Why Digital Volunteering Is Here To Stay
In a year when businesses and schools were forced to close their doors, some permanently. A lot needed to change, and so a lot did. We are in a digital age, so we adapted many aspects of our lives accordingly; volunteering has adapted dramatically and been a positive force for change in a new and exciting wave in remote work and learning.
Volunteering during Covid-19
2020 was an unprecedented year. From the presidential election results in the US to lockdowns worldwide it was full of dramatic changes, among the most painful were the lockdowns precipitated by Covid-19. Instantly, organisations scrambled to input measures that would keep their employees and communities safe whilst allowing their businesses to run; working from home became the new norm. Because so many activities were restricted during the lockdowns, people prevented boredom through new outlets. There were the familiar mainstays of TV and comfort eating and exercise; however, there were also some new opportunities in the form of digital volunteering. Helping others virtually became a way to break the monotony of staying at home and ease the stress of isolation as the volunteering sector pivoted to operate remotely where possible.
Digital volunteering has been done to an extent for some time now. However, over the past year more things have been achieved remotely than ever before, and the benefits of distance volunteering have begun to shine through due to the ability to keep all parties safe in unsafe times. It’s also been an oasis for those looking to garner new skills or just keep busy. Before Covid-19, the idea of having more time to yourself seemed like a dream come true. Fast forward to May 2020, however, and the mundanity of all the isolation was really hitting home. This has been the case for many volunteers at non-profit organisations such as 1Hour.
1Hour pairs volunteers with school children working to learn skills like coding or robotics, that would otherwise be inaccessible to them because of school funding issues or teacher availability. With this method the children learn more which helps them in their current and future development, while those offering their expertise gain experience and learning opportunities.
Volunteering and the job market
A competitive job market and ever-increasing talent pool means even the most qualified job candidates get “ghosted” or passed over regularly, especially those who are novice professionals. Digital volunteering has emerged as a solution to fill in employment gaps and increase useful contacts. Volunteering virtually can help to boost an individual’s career development, as many employers prefer hiring applicants who have volunteering experience. According to Mel Husnu, Human Resource and Administration Officer at Concern Worldwide, “Volunteering has helped me a lot with finding a new job – especially as the jobs market is so competitive at the moment due to the pandemic. I was recently able to secure a job working in the charity sector and during my interview my employers were very impressed with my involvement.”
This way of volunteering also offers versatility in the work schedule; it’s not just for people who have a lot of time, but also for the time-poor. It’s a great way to fit something worthwhile into anyone’s life, especially those with young children, a busy schedule, or a second job. It works around you. Not the other way around.
E-volunteering also eliminates barriers that some otherwise may not be able to overcome, including physical commutes and ability limitations. This makes volunteering more accessible to the disabled community in particular, those with physical and mental disabilities are valuable assets to society. They can give back in many ways, and this kind of volunteering enables them to do so.
Join 1Hour today
When we look at all these benefits as a whole, it is easy to see why digital volunteering is here to stay. As lockdowns continue worldwide and new virtual technology emerges, working remotely is a trend that is expected to grow. From data entry to web support, the demand for online volunteers is endless. Regardless of their individual function in an organisation, digital volunteers are becoming a staple in our digital world. To sign up to volunteer at 1Hour, click here.