How to Successfully Adapt to Working From Home

ami working from home

Within the Education Industry

With most of the world in lockdown due to COVID-19, including schools, many workers are having to adapt to working from home, a new style of working for professionals in the education industry. For education professionals, this new style of working can bring up a variety of challenges, including how to continue as normal during these unusual working conditions.

 

To ensure working life continues as normal, we’ve put together our top tips for working from home, with simple points on how to keep some normality during these unprecedented times.

 

Set goals (and stick to them)

Even though many schools are shut and pupils are at home, it’s still important to try and set achievable goals for yourself, staff and students. These can include catching up on admin work, setting reading tasks for pupils or simply communicating with parents; by setting achievable goals, you’ll add some structure and normality into your new routine. If you need any assistance on software maintenance, the staff at ami are happy to help.

 

Set up a comfortable working space

Those of us who are not used to working from home are unlikely to be blessed with impressive office spaces, but it’s vital to set up a separate space that you can dedicate to your work.

 

It’s easy to fall into the habit of bringing your laptop onto the sofa, however, spaces that you use to relax should be reserved for just that purpose, otherwise, it can be difficult to switch off at the end of the day. If possible, set up a dedicated working space, such as a dining room table, spare room or anywhere in your home with minimal disruption.

 

Establish a routine

Routines are what keep us focused and grounded, and since we’re creatures of habit, it’s important to try and set and maintain a routine each day to help ease the transition into home working. Try and maintain similar habits that you practised when working out of the home, such as morning exercise, waking up at the same time every day, making a healthy breakfast etc. Sticking to a routine will eventually help to bring some normality into your new style of working.

 

Take regular breaks

When working in a school or education environment, it can often be difficult to find time to take regular breaks, especially if surrounded by pupils. When working from home, it can be easy to stay at your desk for hours without realising the time, which can have detrimental effects on your back and eyesight. Whether you get up to make a drink, stretch or simply pet your dog, set yourself a reminder to take regular screen breaks; your dog will appreciate the extra belly rubs!

 

Ask for support

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, business at ami will continue as normal, and our staff are here to help. If you have any queries regarding our software, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team. Remote working can lead to the feeling of isolation for many people, but it’s important to remember that we’re all in this situation together, therefore we should support each other during these difficult times.

 

Plan-ahead

With the ever-changing nature of this pandemic and new developments emerging daily, there has been an emphasis on taking each day as it comes. However, when it comes to working, this can be the perfect opportunity to schedule some time to plan-ahead, including for when schools are likely to open.

 

Councils and staff can use this time to monitor food trends to see the types of food pupils have been ordering, helping to determine which areas to focus on for spend and allowing schools to reduce food wastage and save money. This can be done through ami’s Infinity and Transact software, trusted by thousands of schools and councils across the UK.

 

Maintain regular communication

As professionals across the world make the transition from office to home-based working, it is vital for individuals and teams to maintain regular communication, even when discussing non-work-related topics.

One of the benefits of working within an office or school is the opportunity to chat with colleagues, discuss weekend plans and build friendships. Even though face-to-face contact is now minimised, with modern technology teams can continue that communication through tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, House Party and more, helping to maintain that important social interaction.

 

COVID-19 has proved to be challenging for many professionals in the education sector. By practising these simple methods and with business at ami continuing as normal, adapting to this new style of working can be seamless and straightforward. For help and support, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at aim.

 

Please stay at home and stay safe.  

Education
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The Need for Pre-Ordering School Meals After Lockdown

During the Coronavirus pandemic, innovative technology such as pre-order apps and cashless catering products have come into a league of their own. From improving the flow of traffic within the school dining hall to helping schools to maintain social distancing guidelines by enabling students to use their mobile devices to select their food options anytime, anywhere, pre-order apps such as ami Education’s Infinity+ Order have really proved their worth in the past year.

 

However, with so many more untold benefits, it’s clear to say that the peak of school meal pre-ordering is far from over.

 

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Why do we need pre-ordering after lockdown?

 

Outside of the context of COVID-19, pre-ordering technology still holds value. According to a recent Footprint Intelligence Report, 41% of foodservice professionals said that pre-ordering systems have reduced food wastage and increased lunchtime efficiencies in schools where they are implemented.

 

Maintaining a streamlined lunchtime service is also vital for reducing the stress of school caterers who have worked tirelessly to provide students with meals during the pandemic, and when students select their meals ahead of time, it enables catering teams to produce the exact amount of food required. This eradicates the need for over-catering and cuts down on food wastage, which is better for school budgets, catering staff, and the planet.

