April 20, 2020

An insight into what it is like working with DPG at the moment

Working from Home, or ‘WFH’, was a new concept for me and one that I had previously assumed I would struggle with. The thought of making my morning coffee without bumping into one of my colleagues for a daily catch up was something I believed I would not take kindly to. However, four weeks into my WFH life and it’s safe to say I have been converted!

Our management team and creative staff members have initiated and encouraged a range of approaches to compensate for the lack of ‘watercooler’ chats and our open-office comradery, including:

  • Daily Zoom ‘Huddles’ of all 27 staff – each day having a ‘Spotlight’ on one facet of our business, so we all know what is going on. Our Directors join us and keep us updated on how we are doing and ensure we have what we need.
  • A fully inclusive ‘Slack chat’ forum with focused channels, including a ‘KUDOS’ channel where we nominate and thank and celebrate our colleagues who selflessly go the extra mile.
  • ‘Rachael’s Wednesday Lunchtime Quizzes’ with a cumulative leader-board of colleagues organised by our extrovert Digital Learning Designer.
  • Virtual ‘Central Perk’ coffee breaks with whoever fancies a ‘brew’, twice a day at 10.30am and 3pm.

    This has prompted me to replicate this social compensation approach with Saturday Night Quizzes with friends and a shared playlist of ‘Feel-good Bops’ (as we’ve named it) – just a few ways I’ve settled into the Working and Living at Home.

    One of my concerns was striking the balance between work and home. For me, this has meant tidying all WFH equipment away and unpacked the following day to completely ‘shut down’. Family video calls to ‘end the working day’ have also been great. Safe to say the transition from work to home transpires when the video call etiquette executed during work time (such as holding the camera still and not used as a pretend helicopter and not positioning the camera in front of the family pet and forgetting the call is taking place) well and truly goes out of the window!

    DPG’s introduction of the daily Hour for Me (HFM) has been great during this time. The Directors pushed us to diary an hour in the working day, on top of regular breaks and lunchtimes to engage in child/pet care, home schooling, chatting to family, friends and vulnerable neighbours, exercising, meditating… basically, whatever we wish to do.

    I have mostly used this as my time to exercise. This has included lunchtime bike rides, late afternoon walks and for today, a morning run (I doubt the third one will make a reappearance any time soon). This has been so beneficial to how I have structured my day/weeks and I believe this has increased my productivity overall.

    I have witnessed the DPG Team transition effortlessly into the WFH life, in a way that has ensured all DPG learners and facilitator’s needs are prioritised and met during this time. The Directors look after the staff… so the staff can relax and look after the business.

    For the team I work in, this customer/learner support involves flexibility in deadlines, supporting learners to complete their studies at a later date, and collecting constant feedback so that we can change any areas that aren’t working in our virtual workshops.

    As a team, we will continue to share our best practice for WFH, how to strike a work/home life balance and supporting each other to provide an excellent service.

    Jess – DPG Team Member