Employee information and resources

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Employees to work from home except those providing essential services

Until further notice, employees are instructed to work from home. However, people in roles that leaders deem are essential to the ongoing and safe operation of our campus should report to work.

We are implementing this change in response to guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services. Health authorities have advised that everyone engage in social distancing, which means maintaining a distance from other people and avoiding places where large groups of people gather.

We understand that this is a unprecedented time and we are committed to supporting our whole community. The University will make sure that we can follow public health guidance for social distancing and cleaning protocols.

If your department head approves work-from-home arrangements, please review the resources for working remotely.

Access to buildings

Employees who are performing critical functions and require access to their workspace must receive approval from their department head and ensure the necessary key/fob access is available.

If your department has employees that are physically present on campus on a regular basis, please contact Plant Operations so that services and maintenance schedules can be adjusted. In your email please include the following information:

  • Subject: [DEPT NAME] – campus presence
  • Date - Week of [March 23-27, 2020]
  • Department Name
  • Number of employees present
  • Building name
  • Room numbers

Plant Operations will need to know your location of work and all other areas that you have accessed, so prompt cleaning can be scheduled.

If you become ill while working on-campus, please notify Occupational Health immediately.

Preventive measures for on-campus employees

Any on-campus employees must continue to:

  • perform hand hygiene frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub (if hands are not visibly dirty) or with soap and water (if hands are dirty);
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • practice respiratory hygiene by coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow or tissue and then immediately disposing of the tissue; and,
  • maintain a social distance (minimum of 2 m or 6 feet) from other individuals.

Custodial services

Custodial services will be stopped in locked buildings once each area has been thoroughly cleaned. Only areas with approved active research or essential services will continue to receive cleaning service.

Likewise, waste removal will be reduced. In buildings that are open during the day, waste will be removed only from public areas. There will be no waste removal from private offices, lounges or kitchens. Employees are asked to place waste in containers in public areas. For those working in locked buildings, either take your waste home or place it in a dumpster outside.

Tips for staying healthy while working at home

The following tips for staying healthy while working at home have been provided by the University's Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, Homewood Health:

  • Create or continue your routines: Create or maintain your daily routine in preparation for your workday, establish a wake-up time and a routine to support a normal working day.
  • Create a dedicated space for work: Select an area of your home that provides you with a suitable workspace, think about surface space and room to stretch. Avoid your bedroom or high traffic zones.
  • Think about natural light: Helping to maintain a positive outlook, natural light plays an important role. Try to find a spot where natural light is available. Keep in mind, backlighting may impact the ability of others to see you when attending video conferencing or meetings.
  • Eating and hydration: Try to maintain healthy eating patterns and stay hydrated. Avoid high sugar snacks and beverages to avoid swings in mood and energy levels.
  • Mental health and wellness: If you start to feel overwhelmed or isolated, remain active and engaged with your personal and professional support networks. Take mental health breaks, avoid watching or reading pandemic headlines and social media postings during your free time. Take care of your body, take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate when possible and ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

Work from home resources