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What's working like for you?

colour portrait photograph of Daniel Barker

The coronavirus lockdown has changed the way we work individually, with our own teams and with other teams at the University. Whether we are working from home or are working on the campus, each of us is adapting in our own way to these changed circumstances. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we will share the experience of some of our colleagues.

Daniel Barker is a Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Advisor working in the Centre for Quality Support and Development (CQSD). The team provides support in all aspects of teaching, learning, assessment and feedback.

We asked Daniel how the lockdown had affected his work:

The events of the past weeks have led me to be busier than ever in my job. I initially found the adjustment to working from home pretty easy if a little odd. On the week before the campus closed, I made sure to take things home that I needed and set up my office at home in a corner of the dining room. I’ve coincidentally become a first point of contact for TEL to many colleagues, something I have found time-consuming but rewarding. I miss being able to chat to my colleagues, generally but this can also help when it comes to resolving problems. Each morning colleagues across the team chat using groups in Teams, or we go to the “water cooler” as we call it, an online meeting that we can drop into in the mornings to say hello and chat about what’s going on in our lives.

“The feedback I have been getting has been some of the best in my career within higher education. Colleagues are taking the time to let me know how my support has helped them in a completely real sense, how they applied my suggestions into their teaching and how it proved to be a great experience for them and their students. This is the kind of impact that was often difficult for us to measure, but now in a very real sense, everything we are doing as a TEL team has an immediate impact, I’m so grateful to be in the kind of team that I am in, and to see the positivity of my colleagues during this challenge, we really have been coming together as a university.

“I want to go back to work and see my colleagues and friends in person again but, for now, I am playing a role in everything that is going on and enjoying it. When I am feeling shattered at the end of the week, my colleagues and I get on Teams again after work, to share a drink and pretend like we’re back in Park House.”

To enable as many people as possible to share their experience the Internal Communications team has developed a storyboard, so if you’d like to take part, contact the Internal Communications team and a member of the team will guide you through the process. These will form a series of articles on what new ways of working have been like for colleagues as well as offering practical advice, hints and tips on how to manage this.

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