Working from home - an update from the technology service
Mon, 23 Mar 2020

With most of the council's office-based staff now working from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining good communication between teams is essential.

To assist with home working, the technology service has rolled out Microsoft Teams and is also providing advice on how to use existing technology, such as mobile phones etc.

These are unprecedented circumstances and the council is having to implement ICT solutions rapidly. This process will require regular review and refinement, so staff are asked to be supportive and understanding.


Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has now been loaded onto the computers and laptops of all council staff.

The programme is a chat-based collaboration tool and allows staff to communicate with colleagues across the council and anyone from an external agency that also has access to Microsoft Teams.

It enables staff to instantly message colleagues for a private chat or to host a multi-person group chat.

It also allows people to make voice calls at the click of a button to anyone else who is using Microsoft Teams - without the need for a telephone.

If you have a camera on your laptop or device, you'll also be able to make video calls to colleagues using Microsoft Teams.

Guidance on how to use Microsoft Teams 

Staff will receive an email with their account details shortly.


Advice on using the right programme/technology for each task

Each digital communication channel that the council uses has a different effect on the council's bandwidth and it is important to use the right channel at the right time.

For instance, Microsoft Teams should be used wherever possible for internal communications. This includes instant messaging and video and telephone calls.

Video and telephone calls can be made via Microsoft Teams by following the online instructions.

When you are on a call you should make sure your laptop speakers are taken off mute in order to hear those on the call.

Laptops have an in-built microphone - so make sure you speak clearly when on a call.

For video calls, laptops have an in-built web cam - make sure it is angled correctly so that you are in shot.

The council has an unlimited allowance for text messages and phone calls through mobile phones, so staff are encouraged to use these for external telephone calls and text messaging.

However, the allowance for other data uses, such as web browsing, is limited so staff are requested to keep this to a minimum.

If staff have MiCollab installed on their laptop or computer, this should only be used for external contacts.

If staff regularly receive calls from external organisations or from the public they should advise their line manager, who will discuss any additional options with the digital, change and technology service.


Call Diverting

Those with an call divert on their office telephone, which transfers calls to other work extensions, home or mobile numbers, must remove this divert, as the council has limited numbers of external phone lines and must prioritise these for services used by residents to contact the council.


IT Servicedesk

For all non-urgent IT requests, staff are asked to continue contacting the IT Service Desk via the intranet to log things like general faults and issues. 

For any urgent IT requests related to the continuation of service delivery during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, liaise with your line manager, who will email ict.businessanalysts@eastriding.gov.uk


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