With nearly all staff and students working remotely from mid-March, Burnet’s Communications and HR teams saw a need to keep the Institute in touch. This led to the creation of Burnet CONNECT, an institute-wide platform designed to keep staff and students at all of our sites in touch, including our offices in Papua New Guinea and Myanmar.
CONNECT is hosted on the Facebook Workplace platform, so it works similarly to Facebook. Everyone has their own profile and can join groups. People can post photos, videos and share links, and can also use a private messaging function.
One of the most popular groups has been the Parents@Burnet Group, where parents have been sharing experiences, both good and bad, of working at home with children and facilitating their schooling from home. Also popular, is the Good News Group, where people share their good news, recipes or appreciation for a colleague (see below image).
Another initiative was the Wellness Wednesday Q&A sessions. Burnet engaged its Employee Assistance Provider (EAP) to run two Wellness Wednesday Q&A sessions in May. These sessions were run via Zoom with a Clinical Counsellor and Facilitator. The topics were "Looking After Yourself During COVID-19" and "Working From Home During COVID-19".
The sessions provided tips and suggestions on how to manage some of the challenges that people may be currently experiencing, and how to proactively support yourself and others. As part of providing our staff and students with ongoing health and wellbeing support, we also share a Wellness Wednesday article on our Intranet each week.