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A Working Environment – training video seen by over a million.

During its life the classic programme “A Working Environment” has undergone some major changes. This trilogy of programmes is designed to help environmental trainers raise awareness of environmental issues and show the steps that can be made by everyone to help green the workplace.

Director and writer Alan Owen said: “This is a very popular programme. It’s hard to imagine but over the years “A Working Environment” must have been used in the training of over a million people and perhaps a lot more. Many trainers use it as the backbone for a complete awareness course so it’s important that we keep it as up-to-date as possible. But that is a challenging undertaking, particularly with sector and regional differences, to make something that is acceptable to most audiences. There are also a lot of differences in the preferences of trainers, so the package needs to be very flexible. Some trainers like to cover the global issues in detail, others prefer to go straight to the practical stuff and only show part three. Yet if you have a group who are sceptical and have trouble understanding the impact environment issues have on business then part two is essential viewing. So from the outset one of our aims has been to make the programme as flexible as possible. Every video has ‘chapter points’, which means the trainer can easily just show the bits they prefer. I find this difficult, as my instinct as a film maker and story teller makes me want to captivate the audience with a single narrative from beginning to end. But I understand the needs of trainers.”

And just to make sure he understands, Alan has run a series of pilot courses with the videos so he can see just what the needs of the trainers are and test audience reactions: “It would be easy for me to just produce a training video without any real understanding of the experience of how it’s used, so we try to ‘test drive’ our products and get some real ‘hands on’ experience. The videos are designed to integrate with our ‘Greenweaver’ product - a ready made PowerPoint which we used as a basis for the sessions. I must admit I found the training days long and exhausting, particularly when we had to deliver two or more sessions in a day. I was surprised at how much personal effort you have to invest in keeping the audience, involved, alert and motivated. It has to be a performance. So ‘hats off’ to all those trainers out there, who are doing it on a regular basis.

Maybe it sounds a bit prosaic but I found one of the most welcome things about being able to run the video was the opportunity to relax for a few minutes and gather my thoughts. Even if you’re having an ‘off day’ the video always delivers a consistent message and provides an opportunity for feedback and questions, which can help re-energise a session. Environmental training is hard work and I want our programmes to make it easier for the audience and the trainer.”

Tomorrow is what we make it

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A Working Environment A Working Environment DVD