 

Cutting down on food wastage isn’t the only way pre-ordering is helping schools to reach their sustainability targets. The Infinity+ Order app provides full records of past orders, and the online payment integration means that receipts no longer need to be printed out at POS, saving paper and needless spending on printing.

 

Moreover, the powerful reporting suite helps predict trends that can help with accurate stock control to save schools money and food from ending up in the cafeteria bin.

 

For

 

It’s not just the environmental factors attracting schools towards the pre-ordering revolution. Cashless catering apps such as Infinity+ Order are widely accessible on mainstream download platforms such as the App Store or Google Play, meaning that any student with a smartphone can gain access to the ease of pre-ordering in just a few clicks.

 

This ability to order snacks and meals from a personal device also gives students claiming free school meals added anonymity throughout the ordering and collection process, ensuring that FSM students are comfortable in the dining hall.

 

As schools adapt to the new normal, their primary goal will be to help students who may have fallen behind catch up to where they need to be. Pre-order apps can help with this task by reducing the amount of time spent queuing, meaning that pupils can get back to lunchtime catchup clubs as soon as possible.

 

Ordering meals in advance also removes hunger-based decisions, which often consist of unhealthy snacks and drinks - encouraging pupils to pick a fully nutritious meal that can power them through the day and improve their concentration in class.

 

What’s not to love? Find out more about implementing pre-ordering into your education environment here to access a world of benefits: https://www.amieducation.com/pre-order-app

 
Education
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International School Meals Day: The Importance of Nutritious Meals in Schools

Today, it’s the return of International School Meals Day for its ninth year running. The awareness day aims to highlight the options for affordable and nutritious meals for schools, whilst exploring the links between good food and the mental and physical health of children.

 

The theme for 2021 is ‘Eat for the Health of it,’ which gives children, businesses, and communities the opportunity to come together and share their thoughts, knowledge, and opinions regarding school meals. We’re looking at the importance of nutritious school meals and the effects on a pupil’s ability to learn.

 

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Why are healthy school meals so important?

 

Not only are schools required by law to serve nutritious school lunches containing high-quality meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, and bread, but they also provide the fuel for a more productive day of learning for students.

 

Eating a nutritious plate of food at lunchtime is proven to boost the attention span and alertness of pupils in the classroom in comparison to those who consume poor meals in the canteen. According to a study published by The Atlantic in 2018, it was discovered that schools that held a contract with healthier school catering services also performed better in state examinations, further boosting the reasoning for school meals to be at the forefront of industry conversation.

 

But school meals are not only important for boosting concentration. They are also the main source of nutrition for students during a key period of their development, providing the vital calories they need to maintain their physical wellbeing. Recent conversations - particularly those around food insecurity which is on the rise and had been experienced by 2.3million children between March and August in 2020 alone (End Child Food Poverty) are now more noteworthy than ever and have further elevated the importance of getting a nutritious, hot school meal out to children who otherwise may not receive the food that they need.

 

Students claiming free school meals are especially vulnerable in this area, so assuring they have access to at least one good meal at school is pivotal to not only their health but to the quality of their education as well.

 

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How can I get involved in International School Meals Day 2021?

 

There are many ways to get involved in the event, but there is also the freedom to take part in any way that best suits you, your organisation or classroom! Here are some suggestions:

  • Have an International Menu Day, featuring food from around the world
  • Run food tasting sessions or hold other fun food-related activities
  • Host cooking activities with an international theme
  • Hold fundraising activities for charities to support school feeding programmes in developing countries
  • Incorporate global citizenship, food culture and healthy eating into classroom learning
  • Run seminars, workshops or events related to food traditions, ceremonies, or celebrations
  • Research and publish information relating to school foods and the benefits of healthy eating

The most important thing, however, is not to just take a single day to promote the importance of school meals but to continually highlight the impact they have on the lives of young people all year round and implement changes to ensure they continue to make healthy food choices at mealtimes. Pre-ordering software such as AMI’s Infinity+ Order App are leading the way in encouraging children to eat healthily by removing hunger-based, spontaneous selections in the lunch queue, among other benefits which you can read about in our blog.

 

Whichever way you decide to celebrate #InternationalSchoolMealsDay, we hope you have a great time! For more information, please visit the official ISMD website: http://internationalschoolmealsday.com/.