The University’s China team are now returning to work following the relaxation of many of the restrictions introduced to limit the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 across their country. As colleagues across the UK, Dubai and Malaysia adapt to changed circumstances in their countries, our Head of East Asia Office, Zhongyi Wang, tells us how life in China is starting to return to normal and how they have overcome the challenges of recent weeks. You can also watch a great video made by Zhongyi and his team.
Since the Chinese New Year holiday at the end of January, all six members of the China team have been working from home after the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
As many (but not all) colleagues across the University get used to working from home, this short video gives an insight into the work that we in the China team have continued to do during our time working from home and how we have approached a prolonged period of working remotely from each other, our students and partners.
The good news is that we have started to return to work in our Beijing office from Monday 23rd March although it is initially on a rota basis - each of the team works in the office for three days of week and works from home for another two days. This follows new local government regulations about the maximum number of people able to work on each floor and in each office.
One of the biggest challenges we have been facing is that there has been no opportunity to talk to students and our partners in person – this has proved a real difficulty to recruiting students in the usual way. We have, however, increased our communications with students online. This has included:
- Running 30 WeChat groups with partner institutions and 127 WeChat groups with agent counsellors. It’s a great way of staying in touch with our students and partners.
- Daily webinars for students and our agent partners
- As for our partner Universities, we have been talking online to students in groups and posting new digital content about the university.
- Social media is playing a very important role. We have been running online campaigns during the last few weeks - e.g. Programmes of Week - on WeChat and Weibo.
- Regular online meetings and workshops to make sure all members of the team are on same page and sharing good practice.
Working from home
We know that many of our colleagues have started to work from home in the last few days. We have found that it’s been fairly easy to communicate with each other on a daily basis by adjusting to a new way of working. To help us do this, we have found that finding our different and cozy corner at home has helped us not feel exhausted after a day’s work. We’ve also found that doing some exercise every day has been a great way to stay healthy and feel energetic. You’ll see some of the exercises we’ve been doing in the video!
All of the China team send all our colleagues and students around every campus our very best wishes at a difficult time. Please stay safe and healthy. We hope things will return to normal soon where you are. We are all in this together – stay strong!