Work Life COVID-19 Resources
It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the way we work and live. Neither our work nor our home lives feel familiar or comfortable right now, but Work Life is here to support and guide you through this difficult time. Below you'll find updates, events, initiatives, and resources related to COVID-19.
We also want to hear from you about other ways we might be able to help you right now. Please write to us at email@example.com with suggestions or questions and connect with us on Facebook for announcements and resources.
Working from home with your children is no small feat. If you need child care, you can utilize your 10 days of back-up care coverage through Bright Horizons. If you need more ongoing child care, you can find a sitter or a nanny through Sittercity, who has been helping families and sitters navigate through this difficult time. And please continue to follow CDC recommendations and local officials on how to stay safe during this health crisis.
Navigating Parenting and Remote Work
As we are all learning how to adjust to a “new normal” during the COVID-19 health crisis, the Work Life office is here to support and brave this challenge alongside you so that you can be well at work and at home. Among the myriad of articles that provide advice on how parents can navigate these stressful times, here are a few that we recommend:
Families and friends can still find meaningful ways to connect with each other, even while practicing social distancing. Take a look at these articles for helpful ideas:
And keeping a sense of humor can remind us of our resilience. This comic is sure to bring a smile to your face: Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
Resources for Online Learning
With early childhood programs and schools currently closed, families have been given tools and materials to transition their children’s learning online. Please continue to follow your program’s or school’s guidance and direct any specific questions or needs about your child’s progress to your child’s teacher(s). To keep up-to-date re: the NYC Department of Education's guidance for public schools, check out their dedicated coronavirus webpage. In addition, take a look at Learn at Home, which are resources compiled by the DOE to support remote learning.
If you’re looking for supplemental resources, check out these websites to spark children’s curiosity to dig deeper:
As NYU community members, we have an opportunity to create a network of support to ensure that those most vulnerable in our community and at greatest risk can thrive, despite the current COVID-19 situation.
If you're an older adult or caring for an older loved one, the AARP is hosting a series of tele-town halls every Thursday, and the Alzheimer's Associaton has several resources and supports for people living with dementia, caregivers, and families. Additionally, the Diverse Elders Coaliton compiled a resource list of several organizations and services currently helping older adults.
How to Plan for COVID-19:
1. Meet with your household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what to do if COVID-19 occurs in your family or community. Think about what the needs of each person will be, and where and how medical care will be provided. See CDC website for guidelines.
2. Identify those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. Think practically about spaces they can inhabit while ill.
3. If you don’t know your neighbors well, make contact through phone or email. Ask about their emergency plans. If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information, and resources.
4. Identify aid organizations in your community. Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies. Here are some local services to help you if needed. If you are in NYU Housing, please call the Client Services Center at 212-998-1001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in and around Washington Square Village, call Visiting Neighbors at 212 260-6200 or visit their website.
5. Create an emergency contact list. Ensure your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
6. Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
7. For those with a caregiver identified or already providing care, determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick.
Support Group for NYU Community Members with Older Adult Loved Ones
Work Life created a support group for faculty and administrators who are concerned about their older adult loved ones during this time. Every Friday from 11:30am - 12:30pm, Program Director Stacey Gordon will be leading a support group where you can share concerns, resources, and encouragement in these difficult times. Email her at email@example.com for the Zoom link.
Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer Effort
Work Life and Faculty Housing have teamed up to create the Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer program to help combat social isolation and help neighbors meet their immediate needs during the time of coronavirus. We have over 100 volunteers who are beginning to make calls to neighbors who indicated they would benefit from a check-in. In addition to ongoing telephone check-ins, we'll work with a team of NYU Silver Social Work students and faculty to do mental wellness check-ins, provide food packages, and offer tech support to help with home-based tech problems that surface during this time. If you're interested in volunteering, please email Stacey Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While self care has always looked different for everyone, the diversity of approaches is especially evident during this time. Some are turning to crafts and baking while others are trying to carve out 30 minutes of quiet time after a busy day of juggling work and parenting.
