Remote Working Group: Key Principles Workshop

By Eimear Kelly, USM Rollout Team

The Remote Working Group was established by the USM Project Team in April 2020 in response to the move to remote working across UCD. Since setting up the group, which meets weekly, there have been over 150 attendees in total, with a usual weekly attendance of around 40 people across multiple areas including School and College offices, Registry, Estates and IT Services. It has since extended to not only sharing information through weekly meetings but also sharing information and experiences through the USM Community Hub on Google Currents.

The USM Project Team decided at the beginning of 2021 to give the members the opportunity to define the key principles of the group. This was to ensure the future of the group regardless of the future of the USM project, as well as to help new and existing members understand what the group is and is not. Coming up with principles would also give the group something on which to base any future decisions regarding the group.

Two hour long workshops were held to facilitate the conversation. These workshops resulted in the following principles:

  1. We welcome all and any members of staff to the group – even multiple people from the same team – and we are welcoming to new members.
  2. We share information that our colleagues may benefit from knowing across various online platforms.
  3. We welcome questions from all members and everyone has an equal opportunity to share information, experiences and ideas.
  4. We treat all members with dignity and respect.
  5. This group facilitates connecting with colleagues across the wider UCD community.
  6. Available to anyone regardless of working arrangements (remote or on campus).

The workshops were held over Zoom and used Mural to capture the members’ ideas. In total, eight members attended over the two sessions. In order to come up with these principles, attendees shared their experiences of when they were glad to be a member of the Remote Working Group. They then broke down the elements of their stories into how it impacted how they felt and how they did their day to day job. These experiences were then turned into principles by finishing the sentence “The group works best when…”

The workshop participants, with the help of a Google Room for organisation, presented these principles to the group for feedback. The principles were also posted on Google Currents where discussion was encouraged. Some final tweaks were made to the wording based on this feedback, resulting in the six principles listed above.

If you are interested in the work of the USM or the Remote Working Group, please contact usm@ucd.ie. We are always looking for new members!

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