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Distance work - co-worker checklist

Your employer is responsible for your work environment, even when you are distance working. You should discuss with your immediate manager the arrangement of your work environment at home, and how well it functions. We are experiencing an extraordinary situation, and we must all do our bit to make it work.

Didacticum - IT undervisar



Digital education – advice for working from home

A digital course has been developed by Feelgood, the occupational healthcare company used at LiU. It discusses the importance of good habits and procedures when working from home. You are given information, concrete advice and ideas about how to use simple means to create a functional workplace at home, and promote well-being.

The course can be taken on a computer, mobile phone or tablet computer. It takes about approximately 25 minutes, and consists of text and videos with the Feelgood experts in ergonomics.


This web page contains tips and advice about:

General recommendations

  • Follow any updates from LiU on the webpage on the coronavirus and FAQ.
  • Consider your work situation and the tasks awaiting you in the near future. Is it possible for you to work from home? What workplace facilities do you have at home? What work-related equipment do you have access to?
  • If you are still working at your normal workplace, make it a habit to take your computer home with you at the end of the working day.
  • Consider what material you take home with you. We deal with official documents. Some work tasks are not appropriate for work at home.
  • If your situation is such that you cannot work from home, you may continue to work at your normal workplace. Consult your immediate manager. 
  • Co-workers who are sick, or absent for any reason, are to file a sickness notification following the normal procedure. Notify your immediate manager.
  • It is necessary to use the VPN client to access the common file storage (“fillager”), but many other functions do not need a VPN connection.
  • You should save documents on OneDrive, which does not require a VPN. Instruction for using OneDrive are available here.
  • You need to be connected with VPN regularly to keep licences for Windows and Microsoft Office active, and to get some updates.

Structure your day – create routines

  • Try to ensure that the working day at home is similar to a normal day at work. If you can retain your routines, or create new ones that are suitable for the situation, they will signal calm and security to your body.
  • Have clearly defined working hours: decide when you are to work and when you are free. Switch off the computer at the end of the working day.
  • Take breaks at regular intervals, and take a proper lunch break.
  • Make sure that you remain active, get some fresh air and get out into the daylight every day. You can, for example, go for a walk at lunchtime, or “go to work” in the morning and “go home from work” at the end of the working day.

Ergonomics – vary your working position and the load on your body

  • A digital course has been developed by Feelgood, the occupational healthcare company used at LiU. It discusses the importance of good habits and procedures when working from home. You are given information, concrete advice and ideas about how to use simple means to create a functional workplace at home, and promote well-being. The course can be taken on a computer, mobile phone or tablet computer. It takes about approximately 25 minutes, and consists of text and videos with the Feelgood experts in ergonomics.

  • Think about flexibility: our surroundings at home are often not intended for office work. Change your working position often, and think about such aspects of the workplace as illumination, furniture, and working position. Share useful information with each other. An ironing board makes an excellent stand-up desk.
  • Remember to take breaks and exercise regularly! When working from home, we have a tendency to remain sitting for longer periods, which can cause muscle stiffness. It’s a good idea to install the Paus-it program, which can be done through MinIT.
  • Try to get out of the home every day for a bit of daylight and exercise (unless you are ill).
  • To prevent overuse injuries, be on the look out for early signals from your body such as soreness, tension and muscle or joint stiffness.

Communication – keep in touch with your manager and colleagues

  • Social interactions, informal contacts and exchange of ideas are not as natural when working at home.
  • Keep in touch with your manager and colleagues by phone or digital channels.
  • Organise digital fika breaks (in Teams or Zoom), or phone each other a bit more often, even if it is just to have a chat.
  • Are you missing the people you usually discuss ideas with, now that you’re on your own? Phone a colleague to talk things through, and solve whatever problem you’re stuck on.
  • When you have a meeting that does not require a computer and screen sharing/ viewing - instead, if possible, have a walking meeting. Fresh air, exercise and to meet one another affect us positively.

Support is available if you are feeling anxious

  • If you are not coping well and need support – help your manager by arranging a talk with him or her. Describe the way you’re feeling.
  • If you are anxious about your work situation, or have other work-related problems, the occupational health services may be where to look for support. The occupational health services can offer remote counselling, and can also receive physical visits. Contact your immediate manager or HR partner if you want to contact the occupational health services. If consulting your employer is not an appropriate initial step, you can make one anonymous visit each year, without the approval of your manager.
  • If you experience trouble with your health that is not related to your work, you should always contact the health and medical care services. Telephone the 1177 medical information service or contact your local health centre.
  • Are you worried? If possible – avoid being alone with your thoughts: try to spend time with others who you feel safe with. Try to find a balance between acceptance of your anxiety (which is, after all, a natural reaction and feeling), and talking about it. 
  • Limit your consumption of media news, and use only reliable sources.
  • And remember – the current situation with a COVID-19 pandemic and the activation of distance mode will not last for ever!

