Finding Your Balance – Telework Tips
Information Technology News
April 20, 2020
With the recent transition to a Virtual Campus many faculty and staff have transitioned to telework.
Adjusting to a non-traditional work and learning environment can be a challenge.
To assist in the transition into telework, some tips and recommendations are provided to make the move efficient and effective.
- Quite Zones – Sometimes boundaries for a quiet time is needed for web meetings, online instruction or just for peace of mind. Create a method of letting family know when silence is needed. Some suggestions include posting a schedule of meeting times, using a table to display an “On-Air” Sign or simply creating your own “Do Not Disturb” sign.
- Dedicate a Workspace: Find and create a dedicated home office space. Many experienced telework professionals recommend creating “work zone in the home” to help maintain consistency for yourself and those around you. Keeping an organized workspace helps your brain shift into business operations.
- Keep a set work schedule – Whether it is getting dressed for the day, getting up at the same time or replacing your commute with exercise, maintaining your morning routine can help you mentally prepare for the day ahead.
- Check-in with your co-workers. Although the campus is closed the work goes on, and several options are available for connecting with your coworkers.
- Get moving – One change when adjusting to telework is that there is a lot less moving around between meetings and physical locations.
- Stay Informed – If you miss picking your free copy of the New York Times found around Campus, there’s good news! Thanks the UCO’s American Democracy Project partnership with the New York Times, access to NYT digital edition is available at no charge to UCO students, faculty and staff.
- Receive Phone Calls Made to Your Campus Extension – Webex Calling is available through the Webex Teams desktop or smartphone app, which will allow you to make and receive calls from your UCO extension without the need to forward your number. More information on Webex Calling and how to get started can be found in the Online Service Desk knowledge base. Direct forwarding office extensions to outside lines, including personal cell phones, is not available.
- WebEx Teams Phone Services: Changes to Long Distance Code – Individuals who have been issued long distance codes will no longer be required to enter them when making domestic long distance calls using WebEx Teams Phone Services. Need a long distance code? Contact your supervisor and complete a Security Access Form. Individuals who have been issued international long distance codes will still be required to enter a code when dialing internationally.
- Get one-on-one assistance with UCO Technology Software – Appointments are available for faculty, staff and students to get help using D2L, WebEx, Office 365 and many other software packages. To schedule an online appointment, visit the Bookings calendar.
- Internet Speed – Data speed is impacted by many factors: data plans, provider reliability and hardware used to connect. If home Wi-Fi seems slow, one option is to reduce the amount of streaming services that are connected the same time by planning around online meetings. Learn more about Internet Resources for Oklahoma Residents.
- Hear We Go! – Yes, HEAR, if you are experiencing slower connectivity, consider using only your audio when meeting online. Face-to-face interaction is vital, even when virtual, but you’ve suddenly found yourself working from home possibly with a spouse and kids all sharing the same wifi connection. You just need a consistent connection to conduct a critical meeting. Utilizing audio-only meetings instead of video will reduce data use and just might help maintain your connection.
- Log Off/Sign Out – To free up resources and for better security, be sure to log off UCO services and disconnect from the UCO VPN when access to university resources are not needed at the end of the work day.
- Get Plugged In – When possible, physically connecting a device a Wi-Fi router/modem can provide a more secure and consentient data connection.
- Need Some Technology? Consider Using the Central Tech Store’s Online Shop – Stay safe and healthy with the Central Tech Store’s online shop! The Central Tech Store staff are working hard to keep all of the available inventory online and up to date to meet your technology needs while the physical store is closed.Check out the Central Tech Store at techstore.uco.edu, call 405-974-3561 or email email@example.com between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
- Teleconferencing – When you are not actively speaking during a teleconference, keep your microphones muted to help keep audio clear of feedback and background noise. Many times, the clicking of your keyboard or dinging on your phone can create a distraction and make it difficult to hear other meeting participants. And, in some cases, the audio cuts in and out over the speaker depending on volume of sound.
- Get a Refresher on WebEx, OneDrive and Office 365 – All recent training sessions designed to help transition to alternative instructional delivery or telework have been recorded. You can find them on the Help and Support webpage along with many other resources organized for you. For questions or more information, email the UCO Service Desk.
- Keep An Eye on the Wi-Fi – Avoid using public Wi-Fi when possible, and for added security use the UCO VPN when connecting to university resources.
- Beware Freeware – Many companies are offering free or discounted software to assist in the current crisis. However, faculty and staff should only install university approved, and supported, software and resources. Installing unapproved software could compromise your device and slow down your data connection.
- Antivirus Software – Utilize the free Symantec antivirus software on your home computers, available to students, faculty and staff for free.
- Spam Aware – Scammers and spammers often take advantage of a crisis to formulate cyber-attacks. Stay current with your Cyber Security training and remember UCO information Technology will never ask for your password.
- Phishing Attempts – The Information Security community has seen compelling phishing attempts that are focused on updating telework applications such as Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Teams. These phishing attempts look exactly like the official webpages of Cisco and Microsoft and ask the user to “log in” to update their application. Remember that UCO’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) will either announce updates to applications or update applications automatically. Do not update applications based on emails received from sources outside of OIT. For questions or more information, email the UCO Service Desk, call 405-974-2255 or visit the Service Desk website.
- Data Protection – Be mindful of FERPA issues and review the UCO data classification guide when working with sensitive data remotely.
- Do not use email to exchange or store sensitive information.
- You should assume that any email message sent to or received from an off-campus address is at risk for exposure.
- If you must send or receive sensitive, information via email, use Secure File Sharing. For more information on Secure File Sharing, visit the Business as Usual web page for Accessing Your Resources.
- Keep Your Web Conferencing Safe – Due to recent security issues with Zoom, enhanced security settings have been applied to the platform for all users. Zoom has also offered a few additional safety recommendations which can be found in the Zoom knowledge base article.All Zoom meetings now:
- Require passwords for new meetings; and,
- Must utilize the waiting room feature requiring hosts to admit participants.
- NOTE: Your previously scheduled meetings which did not require a password will now require one. The passwords are randomly generated. You can go to your meeting list page to notify your participants of the new password.