#LTHEchat 254: Hybrid working: new frontiers in professional practice. Led by @MarenDeepwell

Image of a team leader doing a team review with his team virtually.
Image of a team leader doing a team review with his team virtually. (Source: iStock)

For #LTHEChat 254 we are going to shift our focus from learning to work. We will explore ways in which learning and teaching practices can inspire a more sustainable and equitable hybrid workplace.

Digital technologies enable remote and hybrid working in new and more connected ways, but it is by no means a new practice. Many industries have depended on home working over the centuries. In the UK we are at the beginning of a new era of widespread homeworking, prompting urgent questions about the rights of hybrid workers, working conditions, and how new working practices may increase inequality. Some workers may now have more flexibility working from home, but the pressures of competing demands such as caring for children or other family members whilst earning an income remain constant. Other issues such as the increasing digital surveillance of employees and privacy concerns around hybrid working practices further highlight the need for a careful and considered approach to setting out policies for the future of working remotely.  

One indicator of the changes in how we work is new laws and policies that seek to formally express how the relationship between employers and their digitally connected and increasingly distributed workforce is changing.  For example, in the UK we have not yet seen an introduction of a code that would give employees a legal right to disconnect, whilst other countries, including France (2016), Italy (2017), Spain (2018), and Portugal (2021) have introduced such policies over the past five years and others including Ireland are working towards doing so. 

We invite you to share your experiences of hybrid working and critically reflect on some of the downsides alongside the positives. What do we gain when we move beyond simply translating office-based practices and envisage a truly hybrid way of working? How can we help create welcoming and warm hybrid places to work that help sustain well-being and work/life balance? How can we empower ourselves and others in making hybrid working an equitable and engaging reality that benefits the organisation and the individual alike? 

We are at a watershed moment for remote working in the sense that we have an opportunity to set out a vision for what is ahead that is informed by lessons from the past, as well as, the shift in perspective that the pandemic has brought about. 

In 2017, I set out to find creative and fun ways to work and build meaningful relationships in the virtual workplace. The resulting Open Access book, Leading Virtual Teams, brings together case studies and practical advice to build on. This LTHEchat #254 offers an opportunity for a conversation about current practices and how things are changing. 

Join us to share your own inspiration, questions, and prompts for reflection. From recruitment and induction to establishing effective and sustainable ways of working in the hybrid workplace we will explore the highs and lows of what it means to work in hybrid organisations in the long term. 

Guest biography

Dr Maren Deepwell @MarenDeepwell is the CEO of the Association for Learning Technology and a professional coach, working with organisations and emerging leaders in education and the not-for-profit sector. 

Profile picture of Dr Maren Deepwell
Profile picture of Dr Maren Deepwell

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