A new Community group to support home workers

A new Community group to support home workers

Working from home; business as unusual

If you are unfortunate enough to have to deal with COVID-19 first-hand then my thoughts are with you. For the rest of us, social distancing is paramount – which has resulted in many people working from home for the first time. For those used to working from home (like me), it’s not all plain sailing - I now have to deal with a change in childcare situation for one thing.

So, working from home it is then. It’s all the rage – or is it making you all rage?

What can the DPG Community do to help? How about we build a social space to support people? Let’s see if we can help each other adapt, remain productive and keep a healthy mindset. If working from home isn’t new to you, maybe you can share some tips.

If you are working from home for the first time, let’s not underestimate the impact. Suddenly you can’t see your colleagues’ body language in the same way, you don’t feel the momentum and buzz of an office that can fuel the work mindset and worst of all – nobody is sat next to you asking if you fancy a brew.

We are building a Community Group to serve as the social space mentioned to help you navigate this minefield. We’ll share articles, tips, tweets, news and views. We’ll have forums for first-timers and old-timers. We welcome games, quizzes, quick wins and stories of challenges. And if you made a video blog of your WFH highlights you would score bonus points!

Here, social gatherings of less than two are banned!

To get the ball rolling let me tell you about how we’ve managed this shift here at DPG – possibly the greatest shift in working environment since the company began.

For the previous week or so, we’d been ordering in new laptops in case the decision was made and mid-week it was: as of Thursday, Head Office needed to close. Many people began working from home on Thursday (19th March). Those still in the office after that did an awesome job of making sure everyone had the tech they needed to work from home and that this transition would be comfortable and secure. As this process drew to its conclusion, the remaining DPG staff began working from home on Friday and one or two were left to begin on Monday.

We use Slack a lot at DPG. For those of you that haven’t seen it, I’d describe it as a bit like Whatsapp but on a PC (it works on smart devices too). You can have individual chat channels and group channels, you can share documents, upload a profile photo, set your status and you can make a video call at the touch of a button. There is also a large crop of apps that integrate such as Zoom. We’ve set up a chat channel called WFH (I’ll give you one guess what that stands for) where most people now check in first thing in the morning, share the odd photo of their day or light-hearted gif. Chat’s go on throughout the day as they would in the office-based environment – it’s nothing too distracting, it’s simply sociable. To recognise the above and beyond efforts of some DPGers as we move to remote working, we have a Kudos channel set-up where shout outs are giving where deserved. We also have a quiz on the go thanks to Rachael. We’ve used Slack for a long time, I guess now we are simply getting more from it and making the most of it.

The aforementioned Zoom is also getting a run for its money. Karen has planned daily huddles via Zoom – brief virtual get-togethers where we can all see each other’s lovely faces. I think it’s nice to see each other in our own environment: we've already had the pleasure of seeing Samantha and Tamain's beautiful daughters for instance. We may be working remotely, but if anything, seeing someone in their own environment brings us closer together. For me, I’m expecting my window cleaner to webcam bomb a Zoom meeting any day now. His name is Pete and he takes one sugar - wave if see him.

That’s enough for this blog. Schedule a comfort break, click the link below, join the group and don’t be remote. 



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Gary is The Professional Development Community Manager

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