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The Remote Working Group

The Remote Working Group

Who are we?

The USM Remote Working Group is a collection of staff in operational & support roles across the University. The USM Project Team has been bringing this group together since the move to remote working in 2020 right through to the recent transition to hybrid working.

The questions that the RWG was set up to answer was:

"How do I know what the best way to do this thing is now that I'm not always in the office anymore?"

“This thing" could be as mundane or complex as the various bits of work we’re all involved in.

Since its creation it has evolved into much more than this with members coming along each week from:

  • School and College Offices
  • Access and Lifelong Learning
  • Careers
  • Conferring
  • Estates
  • Finance
  • Global
  • HR
  • Innovation Academy
  • IT Services
  • Registry
  • Research
  • Library 
  • EDI 

These colleagues use the group to plug into an information flow that might be relevant to them and the work that they do. It is also a dynamic forum for sharing information between service users and service providers.

Those in frontline roles, such as colleagues in Colleges and Schools can use the RWG to raise common issues or needs. Central areas like Assessment, Room Allocations and IT Services can use the group to push updates through the group’s members who can take these updates back to their teams. Issues that arise in the group are often relevant to a particular piece of work that is happening at that point in time and are generally addressed by the units involved quickly and dynamically.

The group meets every Thursday for 45 minutes at 10:30, via Zoom. There are over 200+ staff on the mailing list that get each meeting's notes, and usually about 40 people at each meeting.

Google Spaces

Between meetings, members interact with each other through a Google Spaces community called the USM Community Hub, which also serves as a repository of information for new members. 

Want to join in the conversation? Simply email (opens in a new window)usm@ucd.ie and we will add you to the Google Space, the RWG Calendar invitation, the RWG mailing list, and the associated Google Drives.

Key Principles

We ran a workshop in early 2021 with members of the group to solidify the principles of the group, which are a nice description of what someone joining the group or coming to a meeting can expect.

  1. We welcome all and any members of staff to the group - even multiple people from the same team - and we are welcoming to new members.
  2. We share information that our colleagues may benefit from knowing across various online platforms.
  3. We welcome questions from all members and everyone has an equal opportunity to share information, experiences and ideas.
  4. We treat all members with dignity and respect.
  5. This group facilitates connecting with colleagues across the wider UCD community.
  6. Available to anyone regardless of working arrangements (remote or on campus).

Testimonials from UCD Staff 

These were captured and anonymised from our (opens in a new window)2022 Mural Celebration Tree and our RWG surveys, which encouraged staff to reflect on their experiences of interacting with the group. Staff have volunteered their feedback captured over the past two years.  

Here are some of their shared experiences: 

‘USM/RWG has been fantastic for sharing knowledge and building our network across the University’

‘Good to hear about common issues and solutions’

‘Clear layout of notes from the meeting is so helpful!’

‘USM Currents for USM/ Remote Working Group is useful for receiving reminders and updates on key dates/processes’

‘It is the one time in the week when administrators get to speak with each other.  It is team building and beyond valuable’

‘Thank you for continuing to facilitate these meetings. There are times of the year when I can't attend due to work commitments but I always read the meeting notes to keep up to date with discussions at these meetings’

‘I think that the USM-RWG is a valuable enabler of unified services through the COVID-19 pandemic. Outside of that it is an important network for the informal sharing of information, issues etc., allowing College/School/Registry and other administrative staff better understand the interdependency of services and supports provided throughout the University and the different experiences of these units in providing their services and supports’

‘It's helpful to see what is coming up so that I can - if there is a topic I am particularly interested in - block / save the time to attend. The nature of the group does mean that there are items raised off the agenda too; really useful/informative conversations arise from these items raised by the wider group’

‘USM/RWG has been fantastic for sharing knowledge and building our network across the University’

‘Opportunity to learn about initiatives that we might not otherwise notice/hear about’

‘It was brilliant to engage with staff across different units and share ideas and knowledge’

‘RWG helps staff from different areas stay connected - keep us connected ’

‘Been great to network with staff especially in the hybrid working environment we are in.’

‘The follow up from queries raised is great & so important to have to encourage ppl to raise queries’

‘Very useful forum for sharing developments and learn from feedback from others.’

Want to know more?

If you are interested in getting involved with the Remote Working Group, or simply would like some more information, please send an email to usm@ucd.ie.