Remote Working CPD Short Courses Laser Learning

A Love Letter to those who Work from Home: Stay Safe and Stay Motivated

This Valentine’s Day we’re showing some love to those who work on their own.

Whether you’re travelling for work or working from a home office, it can feel a little lonely sometimes. It’s important that you are granted the same motivation and safety as those working in a head office.

We’ve put together some of the most common safety considerations as well as tips to stay motivated to support you.

Smiling young female entrepreneur working on a laptop at home

Safety

Make sure your equipment is working

Before you leave and head out to an appointment, make sure you check your equipment.

Is your phone fully charged?

This is the most important question as you may need to contact someone throughout the day and particularly in event of an emergency. It’s also important that any other equipment you need is working and that you have all the cables, chargers, and information you need for the entire day, so you do not have a wasted journey.

Make sure you check this before you need to leave to begin your journey.

Invest in the right equipment

If you are travelling a lot in your role you may need a product with Bluetooth so you can use your phone while you drive. If you want to be able to call or take calls while driving, you must have a hands-free device and should never use your phone while driving as it endangers the safety of yourself and others.

If any of your equipment is starting to look or behave like it’s seen better days, don’t leave it until the last minute to replace it. Make sure you have a backup ready to go and take it with you if you have any concerns.

Tell someone where you are

Staff at your head office should know your schedule so they know where you are and when they can contact you. It’s also important you confirm you have arrived at a scheduled visit and that you have made it safely home. This could be crucial if something were to happen or if someone didn’t know your schedule.

If you don’t have a head office then make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you should be home. It could make a real difference if anything were to happen to you.

Consider where you park or your travel by foot

When driving to an appointment you need to consider where you park your car. If it’s winter, you may be leaving your visit in the dark, so don’t park your car somewhere with bad lighting or in a place you don’t think is safe. If you don’t feel safe going back to your car for any reason, ask a member of the organisation to walk you to your car or to watch you get into your car.

The same principle applies for anyone who is taking public transport to an appointment. Make sure you know how to get from the station to the building. If it is quite a long walk and you are leaving in the dark, then it might be safer to take a taxi back to the station to catch your train.

Take breaks

It’s just as important to consider your health and safety in your home office as it is when you are out travelling. Make sure you take regular breaks from your work throughout the day and don’t sit in the same position for your entire working day without moving.

You need to give your eyes a break from the screen in the same way as you would at an office desk. You also need to get up from your desk, move around, and get some fresh air if you can. This is for your well-being and will make you more productive throughout the day.

Assess your work space

Is your desk appropriate for working?

Is your desk set up so you are sitting correctly?

Do you need a rest for your wrist or any other additional support?

Staff working in an office will have a risk assessment completed at their desk to ensure the environment is safe, and you must do the same thing. Working in a position which damages your back or neck could cause you serious problems. You also need to ensure your equipment is being used safely and that you give the same consideration to confidential documents and data protection as you would in your head office.

You can consult IOSH for more information about risk assessments in the home office.

Remote Working CPD Short Courses Laser Learning

Staying motivated

Routine

When you work in an office environment, you’re likely to have some sort of routine. Whether it’s the time you start your day, your lunch break, or the order you approach your work; the routine is often part of the charm!

Having a routine for a remote office or a home office is just as important to keep you motivated and maintain the line between ‘work’ and ‘home’ life.

Decide on your work hours for that week and stick to them. Wake up like you would if you had to leave to go to work and make sure you give yourself time in the morning before you start work.

Having this routine will make your day easier to manage and organise and will also stop your work day blurring into your home life. Letting the two become one can have negative effects on both as you’ll either be unmotivated to work and complete work tasks or the complete opposite will happen, and you’ll be unable to switch off. If you’re working for yourself you might not mind putting in the extra hours, but you won’t want to be working at home when you’re not earning for it.

Get ready for work

You wouldn’t go to an office in your pyjamas, so don’t sit at home in your pyjamas to do your work.

