Supervising Remotely

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought us into an uncertain time. Though it's unclear how long current conditions will last, NIU employees who are able to work remotely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As a supervisor, you'll need to find activities and projects for your employees to keep them feeling productive and impactful during this time.

The Employee Assistance Program and Training Center are here to help. Our counselors are available for virtual sessions, and we'll also be providing some virtual trainings. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at 815-753-9191 or

Understand Circumstances

As you consider expectations for your employees' productivity, keep in mind that their home environment is likely very different from their work environment. They may have family or personal obligations that make it difficult to work from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or attend meetings at certain times. Or they may need to work from the kitchen or living room, if they don't have a home office.

Tell your employees you understand their situation and will be flexible. Ask them what works best for them and offer accommodations.

Provide Resources

Help your employees find the resources they need to do their jobs. Make sure they have the appropriate technology. You can check with the Division of Information Technology about borrowing laptops or other devices. Some internet providers are offering free internet access for a limited time.

Connect and Communicate

For some employees, work may be their only connection with others, and working from home can be difficult. Schedule virtual meetings to see how projects are going and ask your team how they're handling working remotely. You can use Microsoft Teams for video calls or phone calls. Learn more about using Microsoft Teams.

When your employees feel like they have connections, they're better able to cope with stress and change.

Promote Professional Development

Coming up with projects for your employees to accomplish while working remotely could become challenging. It's a good time to help your employees learn new skills

Practice Self-care

You can't help others if you're not well, so take care of yourself. Get outside and enjoy the sun. Talk to family and friends by phone or video chat. Take breaks so you're not glued to work 24 hours a day. The line between work and home is blurred right now. Remember to take your focus off work at times and enjoy something that makes you happy or helps you relax.


Supervising Remotely

View the PowerPoint presentation with audio (PPTX), created by Susan A. Swegle, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP - Training and Development Specialist.

Note: To view presentation and hear the narration, click the Slide Show tab, then click the At the Beginning icon in toolbar. For those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you may read the script in the notes section of PowerPoint and advance the slides manually.

Onboarding (Remotely) for Success

For supervisors, onboarding new employees is not always easy, but doing it while working remotely adds some additional challenges. In this previously taped session, learn some tips to helping new employee acclimate to their new positions and become engaged in their new responsibilities - working towards retaining them as NIU Huskies.

Contact Us

Employee Assistance Program
Holmes Student Center 709
Back to top