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Homeworking for helplines – toolkit and tips

Many helplines, befriending and listening services are now having to work remotely, a change that’s had to be made quickly in response to the Corona Virus.

Helpline teams, helpline volunteers and helpline managers have had to move from being office-based and surrounded by the other members of their team to working alone and at home.

We’ve written a toolkit for helpline workers, call handlers and helpline managers and coordinators that’s designed to help you look after your wellbeing, keep helpline teams engaged, feeling supported, your service users safe and protected and, your service up and running.

The toolkit shares guidance around safeguarding, GDPR, helpline systems for remote working, homeworking schedules and taking, recording and answering helpline calls from home.

We share four key areas that helpline managers and helpline teams who are working from home need to be aware of.

1. Helpline homeworkers health and welfare

It is essential homeworkers look after themselves, their physical and mental wellbeing.

Homeworking can be isolating and how your team is working and the service they are delivering can be affected if there aren’t regular briefings and debriefs from a supervisor as a result of compassion or emotional fatigue.

2. Helpline systems for remote working

With a remote working team, it’s essential to have the right equipment, systems and technical support in place.

It is easy to feel isolated and frustrated if the tools needed to do the job aren’t up to scratch or present barriers to communication.

3. Managing a remote homeworking helpline team

Making the change to managing a remote team is about more than just switching to Skype or Zoom meetings.

Connection is key. It’s what makes the difference between having people feeling isolated at home and having a happy, safe and secure team.

4. Homeworking on a helpline

If you are working from home on a helpline there are simple things that you can do to make sure you are able to do your job safely and securely from home.

  • Find a quiet space to work.
  • Set up your workspace and make sure it’s set up correctly.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • A physical action, like going for a walk, opening a window or having a shower, that separates you from your helpline shift can help to let go of calls you have listened to and move into the next part of your day.

Helpline resources

The ‘homeworking on a helpline toolkit’, contains much more information to support helpline teams working from home with links to sources of further information and guidance.

You can also find more information about helpline products and services as well as other toolkits in the publications section of our website.

If you would like to talk to us about training, helpline services or setting up a helpline please get in touch.