If you don’t get yourself ready for the day then you’re unlikely to have the motivation or correct mindset for work tasks. If you’re finding your work is getting a bit sloppy then make sure it’s not because you feel sloppy. It doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you feel confident and capable, so make sure you’re doing what you need to before you start work to feel your best.

Obviously, if you are contacting clients or colleagues via a video call, it’s even more important to ensure you look presentable as you are an ambassador for your company even when you’re working from home.

Organise

Plan your day and give yourself goals for that day and that week.

Organising your day will help you stick to your working hours and also make it clear what you need to achieve.

As you have your own workspace, you can use it in any way you wish, and so you can use wall organisers or calendars to encourage yourself and push yourself towards your goals.

Make sure you get some fresh air at lunch time even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Keep in touch with head office

Even though you are not physically in head office, you are still part of a work team and it’s important to build on your relationships with colleagues, as well as keeping up-to-date with the business.

If you’re feeling lonely or unmotivated then reach out to your colleagues. You can contact them by phone, email, or video call and discuss how business is moving or if there are any changes you should be aware of.

When you’re struggling with something don’t just struggle alone in silence. Reach out to the appropriate member of your team and ask for help.

Make sure you share your achievements with your manager and colleagues so they can congratulate you like they would in an office. However, remember that they can only be involved if you tell them about it!

Know when to stop

Finally, working remotely can often mean you lose track of time. As you’re not walking away from your desk or travelling home, you may be tempted to carry on working.

Finishing a task after the time you should finish work is often the right thing to do, however, scheduling work for outside working hours or carrying on with new tasks which see you working for hours after you should have finished is not healthy.

This is why planning your day is so important.

If you find you aren’t able to handle your workload in your allocated hours, firstly consider whether you are being distracted during the day or whether your planning and schedules are working, then speak to your manager to discuss how you can move forward.

Remote and flexible working is now common in a wide variety of businesses and so it’s important we take care of our remote workers.

You can find out more about supporting and managing remote workers with our CPD short courses:

Personal safety for lone or remote workers

Supporting remote or virtual teams

Music for All FREE Laser CPD Teaching Short Course

Music for All NEW Free Short Course

We’re delighted to introduce our new short course, Music for All.

This short course is a free addition for those with an account on Laser Short courses and is a teaching short course guiding you step-by-step to establish a ‘Music for all’ initiative in your school.

The course includes template documentation to put together a presentation that will introduce the approach to your governors and the senior leadership team, to introduce parents and children to the idea and to share with staff how it could be used to raise attainment and improve behaviour and well-being. The course will guide you through the process of finding staff and structuring and organising lessons.

You will be able to watch a short documentary filmed at Langley Hall which explains their ‘Music for all’ approach and the children’s resulting activities. We hope that this will inspire you to adopt a similar approach in your school.

Finally, the course will give you the opportunity to think through the questions and challenges you will face in adopting a ‘Music for all’ initiative at your school and being prepared for this by having counter arguments to hand and practical solutions to problems that will be presented as reasons why it might not work in your school, setting, or environment.

Find out more about Music for All or see a full list of available short courses.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

Safer Internet Day 2019

Tuesday 5th February 2019 is Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day 2019 will take place on Tuesday 5th February with the theme ‘Together for a better internet‘.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of schools and organisations join together to raise awareness of online safety issues and run events and activities right across the UK.

Educating children and young people about being safe on the internet, how to recognise threats, and where they can go to for additional support is an important task in today’s society. Ensuring the online world is a safe space is an integral part of ensuring the well-being of the young people in our care.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

You can equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to protect young people by completing our online CPD short course Keeping Children Safe on the Internet. Internet usage has increased enormously, but so have reports of the safeguarding issues linked to abuses of internet communication. This course will introduce you to some of the risks and dangers, and how to deal with them – including where to report online concerns and risks.

This short course is endorsed by the awarding organisation, CACHE.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day 2019 and get involved! www.saferinternetday.org.uk #SaferInternetDay2019

A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop Short Course by Laser Learning

What is A Winning Attitude for Parents?

Rosie Hamilton-McGinty and Professor Pat Preedy are passionate about the importance of parents or guardians working with practitioners and carers to support children. The first step towards this is often providing parents or guardians with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve this.

