As we face the current outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID 19, we examine why remote working is the right fit for charities.
The times they are a-changin’. The news, social media and conversations are full of the latest developments and tips for how to cope with the current outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. To help keep things running smoothly, we explore why remote working is the right fit for charities.
As most people are advised to work from home, a number of tech companies are stepping forward to help.
Asana is offering their work management software for free to charities, in anticipation of charity staff working remotely. Their software helps charities manage and complete complex tasks and projects in a fun, colourful interface.
Mark Arnoldy, Head of Global Customer Success at Asana said ‘We know that keeping teams aligned is top of mind for organisations around the world right now as they adapt their working arrangements to slow the spread of COVID-19’. They have created a specific web page for charities to apply.
Although they already provide some of their services for free, Dropbox have revealed that charities at the frontline, helping people and communities affected by the illness, will receive free subscriptions for three months. Charities in this field are strongly encouraged to apply to Dropbox. It has vowed to respond within 48 hours.
The company stated “We recognize that this is a time of great stress and uncertainty as we fight the global spread of COVID-19...We’re deeply saddened for those who have lost loved ones, and for those in our communities who are ill. We would like to do our part to help during this crisis.”
With tech tools to hand, you can take your events to the cloud. Providing cloud software for social good, Blackbaud Europe have published a free online guide to support charities run online fundraising events. Their ebook, titled The Secret to Virtual Events Success highlights three significant elements of success.
You can read about how the Blackbaud Digital Services team have helped the British Red Cross and more. Virtual events foster a digital community of participation and fundraising by uniting people around a particular cause. They bring people together by removing barriers such as physical access, distant location and are cheaper to attend, reducing risk and admin for charities.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development have said that ‘Quality flexible working can help organisations attract talent, improve employee job satisfaction and loyalty, reduce absenteeism, and improve well-being; it can also make businesses more responsive to change’.
Flexible working provides many possibilities for the charity sector, including remote working. It allows staff to complete tasks and projects in a wider framework than the standard convention of the 9-5. Staff can log on earlier or later and adjust finishing times accordingly to take true ownership of their roles.
Ella Smillie, Head of Policy and Campaigns for the Fawcett Society says that ‘There are also clear benefits to employers - offering flexible working to employees creates a stronger, loyal and more diverse workforce, which pays dividends.’
As flexible working attracts talented individuals from a greater pool outside the conventional 9-5, it is likely to increase. There is tech available to help, and at affordable rates:
Guts UK have experienced the advantages of remote working. They seek to increase research into diseases affecting the gut, liver and pancreas and help people living with such conditions. Since 1971, they have raised £15million for medical research.
Beyond funding research, they publish informative and accessible information on digestive diseases. Providing digital support on health and lifestyle, they help their service users in a myriad of ways.
Working across two offices, one in Hull and one in London, impacted on collaboration leading to staff feeling isolated and alone. To address the situation, Guts UK purchased 10 licenses for Office 365 business premium, helping them to access multiple cloud-based features.
Efficiency soared as Sharepoint assisted the team to share documents. Collaboration improved as multiple users were able to edit a document simultaneously leading to greater communication and brought the two offices closer together, albeit virtually. Microsoft Teams allowed teammates to meet remotely and discuss work as well as bond. The Calendar in Outlook promoted visibility and helped the team cover holidays and schedule big events.
As most people are advised to work from home to keep everyone safe, remote working has emerged as a key solution. The benefits gained illustrate how it is also relevant and applicable in times of calm. It is heartening to see tech companies step forward to foster a closer sense of community. This new reality has helped uncover the potential of remote working, so you might say, there’s no place like home for productive and meaningful work. As we forge ahead, it may be handy to remember, this too shall pass.