What have been the challenges?
Staff with children – have found working from home more difficult. We agreed for staff to work their contracted hours flexibly to mitigate this challenge and this has worked well.
Emotional impact – The emotional impact on everyone has been challenging. Remote working, different routines and day to day structure means that the ‘normal working day’ is experienced as extended with no outlet and also as the OOH service continues as usual. Some staff members have also had family member illness/hospitalisation or family members quarantined.
We asked our team and carers to reflect on the last year:
“What has worked well for you during lockdown?”
“Doing the home schooling period gave me an insight into how my young person learns, problem solves and his weaknesses as well as his strengths.”
“I have also found it easier to keep on top of my demanding workload without having to travel long distances for meetings.”
“Being at home safe with my lovely Mum and grumpy dad! And not being at school.”
“Working from home has allowed me to focus better on big tasks, such as auditing and compliance. I am lucky to have my own office space at home so I have been able to concentrate at work. “
“For me what worked well during lockdown was having less distractions when compared to working in an office with my colleagues.”
“Having all the necessary equipment and technology to effectively work from home.”
“Good communication with team members whilst working from home.”
“Workflow meetings have helped to ensure that work was allocated and completed in a timely manner.”
Have their been any positives from your time in lockdown?
“Young person was more relaxed at home than when he was at School.”
“Doing training that needed to be updated online. “
“Supervision worked well”
“Working at home has allowed me more time with my family and a better work life balance.”
“Seeing the ability of everyone to stay connected, think outside of the box & come together in any ways possible.”
“I hope that the improved use of technology will be with us going forward and we will not be driving all over the place unnecessarily for meetings that can easily be completed over video link.”
“We did learning at home, and I got to do all about Doctor Who for my project. I liked chatting to my class every day on Teams and telling them my news. I wrote about 13 Doctor Who’s. The 14th Doctor was me and my class were my companions. I got to read it out to the class. Learning was a shorter day so I got to watch a film every day and have treats.”
“My job role has changed as a result of lockdown, and being pushed outside of my comfort zone has led me to learning new skills. I have learned how to plan and hold events virtually and as a result my relationships with the fostering family has grown as a result. This professional growth has been fully supported by my manager, and I thank them for their support.”
“Having to work at home eliminated the pressures and time wasted with commuting between appointments maximizing productivity time. Working from home also meant I was able to have more flexibility with my working hours.”
“Not having to commute has meant that I was able to focus on my health more e.g. walks before work.”