One half of Heart Kent’s breakfast show team presented the show from home on Friday to try out ‘working from home’
Heart Breakfast with James Heming and Charlie O’Brien decided to copy what the rest of the country seem to be doing by testing it for themselves, and encouraging listeners to take part in future ‘James and Charlie’s Work From Home Friday’ features.
Charlie told RadioToday: “We talked about a story in the papers which said that a record number of people are now working from home thanks to the wonders of modern technology. I get up at 3.30am Monday-Friday and drive 55 miles into the studios (based in Whitstable) and I just thought ‘I fancy working from home like everyone else for a change!’ I wanted to do it as a bit of a social experiment to see if Work From Home Friday could really become a thing!”
Charlie has a home studio in the house she shares with her partner, JK from Heart London Drive (formerly of JK and Joel fame). She used ipDTL, which won the Technical Innovation Award at last year’s Radio Festival, for the connection between home and the Heart studio. It works just with a computer running the Google Chrome browser so no special software is required at either end of the connection.
“It was easy really! I had all the technology ready to go at home,” says Charlie. “It just meant I could just roll out of bed, stay in my onesie, wrap myself up in my duvet and I even squeezed in a cat nap on the sofa when the songs were playing, after all James and our Producer Matt couldn’t see me!”
James told us: “When I opened up an email at 6am from Charlie saying she was ‘working from home’ I was shocked! After all I’ve done this for 14 years and never once worked from home. I was a bit dubious at first but once we got into the swing of it, it was actually very funny! Although I think Charlie may have had an easier morning than me – have you seen the picture of her broadcasting from her bed?! And at one point she was even doing some online shopping. I did miss her though.”
The show’s producer Matt Willcock said: “It worked really well, was something a bit different and the listeners really got on board. On a more serious note, it was a great test run to see if this can be done. Two winters ago we had such bad snow and ice that Charlie almost didn’t make it in a couple of mornings. Now we know for the future that one half of the show can present from home, there won’t be a reason to panic. Although if there’s a next time I might have to clamp down on the amount of internet shopping and napping that went on!”
JK said: “To be honest it was a bit of a distraction Charlie being here, I couldn’t get any of my guy-stuff done.”