Michael Ferry is in the perfect environment for working from home – a 10-acre property in the Bundaberg region.

With two houses on the property, Michael is able to use one of them as his office-away-from-the-office.

Michael is one of IMPACT Community Services’ Intensive Family Service case managers.

And like many of his colleagues, he’s having to adapt to a changing workplace because of COVID-19.

However, while the world around him changes at a frenetic pace, Michael’s focus remains on delivering a crucial support that helps so many vulnerable people across the region.

Michael said he and his wife, who works as an emergency department nurse, share the child-minding responsibilities.

When she is at work he steps up and looks after the kids, while at the same time managing this with his responsibilities to the families he supports.

Being flexible is the key.

“The children are old enough to know that when Dad is talking on the phone, then they have to behave,” Michael said.

“I've managed to keep in contact with all my clients and even have a few new ones. Our initial contact to them is mostly via phone, so it's not a big adjustment.”

Very soon, he'll have to combine the two roles of dad and teacher.

“I think we'll do okay,” Michael said.

“We plan to have them do a lot of hard-copy work. And also learn a few skills so they can help out around the property, doing yard-work and maybe some repairs.”

IMPACT’s Managing Director Tanya O’Shea praised the efforts of the large number of staff working from home.

Ms O’Shea said the organisation understood that work wasn't the only thing happening in the lives of staff at the moment.

“These are uniquely difficult and different times,” Ms O’Shea said.

“Everyone is impacted by COVID-19, however, each of us will be impacted in different ways.

“Some people have young children, some don’t. Some have medical issues, some staff live alone, some are in shared accommodation while others live with family or friends.

“We are fully supporting our staff to explore solutions that work for them.”

This is the first in a series of pieces on IMPACT staff and how they’re adapting to the changing times brought on by COVID-19.  Our inspiring staff remain as committed as ever to the delivery of vital services and programs that enable people in the Bundaberg region to Live, Grow and Prosper.