Lesslie Young, Chief Executive at Epilepsy Scotland looks at the future of work following the pandemic and Epilepsy Scotland’s hybrid model, focused on the safety and wellbeing of staff and people who access our services.
COVID-19 lockdown has been a learning curve and we are pleased that staff and group members have adapted and engaged with this new way of working.
By embracing digital ways of working, we have been able to do new things, for example, we have been able to introduce our Glasgow and Edinburgh young people online which some have found less intimidating than face-to-face group meetings.
This Monday the country moved beyond Level 0 restrictions and a gradual return to offices can begin. The Scottish Government recommended that home working continue to be an important mitigation for controlling the virus.
Like many organisations, Epilepsy Scotland has chosen to adopt a hybrid model for office staff incorporating regular home working and a rota for office working to ensure numbers are kept to a minimum and social distancing measures can be in place.
We consulted all staff about their preferences for returning to the office and any concerns they may have.
Ensuring digital and real life places are safe and secure for people with epilepsy
We have made the following adaptations across the organisation to equip staff to support the epilepsy community digitally and ensure a safe return to physical spaces, I am enormously proud of the entire team who have individually and collectively contributed to ensuring people we support, and staff, are as safe as possible.
- Our Office Manager has ensured that all the relevant signage, PPI, protective screens and other precautions are in place for staff returning to the office, we are pleased to have received full marks following a visit from the HSE Inspector.
- Staff use an organisational VPN and devices as well as a private password-protected online meeting platform. Risk assessments have been completed in relation to working online and each individual activity.
- Our Wellbeing teams have been highlighting the importance of staying safe online groups. Our Wellbeing Manager has completed risk assessments at every stage for in-person and digital meeting and shared guidance for saying safe online.
- Thanks to funding from SPIFOX, we have been able to develop our garden at Govan Road so more activities can take place in this private, purpose-built outdoor space.
- Our fundraising team has supported digital delivery by identifying opportunities to fund future work and support digital access, like the Scottish Government Connecting Scotland initiative, we were successful in applying for 16 digital devices to support people identified to access services.
We are proud of the work we have done to ensure consistent service provision and support. We are equally excited by the opportunities this new working landscape provides.