Dementia UK home working: Will Grant, Challenge Events Executive

October 23, 2020

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown in March 2020, many people have been working differently to normal. Replacing face-to-face meetings, travelling, and office working are makeshift desks in living rooms, Zoom calls and a more virtual way of working. With the recent Government guidance advising office workers to work from home over the winter if they are able to, it looks as though for many of us, this will be the ‘new normal’ until at least spring 2021.

We decided to speak to some of the staff at Dementia UK to find out more about their role, how they have adjusted to this new way of working over the past six months, and what they see the future of office working to be. We spoke to Will Grant, Challenge Events Executive.

How long have you been working at Dementia UK?

Since March 2019.

Will Grant working from home setup

Why did you want to work for Dementia UK?

I was looking for my first fundraising role after doing some temping in the sector and working in programme delivery for years. Dementia UK was selected by my temp agency but I had known of them through my own families experience of dementia and was very happy to be given the opportunity to join the community and events team.

What is a typical working day for you like?

I log-on at 8.30am to catch up on supporter communications and check-in with the team. I usually plan my week as best I can on Mondays but there has been a lot of last-minute changes recently and priorities shift daily so I look at my calendar and see what I can achieve/needs my attention urgently. It usually consists of marketing, planning, responding to supporters, and helping them with their fundraisers for the different portfolio challenge events I look after, including London Marathon, Royal Parks, Great Manchester Run, Do your distance, and our new Facebook challenge ‘Jog 50 miles in November’.

What is your favourite part about working for Dementia UK?

Speaking to our supporters and hearing their reasons why they decide to take on a challenge and fundraise for Dementia UK. The staff are also amazing and really friendly, making me feel right at home (even though that is where I am now, literally!)

Will Grant working from home setup

Before coronavirus, how often were you working in the office?

Full-time, Monday to Friday usually 9am – 5.30pm.

How are you working now?

From home.

What do you enjoy about working from home?

It is more flexible and I can save time commuting.

How do you stay motivated while working from home?

I take breaks, little and often, and always go for a walk at the end of the day (I miss walking home from the office).

Do you live with anyone else and does this impact you working from home?

My girlfriend, and yes! We share a tiny space together and so always have to plan around each other’s meetings.

What do you miss most about working in the office?

The staff, since I started everyone has been so open and welcoming, and it’s a really friendly office to work in.

How has your team worked together throughout the pandemic?

Challenge events has completely changed, with virtual challenges taking over from actual events. This has impacted all our usual planning and processes. We have learnt together and I feel that the team has coped really well with the seemingly constant change throughout 2020.

Do you have any tips for working from home?

Always check if you are still on mute! I can’t tell you how many times I just launched into an explanation/presentation/response and then had someone tell me ‘You’re on mute!’. It got a bit ridiculous!

What do you see the future of office working being?

I see office working being limited to in-person meetings and team-based activities, or essential office-based tasks, like sending materials and processing donations.

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