A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course is written by Professor Pat Preedy and Rosie Hamilton-McGinty and is designed to train practitioners and teachers to be able to deliver the A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop to the parents or guardians of the children they work with.

We asked Rosie and Pat to explain more about the course, A Winning Attitude, and why they believe this training is essential for ensuring the best outcomes for children.

How did you come up with the idea of A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop?

Rosie: My background is as an author on character and attitude development of people. I organise a range of training with presentations on ‘How to Bring out the Best in People’ for organisations. When Pat and I first met in 2011 at the school where Pat was Executive Principal, she told me how she used quotes from my A Winning Attitude book in her school assemblies.

Pat: Rosie went on to speak at the school’s speech day and to present A Winning Attitude books to the leavers. I had been doing a lot of work with parents and from that time we partnered and developed A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop, with a course tagline ‘How to bring out the Best in your Child’.

What makes you so passionate about the role of the parent(s) in a child’s development?

P: I completed my masters on effective ways of partnering with parents and went on to work with Dr Kay Sanderson on the Parents and Carers as Play Partners Project. There is considerable research available e.g. by Professor John Hattie, that when parents engage with their children by sharing, encouraging and talking about their learning there is an acceleration in academic and personal outcomes for children which can be the equivalent of two years of schooling.

R: Schools have a major role in helping parents to engage with their children. We designed A Winning Attitude course in order that teachers and early years practitioners develop the skills and have the resources to run effective workshops to support parents.

Why did you choose to make this course available online?

R: At the launch of A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop in March 2017 we ran two pilot courses at The Revel School and Pattison College which were extremely successful. The enthusiasm from teachers and practitioners for this new course led us to develop the course further to include an Introduction to the Parent Workshop.

P: Following on from this standpoint we decided to combine the two courses and with the assistance of Laser Learning the online version allowed us to reach schools throughout the UK and internationally. The online course was launched on 1st November 2018. We are delighted that providing the course online enables us to reach many more schools and settings.

Professor Pat Preedy and Rosie Hamilton-McGinty recording for A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop with Laser Learning
Professor Pat Preedy and Rosie Hamilton-McGinty recording for A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop with Laser Learning

Can you tell us a bit more about what you consider to be ‘a winning attitude’?

R: Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. One’s attitude, the attitude you adopt when interacting with others, sets an emotional platform for happier and successful relationships to develop. Your interactions and attitude can make a person feel significant valued and loved, which is everyone’s birth right.

What are your hopes for parents who attend a workshop?

P: That every parent leaves the workshop motivated to make positive changes in the way they interact with their children. Parents need to become strong role models if they wish for their children to become well rounded individuals in life.

R: Small changes can lead to a more fulfilling happier relationship.

Can you briefly outline what the course covers?

P: The A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course covers four sessions/modules:

Session 1: Meeting your Child’s Emotional Needs; Making Choices

Session 2: Code of Conduct, Behaviour and Manners

Session 3: Discipline, Children Need Limits, Structure and Consistency

Session 4: Fun, Engagement and Play; Building Strong Relationships

By completing the course, you will also then have access to the resources needed to deliver the Parent Workshop yourself.

What are you most proud of in the A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course?

R: We are both interested and passionate about our work in helping to make a difference by enabling schools to assist parents to realise and bring out the best in their child. We are proud to have written a course that can make a positive difference to children and parents.

P: We understand that teachers and practitioners have very demanding jobs. It is very rewarding to know that the resources we have written are appreciated and enable the parent workshops to happen with the minimum of pressure on staff. 

Any other comments you would like to make?

P: If we can attract funding for this course it will enable us to fund schools in underprivileged areas of the country to receive the course free of charge. We would really like all schools and settings to be able to implement A Winning Attitude for the benefit of their children and parents.

A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course is also a strong contributory factor when inspectors judge the quality and impact of the partnership with parents within the school or setting.

 

Six Steps to Maintain your Positive Mindset in 2019 by Laser Systems

Six Steps to Maintain your Positive Mindset in 2019

As we approach the half-way point in the first month of 2019, a lot of us will be feeling a real mixture of emotions, whether it’s settling ourselves back in the monotony of every other year or facing up to the goals we set ourselves to achieve within the next 12 months.

