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Working from home

Working from home remains the norm. Due to the 1.5 meter measure, a limited number of workplaces is available per location. For the time being there is therefore no question of your own physical workplace. When allocating available workplaces, functions that require services to be performed on location (such as Student Service Center and payroll administration) are given priority. Do you want to use one of the remaining free workplaces?
First consult your manager, then you can reserve a workspace via the reservation system on a Hint intranet page. It goes without saying that you adhere to the corona measures in our buildings:
 
 
  • Work from home if possible and do not make your location visit longer than necessary.
  • Keep at least one and a half meters away from colleagues.
  • Our clean desk policy is now a priority: leave the desk behind neat and tidy.
  • If a visit to the location is not necessary after all, cancel the reservation via the link in the confirmation email.
As a consequence of the measures, it is likely that you will work remotely. Read more on the hint page to work remotely to get started.
 
 

The many urgent measures that have to be taken, both by the government and by the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, require improvisation from all of us. For example, how do we deal with the fact that childcare and schools are closed and that home education is needed? We realise that the current situation presents many employees with a challenge. We are currently working hard on additional policy measures.

Until greater clarity, we will apply the following, at least until 1 June: Employees do not have to take leave in the coming period if they are occasionally unable to work due to the government’s measures. As soon as we have adopted additional policy, we may renege on the course that we have set. For the time being, we hope that we all will be able to remain calm and let the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences continue to operate under these difficult circumstances.

    • Variety. It is important for both your productivity and your body not to work continuously for too long. Alternation can be done in different ways: alternating work posture, work tasks, regularly looking away from the screen, taking micro breaks (for example 20 seconds). Using pause software can help with this.
    • It is important to pay attention to music and climate. Restless music can disrupt your concentration. Also ensure a good climate in your home. It differs per individual, but around twenty degrees is often a good temperature. You do work which involves little physical exercise so you do not warm up, and then it must be comfortable.
    • You can set your workplace well with these recommendations. These tips will also come in handy when we can work at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences’ locations again.
    • Make more use of Windows keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse.
    • Limit the use of tablet and smartphone, both in terms of the total duration per day and the continuous duration. If tasks can be done at a fixed workplace then that is where they should be performed as well. If you work with a laptop, it is best to use a separate keyboard and a separate mouse. Another tip is to pull up your chair properly. This prevents too much stress on your neck and shoulders, because when you are further from the table or desk you work with stretched arms.
    • A good workplace everywhere. Sitting and using screens often also occurs in your private time. The same risks apply. It is therefore also important to alternate activities after working hours and to be alert to signals from your body. Would you like to know more? If you have any questions about the ergonomic setting of your workplace or would like further advice, please contact one of our health and safety professionals at arbo@hr.nl.

There are indications that other platforms besides Teams are also being used for video conferencing, such as Zoom.us. RUAS understands that employees are looking for opportunities, but there are risks involved if everyone deploys systems on their own initiative. Teams was purchased by RUAS as part of Office365, is managed and secured by the IT department and is specially configured for the university. This does not apply to other providers. Without further agreements, organization and management, RUAS runs privacy and security risks. In addition to video conferencing, this also applies to other applications that are not hosted by RUAS.

If Teams really falls short in functionality, or if there is a need for systems that are not currently offered by RUAS, please contact the information manager of your institute, knowledge center or service department. Information managers can advise on the use of software and, if necessary, initiate a process to offer additional software in a secure university environment. If you have any questions about the use of personal data due to changed processes, please contact privacy@hr.nl.

The NCSC website also provides some points of attention in connection with working from home and current cyber threats (not available in English).

In this time of distance education and working from home, the university of applied sciences requires special attention for digital security. We are currently receiving signals that coronavirus-related phishing emails are being sent. This is not yet the case at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, but it cannot be ruled out that it will happen in the near future. The university college therefore asks you to remain vigilant during this period. If you receive a message that you don't trust, check out Hint what you can do.

During these turbulent times, insecurity, questions and or feelings arise, regarding the Coronavirus. Despite closed locations, staff members can, when necessary, meet with the staff welfare officer: Liselot de Jonge. If you find it difficult dealing with the current situation, experience feelings of insecurity or find that all these changes are difficult to cope with, please contact her. 

Telephone number: 06-39087626 or e-mail: l.de.jonge@gimd.nl of l.d.a.de.jonge@hr.nl Available each working day: 09:00-17:00 hrs. 

In addition, you can contact her about other issues such as personal and or work-related problems, the balance or disruption between work en personal life, imminent stress, burn-out and absence/sickness, dealing with organisational changes and developments.

The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has previously communicated that the Zoom programme should not be used. Over the past weeks, many questions have been asked about the use of Zoom in our online education. The risks for privacy and security when using this product have been discussed many times in the national and international media. However, Zoom has obvious advantages and supports specific forms and activities of education better than, for example, Microsoft Teams. The specific forms are: (1) live lectures to large groups in which it is important to see more than four students simultaneously and (2) so-called break-out sessions in which the lecturer switches from group to group.

This is why over the past few weeks we have been working with Zoom on a configuration  that fits within the frameworks for privacy and security of our educational institution. When using Zoom, the configuration of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam is mandatory. It is also strongly recommended to review the documentation available on HINT before use.

As a result, we can now use Zoom on a small scale, which means that we can update our earlier ban of Zoom to the following basic assumption: "Microsoft Teams unless". Please use Zoom only for educational situations when absolutely necessary. Do not use Zoom for normal consultations, team meetings and external contact for which Microsoft Teams can be used, and not at all for privacy-sensitive conversations! 

The developments surrounding Zoom and their consequences for privacy and security will be closely followed by our privacy officers and security officers in the coming period.

Due to the corona crisis, employees work from home and do not always have the right resources at their disposal. This can cause health and safety-related complaints. Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has made a temporary emergency provision for the distribution of IT resources and furniture in the home situation in the coming period. Send your application to your manager. This emergency provision is temporary in nature, is caused by the current corona crisis and can be changed or withdrawn by the Executive Board at any time.

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