Advice to keep your department functioning during a disruption
- Start planning now – 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 and what is 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 staff handbook and contact HR for questions on the College sick leave policy.
Strategies and Tools
- Communicate within your department and with your colleagues, then communicate more!
- Increase usage of the tools you will rely on now, 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, and Slides, provide an excellent work and collaboration platform, here is some information on our site and also directly from Google.
- Do you need to access College resources like the finance system or network drives while not on campus? Connect via the VPN.
- 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 Williams or even Google accounts. More help here.
- Make sure you’re getting email notifications of voicemail. You can play messages via the web or by calling in.
- Does your office need direct response to incoming calls? Contact OIT to discuss options that best fit your work.
- Don’t forget that Google mail has a direct message and group chat function built in.
- Maintain good practices for protecting information when processes change.
- Use your website to share important updates, here’s helpful information on wordpress.