Going virtual for LAW Week A big feature of Learning at Work Week is inviting colleagues to try new things, connect and learn from each other. It’s a great and enjoyable way to share skills and knowledge, and for colleagues to discover new interests, ideas and tips that improve their work and life. The impact of COVID-19 has led to an increase in remote working, so we’ve explored how you can build a virtual dimension to your Learning at Work Week that brings people together and motivates everyone to get involved. A big thanks to the organisations for their ideas that we’ve featured below! Create a dedicated online space A branded online space with all your Learning at Work Week opportunities will help your week standout, give it an identity and make it easier for colleagues to find information wherever they work. As well as a programme of activities, your space could be a curation of blogs, videos, resources and handy learning tips. An online space means that you can make changes and updates easily and promote it as the place where colleagues can sign up for activities. One Learning at Work Week participant organisations created a rolling blog with all the key elements for its week. Build in ‘live’ elements Live broadcasts bring an excitement and energy that can pique interest and encourage sign up, especially if it's something different. If you are running sessions at the same time each day, create a strapline that reflects it to increase the buzz e.g. ‘Live at Eleven’. Most activity formats can be replicated online e.g. debates, masterclasses, film screenings, talks, demos, panel Q&As, bitesize tasters, workshops and just-for-interest sessions. If you can, do a mix of activities and topics that will ensure there’s something for everyone. Czarnikow ran a virtual Learning at Work Week and created a programme that included live sessions on Women in the Workplace, Critical Thinking, ‘How to Eat your way to a High Energy Work Day’ and Tai Chi. Cambria for Business moved Learning at Work Week online with free live webinars for employers and employees on ‘How to Negotiate Effectively and Delegating Effectively’. Group M is running new and unique virtual events for their Learning at Work Week in October including a live panel session on what makes us inspired for life, and a series of live facilitated ThoughtLabs which will pose ‘big questions’ and invite everyone to help tackle them. Create a great live experience Invite a colleague to act as host for your virtual sessions and offer support to colleagues who are delivering online sessions for the first time. A host adds a personal touch, offers essential support and creates continuity for your week. Usually, hosts give essential details at the start and familiarise attendees on how to use the platform. They moderate comments and ask presenters questions from participants. For more informal sessions they can interact with the presenter to keep it light-hearted and fun. Hosts can keep Learning at Work Week in focus, by highlighting what else is coming up and how people can sign up or enter for any challenges and competitions. Diamond Light Source used hosts for its virtual Learning at Work Week and supported volunteers who were delivering sessions in how to use the technology and present with confidence beforehand. They found the ideal length for their sessions were 30 minutes and sent colleagues working at home daily updates to let them know what was happening that day. Connecting everyone Before Learning at Work Week, ask colleagues to download any apps they will need to their devices or PCs and run a test session to make sure everyone can connect. Virtual Networking Face to face sessions create chance meetings that build connections and knowledge across the organisation. Whilst more difficult to achieve in a virtual setting, informal online networking opportunities may help. Invite colleagues to suggest topics or burning questions they would like to discuss, and promote them to generate virtual informal ‘coffee chats’ in small groups. Encourage creative pursuits Creative activities give people the opportunity to express themselves and try something new. A bonus is that you can upload colleagues’ efforts to create a gallery to celebrate the learning that’s taken place using your intranet or platforms like Instagram linked to your online space. Here are some ideas: Photo competition – give tips on how to take a good photo on your phone and ask colleagues to submit their efforts. Display on the company’s intranet or on a platform like Instagram. Diamond Light Source asked colleagues to submit a photo that represented the company’s values both work and non-work related. Staff were then asked to vote to increase engagement. Flash fiction – these are short stories and writing starting from just a few words. Ask colleagues to write stories on a topic or theme. Doodle challenges – promote the power of the pencil and the benefits of drawing for life and work. The Campaign for Learning ran a doodle challenge and invited everyone to submit a doodle on a different theme every day. Online Graffiti walls - ask colleagues to respond creatively to a theme. allpay is hosting an electronic graffiti wall for its Learning at Work Week where colleagues can express their learning journeys Do visit out our special offers and activities page for virtual learning resources from our LAW Week 2020 partners. And if your organisation has great virtual ideas or plans that are designed to inspire and get everyone learning something new, let us know on [email protected] - with your permission, we’d love to share them on the Learning at Work Week website!