Top ‘working at home’ tips for LGBTI activist organisations
Amid the global outbreak of COVID-19, the fight for the human rights of LGBTI people doesn’t take a break, but how can activists and organisations connect and do their best work from kitchen tables? ILGA-Europe member organisation, All Out, has some answers.
Just weeks ago, many of us didn’t imagine that we would find ourselves working from home for an uncertain period. Like everyone else, LGBTI activists and organisations are learning to cope with the current unprecedented situation and adjusting to new routines.
Working remotely might be a sudden new norm for many of us, but for others, it’s business as usual. The staff of All Out, a member organisation of ILGA-Europe that fights for LGBT+ rights around the world, are used to operating virtually every day. Based in home-offices in London, New York, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Milan and more, they’re sharing their top tips for working together virtually and productively across timezones.
1. Avoid asking critical questions or assigning critical tasks on chat.
People don’t review group chats all the time and might miss your message.
2. Start a separate chat.
If you need to have a chat conversation in which one or more people in the group doesn’t need to be included, start a separate chat with the people you need to talk to.
3. Make sure you’re using the correct chat room.
Creating different chat rooms for different core groups is a great idea for not overwhelming people with messages, but always make sure to double-check to make sure you are messaging in the correct group chat.
1. Assign a facilitator for each team meeting.
These can be assigned in rotating fashion if needed. The facilitator will be in charge of bringing up the important points of discussion to the meeting.
2. Keep an updated document.
It’s good for people to be able to see the meeting points, so they can be prepared for the discussion and raise any assignments or updates.
3. Create a protocol for communicating.
You want to avoid people talking over each other. You can use a simple ‘hand raised’ protocol to call out each person when you are discussing any items.
4. Mute yourself when not speaking.
Background noise can kill a conference call.
Following a pattern will help everyone get in the right headspace and prioritise the correct items. Some examples are:
1. Weekly team meetings.
Gather the full team to go over important work items for the week.
2. Department team meetings.
Dedicated meetings for different departments or sub-groups in your team. This can be done once a week as well, depending on need.
3. Daily huddles for smaller groups.
A shorter daily check-in on priorities and pending items.
4. Weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with supervisors.
These should be set up for each team member.