Update corona: take care of yourself and each other

Working in this manner, day by day, is an exceptional achievement. But we must not underestimate the toll on our mental wellbeing.

Dear Colleague,

Due to the corona crisis, Ghent University employees have been working from home for more than a month now. In most cases, initiating telework has been quite successful. But maintaining this mode of working is not an easy feat, especially over a long period of time. In a limited number of cases, exceptions to teleworking guidelines are possible. These exceptions can be found at www.ugent.be/en/coronavirus.

It is important to stress that these extraordinary times demand that we must concentrate on striving towards the feasible, with respect for everyone’s limits. It goes without saying that our expectations and the goals we strive towards cannot be as demanding as they are in normal circumstances. In light of this I expect lenience from those that judge other people’s work. And be mindful to extend this lenience to yourself as well.

Not everyone can work from home without distraction or practical problems. For example, those that do not have access to the right IT equipment should discuss this with their supervisor in order to ascertain which tasks are feasible and which are not. If portable IT equipment (such as laptops, screens, keyboards, ...) is available within the research group, faculty office or department, this equipment can be used at home if possible - so long as teleworking is the norm. Naturally, this must first be discussed with and approved by your supervisor in all cases. Individual supervisors and Ghent University as a whole do not possess the power to grant everyone the ideal solution for teleworking. Here, too, we must strive for what is feasible.

Working in this manner, day by day, is an exceptional achievement. But we must not underestimate the toll on our mental wellbeing. Therefore, I would like to emphasize that the counselors at Trustpunt are there for you if you want to talk. ’Wellbeing at work’ is now, more than ever, of the greatest importance.

Everyone is doing their best to keep Ghent University afloat and flourishing. For this, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude and the utmost respect.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Rik Van de Walle

Rector


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