As part of #AdviceAtHome we have been asking our staff to give us an insight into their working day, this blog follows one of our Community Advice Worker's Josh as he mans our free to call Advice Line. 9:00am -9:40am- ADMIN TIME
First things first, COFFEE! Then I spend the majority of the morning reading through emails and looking at useful updates to prepare me for the day. If time allows, I would prepare letters on behalf of clients or look up information relating to cases I am working on.
Since we have begun working from home we have introduced a morning briefing, where all staff and volunteers who are on the phone lines that day meet on Google Meet. It’s been really useful, our Duty Team Leader fills us in on anything we need to know for the day. It’s also nice to see people’s faces!
Advice line, first call of the day gets taken.
The first call was rather interesting, I spoke to a lady who lived with her terminally ill husband. The property they moved into had damp issues which led to them immediately moving out of the property without giving the correct notice in line with her tenancy in order to avoid further detriment to her husband’s health.
10:45am: second call of the day.
11:20am: 5 minute break, go outside and stretch.
11:25: third call of the day.
12:00: lunch break. This particular time of day I try not to think about work or talk about work. It’s my time to de-stress and get refreshed. To help me with this I like to watch some comedy, go for a walk or work out, anything I can to release some endorphins.
13:00: go back on advice line, first call comes in.
13:45: second call comes in
14:20: 5 minute coffee break. Do some research during this break or find out how my partner’s day is going.
14:25: third call.
15:00: fourth call
15:30: fifth call.
16:00: Our phone lines are switched off at 4pm which means the last hour of the day is used for admin and following up with any clients that I am carrying out case work for.
16:00 to 16:10: As a first step, I look through emails and structure what admin work I need to do.
16:10- onwards: Respond to emails, finish off any outstanding letters from the morning. Make calls to clients to give them an update, follow up where necessary and plan what I need to do for the following day.
The following day the process begins again however, no enquiry is ever the same as the previous day. Each day has its own challenges and eureka moments, ranging from evictions, bailiffs or benefit enquiries but improving the quality of life for someone else makes it all worth it.