have Allegheny or even Google accounts.  For a quick guide, please see this tutorial.
  • Set your office phone to forward calls to a personal number (can be either mobile or home number) to be able to receive calls made to your campus number.  If you did not do this prior to leaving campus, place a WebHelpDesk ticket with the Request Type: Phones being sure to include the campus number you need forwarded and the number where the calls should be directed.  
  • Make sure you are getting email notifications of voicemail.  You can play messages via the web or by calling in. Departmental phones can add this feature.  Place a WebHelpDesk ticket with the Request Type: Phones. LITS staff will help you determine the best way to proceed.
  • Does your office need direct response to incoming calls?  Learn how to forward all calls to another phone number
  • Need an easy way to communicate with one person or a group of people?  Use G Suite’s Hangouts Chat.  
  • Familiarize yourself with the LITS page Best Practices: Adopting Safer Habits.
  • Use your website to share important updates.  Here is helpful information for using WordPress.

Employees having difficulties use technology identified in this list should contact the InfoDesk by email at infodesk@allegheny.edu or by creating a ticket in WebHelpDesk.

Expectations and Advice from Human Resources

Mail

Contact the Human Resources team at hr@allegheny.edu for clarification or additional guidance for your work situation.
  • Expect to maintain regularly scheduled work hours
  • Remain accessible during designated work hours as if you were in the office – responsiveness to emails, phone calls, Chats, Meets, tickets, etc..
  • Continuous focus on work as if you were in the office – if you have downtime, contact your supervisor to discuss options (project work, supporting others, etc.)
  • Interact with team as typical
  • Utilize Google Meet every other day to touch base with entire team – even if the rest of team is in office
  • Ensure they have necessary resources at home to do your regular job; Do they have the technology necessary to work remotely?  Laptop, wi-fi, etc?
  • Track time in Webadvisor daily
  • Existing overtime and PTO policies still stand
  • When working remotely, employee shall not be the primary caregiver of any children, adults or elders
  • Employee agrees to protect confidential and proprietary information and take necessary data security measures to control access