Insurance

All employees are covered by a contract that gives compensation in the event of personal injury. This contract functions as insurance, and gives compensation in the event of occupational injury. It is valid also for distance work – on the condition that you and your manager have agreed that the work is to be carried out at home.

It is your responsibility to take out home insurance that will give compensation in the event of, for example, fire or burglary.

IT security when working from home

Risk of attempted fraud

In fraud attempts, a request is often presented to sound very urgent. Often there are several red lights that warn about a fraud attempt. One such warning is that the request is urgent, and claims that there will be serious consequences if we do not comply. Trust your instincts – if you get the feeling that something is not right, it certainly isn’t. Don’t just check-up by written messages – obtain oral (or video) confirmation from colleagues and managers.

Use LiU equipment at home

We recommend strongly that LiU’s IT equipment be used in your work. You should avoid as much as possible using a private computer or tablet computer for work. Use also a screen lock at home when leaving the computer, just as you would on campus.

If it is not possible that to use LiU’s IT equipment when working at home, it is very important that you install safety updates both for the operating system and the software on your computer. This is the most important measure to ensure that you computer and the university data are protected. You should also use antivirus protection. Windows computers have effective protection from Windows Defender, which is part of the standard installation. If you use Mac OS or want stronger protection for Windows than Windows Defender, we recommend ESET Nod32. There are, however, several other effective products. Remember also that pirated software and keygens (programs that generate fake serial numbers) constitute a particularly high risk and often contain malware.

Gaining access and retain security updates from home

You may need to use a VPN to gain access to certain LiU resources. You must also connect through the VPN at regular intervals to keep the licenses for Windows active, and to receive certain updates.

Contact the IRT in the event of any difficulties

Never hesitate to contact the IT security unit at LiU (IRT) if you are the target of, for example, attempted fraud, phishing or a virus infection. We are fully aware that sometimes things simply go wrong, and we want to help you minimise any damage or problems that arise.

Full contact details of the IRT are available here.

Safe charging at home

Phone chargers: never charge your phone close to anything flammable. Don’t leave the charger connected to the wall socket for long periods unattended. Use brand-name equipment.

Computers: remember that computers must have ventilation to prevent overheating. Don’t have any flammable material on, under or close to your computer for an extended period. Switch the computer off when not using it. Old computers collect dust and overheat more readily. The IT Division recommends in general that laptops are exchanged at intervals of 3-5 years, depending on how much they are used.

Miscellaneous advice:

  • Use only chargers ordered through the IT Division (brand-name chargers) for telephones and computers.
  • Place equipment on a solid surface when charging – not a bed or sofa.
  • Check that the charger and cable are not damaged. Contact the IT Division if the charger or cable is damaged to obtain a new one.
  • Disconnect the charger from the wall socket when charging is complete.
  • Install working fire alarms.
  • Charge equipment while you are awake and present, and not in the vicinity of flammable material.
  • Use an earth-fault circuit breaker, and replace broken electrical contacts.

Online meetings and telephone meetings

  • General information and how you succeed with your meetings.
  • Background images for online meetings are available in the File archive for graphic profile.
    Download the file/files you want to use and add them in Zoom in Virtual background settings. LiU backgrounds are available automatically in Teams.

Teaching

Think through how your teaching and material could, if necessary, work in such an online teaching situation. Didacticum has published practical information about how to manage various types of education using digital technology and the IT Division have several guides and information available on digital resources:

The recommendation is to begin with digitization of the content matter (for example recording PowerPoint presentation) and using our LMS Lisam for distribution. The second alternative is to use live video tools for online activities such as Zoom or Teams.

Tools

Too much sitting still when working at home?

Install the Pausit program on your computer for exercise breaks. Pausit reminds you to take regular short breaks and get moving. You can choose the exercises you want to carry out, and set up a schedule for them.

MORE ABOUT how liu succeed with DISTANCE WORK


Page manager: corona@liu.se
Last updated: 2021-03-09