My first month with Digital Services

I joined the council just over a month ago and, as with any newbie, I’m having to get to grips with numerous things such as:

  • the journey to and from work – how to avoid the A322
  • finding my way around the building to where teams sit – and finding my way back to my desk!
  • hot desking – my work life is in a tray stored in a locker
  • Jabber – not getting the headset wire entangled while answering the phone!
  • proximity of the town centre – going out for a sandwich and coming back with a new top!

So with trying to adjust my life to the many changes a new job entails, what about the team I’ve joined – Digital Services.

First impressions

Well, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and I can honestly say that I was made to feel welcome from day one. I thought it might be a problem – being part of a team when we are all having different days in the office or at home – but when it’s managed well, it can and does work.

We have a rota of our homeworking well in advance which means my work and home life balance has greatly improved. It certainly encourages efficient planning of time and resources. We are in regular contact when at home which is made so easy with Jabber, so I never feel isolated.

My line manager Colin has been running through the induction process with me and introducing me to a some of the software tools we use. Lizzi has taken me under her wing, helping me through many of our day to day work processes. In fact everyone in the team has been helping, supporting and training me up which has been great.

So what is my role?

I’m a Digital Services Officer but what does that mean? It means any number of the following depending on the day:

  • managing the public website and the staff intranet
  • managing requests that come into the Digital Services inbox – this might include new web page development or changes to existing web content, creating new or updating online forms, updates for the intranet
  • accessibility, accessibility, accessibility – trying to make sure that the information on our website is easy to find and understand for all
  • reviewing website content with service areas including usage statistics
  • looking ahead to future digital developments
Karen writing on a clipboard during user research.
Getting stuck into user research.

What do I love about the work?

No day is ever the same! I get involved in web content for all council services. One day it could be schools, libraries and recycling; the next it could be planning consultations, council tax and transport. This also means I get to know colleagues from across many teams and get a better understanding of what they all do.

I also love being in a support role where, as part of a team, we try to provide our residents, businesses and visitors to Bracknell Forest, online access to our council services. We also support all teams across the council to prepare and publish their information to the website. Getting this right can help relieve pressure on colleagues by reducing the number of enquiries they need to deal with. If you are finding that you are getting repeated requests for information, this is something we would try to help with.

It’s been a very busy first month and I’m now looking forward to my second month!

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