This is the first in a new series that keeps our community up to date with changes to the Equal Care Platform. Love it? Hate it? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello everyone! Today marks a big day in the evolution of the Equal Care calendars: you can now reply to bookings to tell your team whether you are attending or not! This has an impact on what the calendar looks like and it's important for all the teams that use the calendar that you have a quick read of this message to understand how it might impact you.
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What is it good for?
The first thing to note is that it is up to your team whether you use this. If it doesn't suit you, that's okay. Let me know why and I can look into tweaking it to accommodate you. We think that it's going to help make it clearer when something is actually going to happen, rather than what should happen. For example, some of our teams do a weekly "confirm this week's shifts" exercise to make sure each shift is covered. This involves lots of back and forth between the team members in Rocket Chat and it can get quite confusing. Now, they could pop onto the calendar, confirm which bookings they're going to in the next week and the whole picture will be clear for everyone in the team at a glance.
How do you do it?
How do you attend/decline a booking? Click on the booking in the calendar and press "Join". If something changes and you find you can no longer go, you can untick the box. The appearance on the calendar will automatically update.
To show whether someone is attending or not, the appearance of the bookings on the calendar have changed. Bookings that have no one attending them are now white, with an outline of the team's colour. When someone says they're attending, they turn into a solid block of colour. This means you can see which bookings have someone who has confirmed they're going and which don't easily.
If your team isn't going to use the attendance feature, all of your bookings will be white with an outline. It is best to decide as a team how you use it and make sure that everyone understands whether or not the team is going to use it.
You can now filter out bookings based on who's attending them. This means you can now view things like "only bookings that I'm attending" or "bookings that have nobody attending them yet".
There's a lot of work that's gone into this feature and it's the next big piece in the puzzle to start making things simpler, smarter and more connected. By attending bookings, we can keep track of what happens day-to-day, which means we can start to do things that will make a big impact to reducing team admin, like: get rid of vCita, find cover for shifts with less effort, track and get paid for all your hours easily or, for people being supported: understand who is coming to see you today, tomorrow etc. with more certainty, give permission for family or other team members to see and understand selected parts of your support, connect up to your other calendars.
As always, this is stuff that is made by and for the co-op and we can shape it to be whatever we want! For it to be great, I need your feedback (good and bad). Please reach out with any thoughts or comments whenever you feel like it on Rocket Chat or at email@example.com.
If you'd like some help in your team about how best to use these new features, I'm more than happy to find some time with you to do that.