Goals are important, but it can be difficult to keep the motivation accompanied by ‘new year, new you’ messages. If you’re feeling a little lost or need some reassurance, here are a few considerations while you look back on the first two weeks of your year as well as forward to the rest of 2019.

  1. It’s only 14 days

Whether you’ve had a productive first two weeks, stumbled slightly, or have been knocked down completely, it’s only been 14 days. In the grand scheme of your entire year, this is the tip of the iceberg so congratulate yourself on what you’ve achieved so far and don’t berate yourself if it’s not been the start you were hoping for.

You’ve still got 351 days to achieve your goals!

  1. You’re not alone

Launching into something new at the start of the year can feel intimidating. If you’re feeling anxious about getting started it can be helpful to discuss your reservations and fears with others in a similar position. It doesn’t have to be your usual support group, and you might benefit from reaching out to a new group who have experienced what you’re feeling.

It’s surprising how often other people can give us the support we need and it’s worth taking the chance to reach out if you’re feeling unsure.

Similarly, if you are in a position to provide encouragement and support to others then this is the time to step up to the plate. By being a source of encouragement, you can boost your own self-confidence and create a positive environment for you to assess your own goals and experience.

  1. Take small steps and celebrate them

Even if you achieve something very small every day of the year, you’ve achieved 365 things, or taken 365 steps towards your goal. That’s a big achievement!

You don’t have to achieve something every day, and you don’t have to always be moving towards your goal. If you need a break or take some steps backwards you can still achieve so much by recognising the small steps and celebrating them as they happen. Doing this also keeps your goals and achievements in a positive light, rather than only celebrating when you reach a certain milestone or at predetermined times.

  1. Keep going – forget failure

When the ‘new you’ feelings start to fade, and January is behind you, it can be difficult to keep motivation. You might make a few mistakes, fall behind, or stop working towards your goals completely.

Whatever you do, don’t look at this as failure.

Every step you take is a learning experience and you can return to your goals at any time. If you start looking at your year as a set of failed attempts, you’re missing an opportunity to pick up the reigns again and carry on. Finding the strength to keep going can feel impossible, but it’s much more productive to dust yourself off and keep going than to give up entirely.

Also consider whether your circumstances contributed to you feeling like you were failing.

  • Did you have enough time to dedicate to your goals?
  • Did you have the support you needed?
  • Was your goal a realistic one?
  • Did you approach it with a positive mindset or were you waiting for the moment you would fail?

If you can make any changes to remedy these circumstances, then make that your priority before getting back to it.

  1. Your goals are more complex than you might think

If your goal is to develop your leadership skills in 2019 by achieving a CPD course, then you are actually working towards a number of new skills throughout the year.

  • You’re developing your understanding of leadership in terms of knowledge which can be used in the workplace as well as in your everyday life
  • You’re developing your leadership skills which can be used in the workplace as well as in everyday life, whether it’s organising social events or taking control of a situation when the moment arises
  • You’re developing your interpersonal skills
  • You’re building your confidence in the workplace either for a role you already have or are working towards
  • You’re opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and evaluating the skills, and knowledge you already have, with the potential to develop these even further in the future
  • You’re discussing ideas with others, developing relationships, and taking on criticism

All of these developments are just as important as your overall goal and each step you take is building your skills, knowledge, and confidence in the workplace and in your personal life.

  1. Your personal New Year’s Day can be any day you choose

It’s easy to get swept-up in the ‘new year, new you’ mindset in January, but it’s important to remember that your new year can start at any time.

If something happens today that means you can’t achieve your goal, give yourself time to recover and start again when the time is right. That might be 3rd February, mid-June, or next year. It might be never as your goals might change entirely!

Every day is a chance to start again and take a tiny step towards a greater goal. As long as you look at your goals as ongoing and remember that you are developing more than one single outcome, you can continue to make positive developments and changes throughout the year and maybe achieve so much more than you initially thought was possible.