I would like to offer you some additional detailed information and relevant support links to a number of helpful resources should you feel you need some assistance as you seek to manage the impact of COVID-19 on your life.
Dealing with these Challenging Times
These are truly unprecedented and challenging times for all of us both professionally and personally. First, we acknowledge all the contributions people are making to keep the work of York University going. We are aware of the challenges being experienced by members of the York community due to these extraordinary circumstances and we will continue to do what we can to mitigate them as we navigate our way forward.
Please do not underestimate the mental and physical impact that this new way of working remotely may be having on you and the others around you. The collegial support that all members of our community have shown each other has been remarkable. I am grateful for the kindness you have demonstrated and for your willingness to check in with your friends and colleagues to see how they are coping with these dramatic lifestyle changes.
As is now evident to us all, there are unexpected complexities working remotely without the benefit of face to face contact. In addition, the social isolation or balancing work demands and the increased needs of your family and others (not to mention pets) –maybe all living in the same space – poses unique challenges.
Sudden change is not easy and can be stressful. Staying mentally and physically healthy requires a keen sense of self-awareness and developing new habits and routines to help you deal with your specific work/life circumstances. If you are looking for information regarding supports, you may find the following resources useful.
Employee Wellbeing Resources
The Health, Safety and Employee Well-Being website has a variety of information and resources to help you to set up healthy and safe workstations, including ergonomic information as well as excellent workplace stretches and exercises. In addition, there are also a number of resources available to help your physical and mental wellbeing when working from home. These include LinkedIn Learning videos, that provide self-care tips, and strategies on how to identify and cope with stress and anxiety.
I would encourage you to visit: https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/yulink/health-safety-and-employee-well-being to explore these useful materials.
York’s Employee and Family Assistance Program is always available and is 100% confidential; please visit www.workhealthlife.com to obtain useful information and support on health, nutrition, stress management, financial management, parenting and eldercare, and more.
Talent Acquisition and Development (TAD) Resources
The following link to the TAD March newsletter delivered through sway https://sway.office.com/482vcHKW6H5cOxY7?ref=email provides extensive information such as:
- New yu link pages: Managing Your Team Remotely (For Managers) and Working Remotely (For all staff)
- New Resource Guides: Managing a Virtual Team (For Managers) & Employees Guide to Working Remotely (For all staff)
- Helpful resources including York's Working from Home Cybersecurity Guidance
- Infographic: Recommendations for Working Remotely. A useful one-page reminder for all of us.
We understand that for many instructors, teaching online/remotely is a very new and sometimes daunting experience, especially as we contemplate delivering entire courses in this fashion over the summer.
The Teaching Commons is offering virtual drop-in hours 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday: https://yorku.zoom.us/j/7467955013 and their site is dedicated to faculty support: https://teachingcommons.yorku.ca/course-continuity/
I hope that you find this one stop reference of information, resources and supports helpful. Please feel free to reach out to your chair or associate dean, manager or human resources representative if you have any questions or concerns.
Take care. Be well.
Vice-President Equity, People and Culture