Challenges for School Staff Working From Home
on July 30, 2021
Working from home isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. While it may sound exciting at first, transitioning from an in-person work environment to working at home brings with it a number of challenges – and it’s no different for school staff. Since schools provide a central location for teaching, communication, collaboration, and administration, decentralizing these institutional branches takes some getting used to. Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, or other school staff member, it’s likely that you’ve had to adapt and change your work style in response to the global digitalization shift. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the challenges that school staff face while working from home.
Team communication and collaboration
Clear, unambiguous communication is one of the most crucial facets of managing a school, as is collaboration on various projects from building curriculums to organizing events. And while schools usually offer many opportunities for in-person assemblies to address staff members, it can be difficult to replicate the experience at home. While it is possible to hop on a Zoom, Skype or Google Meet video call, holding a staff meeting with upwards of 30 people from your laptop just doesn’t have the same impact as it does in the school hall.
Performance and productivity tracking
For many schools, one of the main concerns of remote work is maintaining and promoting performance and productivity while at home. In a school environment, both metrics can be easily monitored and tracked, but when all staff members are working from different locations, it can be difficult to keep an aggregated record.
Signing up pupils for a new term, collecting and recording school fee payments, and generating receipts are all activities that usually require face-to-face interaction with students and parents. For administrative staff, not having access to a fully-equipped school office to perform these tasks can be a headache.
Communication with students and parents
Staying in touch with students and parents is critically important, especially when it comes to ensuring that lessons, grades, and performance are communicated effectively. While these would normally happen in lessons and parent-teacher conferences, both types of meetings now take place online. School management software can help facilitate both scenarios, offering a platform for lessons and learning, as well as a way of keeping parents up to date with their children’s performance.
Maintaining work-life balance
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for anyone transitioning to remote work is finding the balance between work and everyday life. Whether you’re a teacher or administrator, bringing your entire work life into the intimacy of your home can be very disruptive. Being within arms reach of your laptop can make it very difficult to switch off and separate yourself from work even after clocking off. One solution to this problem is to dedicate a specific space in your home that is used only for work. Treat it as though you’re going to an internal office, even if this is nothing more than a desk in the corner of your living room. Being able to separate yourself from that space at the end of the day will go a long way to separating your regular life from work.