Working from home

Like many people right now, you're likely to be working from home. For many of us this will be a new experience, or certainly not something we're used to doing every day. Our Learning Technologist Chris has put together this handy blog packed full of hints and tips to make working remotely a breeze.

I wanted to avoid this being another post relating to our recent medical predicament. So I am intentionally leaving out a certain name….PHEW!. Nevertheless we are all facing new ways of working. Many of us have been catapulted into the alien world of working from home. 

A revolution in the making

Despite a career in learning technology I have very rarely worked from home. It is definitely a peek into the unknown. Most organisations, including ours, have had to install a new regime. At the College we have revolutionised our work environment addressing challenging issues about how to go remote. 

From a technical perspective we live a golden age of communication and connectivity. Thankfully there is a deluge of support to get you up and running, with technologies for communication and continuing to work collaboratively at distance. 

Necessity is the mother of all inventions

But not inevitably. Fortunately the learning technology arena is full of Open Educational Resources (OER’s) The folks at 1minutecpd have curated a wide range of quick and easy start up tips for a range of technologies. Here are six of the best examining some of the tools and tricks on offer.

1. Video Conferencing

Quick and easy chats. Free solutions for small video conferencing sessions like personal tutoring then the following could be useful:

- Video conferencing with

- Tools such as Zoom

2. Collaborative planning

If you need a team to collaborate on a project remotely, why not take a look at Webjets.

3. Surviving without traditional office software

Check out this tip for editing Office documents on the go when you don’t have Office installed on your machine.

4. Minimising distractions

We all know what a problem distractions can be when working outside the office. This is great tool if you want to keep all your applications open but work on a specific project with no interruptions.

5. Taking a break from typing

If your fingers are fed up of typing then why not try dictating instead! This handy feature in Microsoft office will give you the rest you crave, whilst this one from Google will speed things up too!

6. Keeping in touch

If you’ve got WhatsApp groups with work colleagues, why not use the desktop app instead of your mobile? Check out this handy link for advice on how to set it up.

There are lots more top tips and ideas over on the 1minutecpd pages too as well as via JISC and through Linkedin Learning’s free series for working remotely.

Are you there Sidney?

So all the above is great, but...

In an office environment we constantly bump into colleagues. At the kettle, watercooler, in stairwells and on corridors. All these combine into a rich social tapestry weaving teams together. All these touch points generate a really strong sense of belonging within a team. How do we replicate this in the digital world?

At the college we have striven to maintain these touchpoints with an afternoon “Zoom Brew”. These Cuppa sessions are daily and completely social in nature. We have “Thespian Thursday” involving a bit of fancy dress, games sessions, quick chats, pub quizzes, guess that tune on the penny whistle and recipe comparisons.

All these help with a daily detox from the issues at hand and serve as a way to maintain the social connections that help knit teams together. 

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