Right now, there's no one way to behave or take care of yourself, so we encourage you to do what feels right for you in the given moment. In addition to the resources that can be found on Work Life's Self Care page, we wanted to feature some links that show how different people are coping with and processing the current situation:
Coping During COVID-19: Perspectives on Self Care
- Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivty Pressure: Assistant Professor of Political Science Aisha Ahmad offers her thoughts to help those in academic adapt to a new normal.
- A Therapist’s Guide to Emotional Health in a Pandemic: Psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb explains how the concept of “both/and” may be useful when trying to find moments of humor or joy in a frightening and uncertain situation.
- Love in the Time of Coronavirus: What Living Through the AIDS/HIV Epidemic Taught Me: Kevin John Fong reflects on working and living in San Francisco during the AIDS epidemic and on lessons for the COVID-19 moment.
Take a (Virtual) Break in Nature
Even though we can't currently spend too much time outdoors, studies show that just looking at virtual green spaces can reduce stress. Take a tour of some New York favorites or visit locales from around the world:
NYU Discount for Iyengar Yoga
The Work Life office is delighted to partner with yogaselection.com to offer NYU faculty, administrators, and students a discounted membership to their online yoga training platform. The Iyengar method focuses on alignment-based teaching and precision and can be tailored for any level of expertise. If you're interested in trying the classes for free or joining at a discounted rate ($44 for an annual membership), please use this link and your NYU email address to register.
Work Life recently hosted a remote work webinar for faculty called “How to Adapt, Work, and Stay Sane in a New Remote Work and Life Reality.” Flexible work strategist and author Cali Williams Yost offered concrete, actionable strategies to help faculty regain a sense of control, well-being, and sanity in this new reality. If you missed the webinar, a recorded version can be found here.
Other Remote Work Resources
NYU has released several resources for how we might better adapt to remote work for the next several weeks. The NYU Tech Guide to Teleworking includes several apps, technology, and best practices to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Read on for other remote work tips that you may find beneficial, especially if you're a manager.
Quick Tips for Working Remotely
- Maintain normal routines that help you be productive each day. This includes getting dressed, taking a break to step outside, and maintaining a regular schedule for eating meals/snacks.
- Create an agreement or a way to notify other household members when you are on a video conference or otherwise shouldn’t be disturbed.
- Establish a pleasant workspace by selecting a comfortable chair and making an environment that is functional and allows you to focus. It should be as ergonomically set up as possible.
- Consider creating one calendar with both professional and personal items so that you are aware of your daily work schedule and caregiving needs. Be sure to include your own caregiving needs.
- Identify and prioritize what needs to get done every day.Use technology to connect with co-workers throughout the day.
- Be clear about your working hours. It may be easy to just keep plugging away at your desk, but setting boundaries on work hours helps to prevent burnout.
- Tools like Zoom, email, chat functions, Jabber, and other technology allow you to stay connected throughout the workday. Review these NYU IT Services for Telecommuting to learn about technologies for NYU employees that are either mandatory or recommended when telecommuting, including security, file sharing, and conferencing services.
- Use the cloud to save important documents by uploading to a cloud storage service such as Google Drive. You can log in from anywhere and have files accessible at any time.
- Use a noise-cancelling headset with a mute button.
- Check in with your co-workers and manager during the day. Similar to the office walk-by, maintaining that personal connection across the team helps to keep strong engagement for all. Chat, call, ping each other regularly. You'll figure out a new rhythm.
- Be forgiving of imperfect workplaces, including your own - you may hear barking dogs, children, and other family members. Being forgiving and flexible is important during crisis remote work.
- Check your mental wellbeing - make self care a priority. There are many support services available to you including NYU’s Employee Assistance Program, Carebridge, as well as other NYC and New York State based services, which can be found on Work Life’s Self Care page.