Last updated 3/22, 1:00 p.m.

1. COVID-19 Employee Guidelines

Cornell has posted comprehensive employee guidance on the University’s COVID-19: Employee Guidance page.

2. Remote Work

Per Governor Cuomo’s order, all nonessential New York state businesses were required to bring their in-person workforce down by 100 percent by March 22 at 8:00 p.m. Nonessential employees who had planned to come to campus for even a part of the workday are no longer allowed to do so. Please connect with your supervisor if you need to revise/implement your remote work plan, and feel free to reach out to Liz Flint if you have any questions. We should all continue to endeavor to get our work done but with maximum understanding, flexibility, and patience for our colleagues in light of the changing circumstances.

Due to the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order, if a supervisor has no available work for a nonexempt employee to complete remotely, the supervisor is expected to approve continuing pay for the employee at their current rate of pay and regular scheduled hours/effort, without requiring the use of vacation or health and personal leave accruals. This does not apply to nonexempt employees who are out on a preapproved leave. Please see the Pay Practices website for more information, and contact Liz Flint if you have any questions.

For staff with children, school/child care closings adds stress to working families and we support as much flexibility as possible during this time. The support resources page on the HR site has info about finding babysitters, parenting support for those homebound with children, and much more. Employees can also use HAP to care for healthy children during school or child care closures (exception to policy). Additionally, Cornell is temporarily waiving the requirement for employees to have a child care arrangement for their children while working remotely. However, remote work with children present can pose some unique challenges and requires thoughtfulness on the employee’s part about what can reasonably be achieved and what is safe. Detailed guidance can be found here on the “Wellbeing” tab.  

3. IT/Computer Support

To support remote work, you may temporarily bring home your office desktop setup or just part the setup, such as screen, webcam, etc. Please register any equipment you are taking home with IT. You will need to take down and reconnect your system at home without IT one on one support.

CLS PC’s do not have a wireless connection so you will need to plug directly into your router at home. If you are unable to get your computer connected to the Internet please call David Semo at (607) 220-3574 and he will coordinate technical support (this number should only be for connection issues).

Helpful Tips for Moving Your Desktop Setup

If possible, take pictures of how the wires are connected to your computer, front and back. This will help you connect everything properly when you get home.

Be sure to take all power cables as well as your network cable with you. If your network jack has more than one outlet, please mark the jack that originally housed the cable for when you return.

As a general rule, mice and keyboards attach to your computer via USB connectors and outlets. Even wireless mice and keyboards have small transmitters that are plugged in to your computer’s USB ports. If you have a wireless keyboard and/or mouse, be sure to collect the transmitters so they are not lost.

The Law School help desk will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide remote support. Please continue to submit tickets when you need support. You may request assistance by emailing the helpdesk at or by calling (607) 255-5500. Please remember to include a phone number we can reach you in addition to your support issue.

They will be using a remote online support system. To use the system, your computer must be up and connected online. You will need to be at your computer when we initiate the session. We cannot provide remote support if you are not at your computer.

Cornell IT has also put together helpful tools for working remotely, including information on how to answer your office phone remotely using My Extension Everywhere.

4. Staying Connected

During this time, it is important to stay connected with your teams and colleagues. We encourage teams to have regular check-ins via Zoom. Have a team Zoom coffee or lunch. Set-up Skype for Business (free for all of us with your Cornell net ID e-mail) so you can IM with each other. Those of you that like to do the New York Times Daily Crossword each day over lunch may want to continue to do it through virtual means, or maybe there are other puzzles/games that you want to set-up for a virtual competition. Be creative!

5. Wellness

It’s critical that you take care of yourself. As you work remotely, make sure that you are taking regular breaks (5 min of every hour) away from your computer. Stay consistent with your eating, sleeping, and exercise routine as appropriate. Structure your day, building in social time with colleagues and others, and maintain boundaries to prevent overwork. Make sure you are unplugging at the end of your work time.

As Ryan Lombardi noted in his e-mail to the Cornell community last week, spring is on its way and we encourage you to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Our local community is home to many beautiful nature sights and hiking trails.

There is also a treasure trove of options available for both your mental and physical well begin online. Here are just a few of the many options available:

6. Online Learning

There are a number of options available to pursue online learning as follows, including specific tranings related to working remotely (