How to Do Your Job Online

You’re great at your job in person, but how can you translate that support online? Great online services feel human. You can accomplish that in the following ways using Google Meet:

  1. Be on camera to welcome the student in the Google Meet room. The student doesn’t need to be on camera, but you should be.
  2. Start with all features and then let the student decide which ones can fall away. (This also improves the accessibility of services.) **Note: Never ask a student to disclose disabilities. Simply ask if they would like to use certain features.
  3. Use a casual but professional tone. Talk to the student like you typically would in person.
  4. Be kind! Asking for help takes courage.
  5. Explain what you are doing. For example, if you need to get something off-camera, tell the student you’re retrieving something and you’ll be out of frame for a moment.
  6. End the conversation by inviting the student back and/or telling them about other virtual support services.

Professionalism and Safety

Working online includes the same kind of professionalism required in person, with a few additional safety considerations. Some tips:

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Choose a quiet space to work.
  • The space visible behind you on camera should be neutral and unidentifiable.
  • Always use a work Gmail account rather than your personal account.
  • Never switch to FaceTime or give out your phone number.
  • For legal reasons and good person reasons, never ask students to disclose personal information such as disabilities, language background, ethnicity, etc. 

Just as we discuss safety in person, the virtual space is the same.

We trust student colleagues to ​validate their own experiences​ -- levels of comfort included. If you ever feel like something is happening or has happened that you’d like to discuss, get feedback on, or report, ​please do not hesitate to contact your director/supervisor​. We value your safety above all else.


To file a report with the university, click here.

Online Reporting:​ The ​Student Conduct, Intervention, & Support website​ provides online incident reporting forms and contact information for use by students, faculty, staff and community members. Issue types addressed include: 

  • Incident Report
    • Academic Integrity Violation
    • Alcohol and Drug Self Referral
    • Student Misconduct
    • Student Organization Misconduct
  • Title IX Report
  • Bias Incident Report
  • Discrimination/Harassment Report
  • CARE Report

Public Safety:​ The ​Grand Valley Police Department website​ includes telephone numbers for emergency and non-emergency reporting.
Anonymous Reporting:​ ​GVSU Anonymous Reporting​ is available for individuals who prefer to report concerns to the University anonymously through a system hosted by a third-party provider.

Checklist for Working Online


  • Choose a quiet and unidentifiable space with no distractions.
  • Sign into your work Gmail account.
  • Check how you are framed on camera.
  • Turn on your microphone.


  • Greet the student on camera using Google Meet.
  • Tell the student what features are available and ask if they want to use them.
  • Explain what you are doing as you go. Remember, the student can only see your face and shoulders on-camera.
  • Tell the student about other virtual support services, like the Knowledge Market's Online Support.


  • Close the Google Meet room.
  • Follow documentation instructions from your supervisor, like notes to take or messages to send.
  • Send any documentation to the student as suggested by your supervisor.
  • Stay logged in if you have future appointments or log out if you are finished for the day.


Page last modified September 25, 2020