WE appreciate at this difficult time that community councils need to look at new ways of working and engaging with their communities but where do you begin? Hopefully, this page can help with that and it won’t cost anything to get going.
Concerns over Covid-19 have led to an increase in remote working in recent weeks, with analysts expecting increased demand for online cloud based tools. Many of us already use a lot of these tools on our phones such as WhatsApp, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts and FaceTime.
Since the advent of lockdowns across the world the number of people working from home and meeting up using online tools has escalated. One of the most popular online tools is Microsoft Teams which has seen its active users increase from 20 million in November last year to 44 million at present.
Microsoft Teams can help community councillors stay safe, communicate with each other and work remotely. Teams is an online platform that allows you and your colleagues to chat to each other like you would do with instant messaging services such as WhatsApp. You can also host live video chats with colleagues, arrange meetings online, share, edit and work on documents together. One of the key benefits of Teams is that everything and everyone can be found in one place. It also integrates with Office 365 so if you already have it then you already have Teams.
Why not host your next community council meeting using Teams? You can sign up for the free version to get started. In response to increased demand Microsoft is now also offering free six-month trials to the premium version of Teams to support remote working and global health.
This link provides more guidance on how to get your organisation up and running using Microsoft Teams.
There are lots of other tools that can keep you connected with your friends and colleagues that you may wish to have a look at, here are some links to check out:
If you are just starting out or your community council is already using tools like Teams to meet online and communicate with your communities we would love to hear how you are getting on. What else are you using to communicate with each other and your communities? Maybe you have top tips you can share with other community councils starting out on their virtual meeting journeys? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org