As we are all aware, the Covid-19 situation has completely changed the way that we work and study in the period of just a few days. These are extremely difficult times, and alongside adapting to new ways of working, the different family and personal situations that we all experience are likely to have an impact on our mental and physical health, as well as having a practical impact on our ability to work and study in different ways.
Teams at the University have been responding as quickly as they can to understand the different types of support that different members of our University will need. We will continue to add to these, as we learn how best to provide support, and build up the capacity to develop resources and help.
Some of the resources that have already been developed, include guidance for managers to help with considerations that might be helpful for different members of their teams. Specific considerations to help answer concerns relating to disabled students and Postgraduate Research students can also be found via the University Frequently Asked Questions.
If staff or students do have any concerns or questions which they would like to raise, please do continue to contact the staff and student helplines. Issues being raised through this route are being responded to, and information will continue to be added to the FAQs.
The Leadership and Management Academy have also put together a range of resources to support effective remote working. Staff can access this material through the website, and the team will be adding to these resources as new material becomes available.These pages include information about how to use some of the technologies that support working from home, as well as considerations about your own wellbeing. There are also some educational resources to support those who are combining supervising children who are home from school or nursery with working.
Staff and students may also be experiencing personal anxieties or difficulties. International students and staff may be away from their families and feeling isolated. You might also be worried about the health and wellbeing of your loved ones who are vulnerable at this time. These are extremely difficult things for people to cope with, and, alongside gaining support from friends and families where possible, there are self-help resources available from our Counselling service. In particular, several of the short guides and leaflets specifically address personal issues that we may experience over the coming months.
It has been brilliant to see in the past week or so how well people are pulling together to respond to support the University and the wider community. Our needs and anxieties are going to keep changing as the Covid-19 situation continues to develop, so please do make sure that you are able to raise any concerns or questions you have with colleagues or friends. The importance of social distancing for all is clear, and many of us are already self-isolating. Self-isolating and social distancing can become very lonely very quickly, so using any method of communication we can to keep in touch and support each other, as well as enabling us to continue our work and studies, is really important to maintain our health and well being. So, please take the time to check in on your friends and colleagues – this will really make a difference.
Take care all.
Professor Sarah Sharples
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
23 March 2020