INTRODUCTION

At Providence Christian College we are committed to providing an education of excellence within a deeply relational, Christ-centred environment.

As we continue to monitor government advice and recommendations for schools, we expect that some staff may need to work from home at some point.

The College wants to be well-prepared for this possibility, both so that we can meet the needs of our students, but also so that you, as a valued Staff member, are well supported in your safety and well-being, thus enabling you to continue to deliver excellent outcomes. 

It is important to recognise that Providence staff working from home may be teaching or non-teaching staff, full-time, part-time or casuals and contractors. Therefore the College wishes to be flexible and understanding as we approach each case on its merits. 

Many of you already complete some of your work at home – in non-Term time or throughout the Term to prepare, mark, write reports and so on. However, working only from home will be a very significant change from your usual work tasks and activities. 

This may involve a juggle for you between work activities such as preparing and delivering flexible learning to students or completing administrative tasks while supervising your children or fulfilling other home responsibilities. 

Work tasks may also involve greater use of a computer workstation than on a usual workday.

This document provides guidelines to help you prepare yourself for working from home. We want to ensure your personal wellbeing as you work outside of the College workplace and we also want to ensure that you are safe and able to apply College policies confidently in a new context to ensure continued excellence in your area of responsibility. 

ARE YOU READY TO WORK FROM HOME? 

Wherever you work, the College takes its responsibility for your safety and wellbeing seriously. Therefore, we expect you to ensure that your home-based worksite is a safe area to work in. 

It is likely that most staff will need to work predominantly at a computer workstation while at home, so it’s important that you follow ergonomic principles in order to work safely and effectively. 

Sitting at a computer for long periods is not recommended, even if your workstation is perfectly set-up. You should plan to take regular breaks such as standing up for a few moments, doing different tasks, stretching or changing position after every lesson or in between tasks. 

Your workplace should take the following into account:

  • You should work from a desk or table, with a supportive chair. 
  • Your laptop should be plugged in from that area. If you require an extension cord, ensure that it doesn’t become a trip hazard.
  • Speakers are preferable for online teaching but, if you use earphones or buds, check the volume before using them. 
  • The way to check that your screen is at the recommended height is to ensure that the top of your screen is at your eye line i.e. if you look straight ahead, your line-of-sight is to the top of the screen/monitor. 
  • Rest your eyes from screen work whenever possible.

YOUR SUPERVISOR’s* RESPONSIBILITIES

(*in our case, your HEAD-OF-SCHOOL/BUSINESS MANAGER) 

Your Supervisor* will: (either directly or via their delegates – HOLAs, Coordinators etc.)

  • Monitor your Work-from-Home arrangements to ensure that you are able to consistently deliver on agreed work outcomes. 
  • Schedule regular virtual meetings with you and your team to ensure adequate support and guidance is available. 
  • Provide you with support to ensure that you are able to deliver excellence in your areas of responsibility.
  • Provide you with the equipment and tools you require to perform your responsibilities.
  • Hold you accountable to perform your duties and responsibilities to College expectations.

SOME GENERAL ADVICE 

  • Plan your day: 
    • Work hours for most staff are from 8:15 to 4:00 pm. (Some staff have modified hours.) It is expected that you will be:
      • on-task and 
      • available for contact during your work hours.
    • The structure or routine communicated to you by your Supervisor* will help you to stay on task. 
    • A short planning session in the morning to map out your day can be very effective.
    • Stay Connected – It’s easy to lose contact. Check-in with your Supervisor* and colleagues regularly, or as arranged, using Google Meet or email. 
    • Focus on what you’ve accomplished at the end of each day to keep yourself motivated.
    • Track your Time – Be aware of how much time you spend working and not working
    • Be aware of the increased intensity associated with teaching online.
    • Speak with members of your household about how you can all work together harmoniously. 

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE:

  • The College’s expectations of Staff remain the same while you are working from home – but some aspects may look a little different in practice: 
    • You should still let your Supervisor (Head of School/Business Manager) know if you are unwell, or unable to work for any reason. Remember to complete your leave application on EMS360 and inform the Relief Coordinator, Wendy Brownhill, in the usual manner.
    • You should be available for contact during normal College hours. (8:15 am – 4:00 pm)
    • Your normal DOTT allocation applies and can be used for assessment and communications.
    • Student welfare is a prime responsibility. 
    • Your concerns should still be raised using normal channels. (this would include child protection and mandatory reporting issues)
    • Contact with students should be similar to that at College under normal circumstances and always in line with College policy and practice.
    • You should not arrange home visits or face-to-face meetings with students or parents.
    • Use Google Meet when conducting one-on-one interviews online with a student or parent. Take notes of the interview and enter them into SEQTA as usual. There is a new subcategory for online interviews with students and parents: ‘Online Video Conference

Remember to: 

  • Only use accepted communications platforms (Google Meet, Google Classroom SEQTA, College email. etc.) 
  • Do not communicate with any student via social media.
  • Give consideration to your appearance (be dressed for work) 
  • Be aware of where you are in your home. Consider what is in the background to be sure it cannot be misinterpreted e.g. do not teach from your bedroom. 
  • Take great care to protect the privacy and personal information of our staff, students and their families. 
  • To maintain appropriate privacy when working at home, especially if you have other family members at home. This may be through:
    • ensuring that you do not share the use of your College-provided device/s 
    • remembering to lock/logout from your device when not using it
    • taking care about who can overhear you on the phone or in a Google Meet etc. 

These are general guidelines aimed to assist you in your transition to working-from-home. For more detail in any specific area please refer to the College Policies or contact your Supervisor* directly. 

There may be specific issues relating to your role that you would like to discuss with your Supervisor*. Please raise these with them for further guidance and advice.