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Planning For The Planned Pause

Summary

Here's what IT is planning for the Planned Pause - plus some tech-related tips and ideas for yours.

Full Description
The IT Plan

IT plans to break-up the Planned Pause in two separate weeks.

  • 1st week: Dec 14 - Dec 18
  • 2nd week: Dates TBD

Meetings - During the Planned Pause, IT will cancel or reschedule standing meetings. Please try to refrain from scheduling meetings with members of the IT department during this time.  

Projects & Deliverables - There will be a pause on project work during the Planned Pause and no deliverables will be scheduled during this time.  

Support - Technology support will continue but at a limited capacity so that our support staff can also benefit from the much needed pause. Student technicians will respond to support requests by chat and phone when available. Emails will be loosely monitored but responses may be delayed until after the pause concludes.

Please see the W&M Employee Wellness page for the university's guide to the Planned Pause. 

Prepare For Your Planned Pause

Here's a cheat sheet for some of things you will need to do to to prepare for your planned pause:

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Email Auto-Reply (your account) & Teams Chat Notifications

Set an email auto-reply during (or even starting before) your Planned Pause time period. 

  1. Log in to outlook.wm.edu
  2. Select the gear icon (Settings) in the top right section of the page
  3. Select View all Outlook settings (bottom right in Settings box)
  4. Select Automatic replies
  5. Toggle the Turn on Automatic replies button
  6. Fill out the form
  7. Click Save when finished (bottom right of form)

Suggested content for your email auto-reply during the planned pause can be found on the Human Resources W&M Employee Wellness page (Automatic email replay format section.)

Microsoft Teams will automatically display your auto-reply in chats during the time period it is posted.

Email Auto-Reply (departmental account)

Set an email auto-reply during (or even starting before) your Planned Pause time period for your departmental mailbox.

  1. Log in to outlook.wm.edu using your own credentials
  2. Click on your name in the top-right corner of the window and a drop-down menu will appear
  3. Select Open Another Mailbox and a small window will open
  4. Type in the name of the departmental mailbox and click Open
  5. The departmental mailbox will open in a new window
  6. Select the gear icon (Settings) in the top right section of the page
  7. Select View all Outlook settings (bottom right in Settings box)
  8. Select Automatic replies
  9. Toggle the Turn on Automatic replies button
  10. Fill out the form
  11. Click Save when finished (bottom right of form)

Suggested content for your email auto-reply during the planned pause can be found on the Human Resources W&M Employee Wellness page (Automatic email replay format section.)

Voicemail Greeting - Extended Absence Message

Turn on an extended absence greeting to let callers know that you are in the midst of the planned pause.

  1. Access your Voicemail box
  2. Enter your Password and the press "#"
  3. Press 7 - Mailbox options
  4. Press 2 - Call Handling Mode
  5. Press 4 - Extended Absence
  6. Press 1 - Personal Greeting
  7. Record a greeting
  8. Press "#" and hang-up

When you finish the planned pause, remove the extended absence greeting:

  1. Access your Voicemail box
  2. Enter your Password and the press "#"
  3. Press 7 - Mailbox Options
  4. Press 2 - Call Handling Mode
  5. Press 1 - Enable Standard Call Handling Mode
  6. Hang-up
Get Voicemails via Email

You can also make Voicemails easier to access by forwarding messages to your email through Mitel Connect.  Here's how to set it up:  

Mitel Connect on Windows:

  1. At the top left of the Mitel window, click on Connect
  2. Select Settings... from the dropdown menu
  3. Select the Notifications tab
  4. Check Send email about incoming voicemail to...
  5. Check Attach voicemail as a wave file
  6. Optional: Check Mark voicemail as heard

Mitel Connect on Mac:

  1. At the top left of the screen, click on Mitel Connect
  2. Select Preferences from the dropdown menu
  3. Select the Notifications tab
  4. Check Send email about incoming voicemail to...
  5. Check Attach voicemail as a wave file
  6. Optional: Check Mark voicemail as heard
Ideas For Your Planned Pause

The Planned Pause can be a great time to brush up on your technology skills or learn something new. Here are some tech-related ideas that you might want to incorporate into your pause:

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Declutter

...simplify your digital life

Decluttering your digital life can be very liberating.  It can help your computer run faster and help you find things easier.  While we encourage everyone to make regular backups of their desktops and files, you can remove unnecessary items (or items that have been backed-up) to help streamline your thoughts and focus your attention on current tasks.

This article (A 3-Step Cure for Digital Packrats) has a lot of great tips on how to declutter and here are some of our favorites: 

  • Clear out old emails from your Inbox
  • Remove unused desktop icons
  • Delete unneccesary photos
  • Edit your list of internet bookmarks
  • Consolidate folders and accounts
  • Purge unused files and applications
Make Connections

...cable connections, that is!

Learn the various types of cable connectors used for computers and internet set-up.  

Find Things Better

...by boosting your Google search game

You can save a lot of time and frustration by knowing how to efficienctly search for things on Google.  Take a few minutes to learn some of these tips found here:

Learn Something New

... gain a new skill

Everyone at W&M has access to a plethora of free, high-quality training courses via LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) - many of them are technology-related.  The Planned Pause is a perfect time to participate in a training course to learn a new technology skill, software package, or brush-up on the basics.

W&M employess can access LinkedIn Learning courses via Cornerstone and completed courses will show-up on a training transcript (which is particularly useful when it comes to annual review time!)  

To access training via Cornerstone:

  • Go to cornerstone.wm.edu and log in
  • Click Browse for Training
  • Search by Subject (left hand navigation) or type in the Search box to find a specific item (upper right hand corner of the page) 
  • Once you have found your desired training course, select Launch to start the training
Take a Deep Dive 

...enhance what you already know

Is there a system or software that you use a lot?  Take a deep dive on it to learn tips, tricks, common issues, and network with others that also use it.  Here are some ways to do so:

  • Check out the product website and see what is new
  • Try to learn a new skill/trick/shortcut that you can in your daily work
  • Compare notes with other universitites (aka benchmark)
  • Attend a virtual conference, virtual training, or webinar
  • Check out community groups/user forums for the system/software (examples: Qlik, Banner's Ellucian Hub)
Increase Awareness

...about cyber security matters

For those of you participating in the Planned Pause in 2020, you could use this period of time to complete the required the IT Security Education & Awareness training.  Find the training via Cornerstone and complete prior to Dec. 28, 2020.  Allow about 20-30 minutes for completion.

Read OUCH! to learn about the latest in threats to cyber security and how to combat them.  OUCH! is a world leading cyber security newsletter from the SANS Institute that focuses on a different topic each month.  Take a moment to read a few articles, like these: