EPFL now requires all staff to work remotely until 19 April. No one is allowed on site, apart from those who have been granted an exception by the DSPS. This measure is fully justified by the very fast spread of COVID-19 in Switzerland – the number of cases is doubling every two days.
- Starting on Monday, 16 March, all EPFL staff members and researchers are required to work remotely.
- EPFL will reassess this measure based on how the public health situation in Switzerland evolves.
- Exceptions are possible for imperative reasons, but the requests must be submitted to your dean (for the schools) or vice president (for central services). These requests will be submitted in order of priority to the Coronavirus Task Force, which was set up for this exceptional situation, for approval.
- Teachers are authorized to come to campus to record streaming classes that require a demonstration with lab equipment. This represents an imperative reason.
- Continuity plans (aimed at protecting staff members while keeping the activity running) have been put in place for the security, facility maintenance and management teams.
We are now asking every team, every center and every laboratory to develop a continuity plan in line with its needs and mission (see the principles below).
- This plan must be written down and shared with the team’s or lab’s staff
- Central services teams must share their plan with their supervisor
- Zoom can be used for (internal and external) meetings and for maintaining friendly contact with people while working remotely.
- Starting today and throughout this exceptional situation, it is possible to transfer calls from your work phone to any outside landline or mobile phone.
- Questions? First of all, refer to the instructions on this website. This website is updated daily and has answers to most of your questions.
In addition, as already announced yesterday, from Monday, 16 March, until Sunday, 19 April, all EPFL classes will be given online (live and/or recorded).
- Our top priorities are the health of staff members and anyone else involved in these activities, and our social responsibility to slow the spread of the virus. Efforts to minimize the damage that the health measures may cause to research projects are of secondary importance.
- The instructions provided on this website, which were issued by EPFL, must imperatively be followed.
- Working remotely is the basic rule; any exceptions must be approved by your supervisor.
- Zoom meetings are encouraged.
- Operational continuity must be achieved while ensuring people who have the same tasks do not work alongside each other, in order to minimize the risk.
- Any work that involves people being in contact (interactive tests or questionnaires, work involving patients, etc.) must be put on hold until further notice.
- All non-essential and non-urgent experimental work must be postponed.
- All experimental work that cannot be postponed must be able to be carried out with more than two meters between each person and without people touching the same object (instrument, lab bench, glass, etc.), while adhering to the standard safety guidelines.
What you need to work remotely
Here is a list of software and services available to the EPFL community that allow you to work off site easily and efficiently.
Remote email access
You can use either a computer or your smartphone to access your EPFL email account off campus.
Go to the email configuration and support page for more information.
Remote access to your Exchange Calendar
You can access your Exchange Calendar over the web as well as through the Outlook (Windows and Mac) and iCal (Mac) clients.
Go to the calendar page for details on how this works.
Remote intranet access
If you want to use certain services on EPFL’s intranet, such as WordPress and Sesame, you’ll need to set up a VPN connection with EPFL.
Go to the VPN clients available page to learn how to install a VPN client.
As of today and for the duration of this exceptional situation, it is possible to forward calls from your internal phone to any fixed or mobile phone number.
Remote access to Jabber
You can install Cisco’s Jabber Softphone on your computer or smartphone.
You can use Zoom to set up and participate in video conferences, simple online meetings and group messaging.
Official virtual backgrounds for zoom conferences are available on Corp-ID Inside webpage.
The Center for Digital Education (CEDE) and Teaching Support Center (CAPE) have setup documentation and a Help Desk to support teachers for the online conferencing tool ZOOM, Moodle and Speakup.
The DSPS ergonomics webpage shows you a few simple things that you can do during this time to best adapt your remote workplace. You will also find other valuable tips in the “useful links” section.