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Hacks for Hybrid Working… flex course reflection

In the past couple of months I had the wonderful opportunity to work on a project outside my day job. Together with the awesome folk at Reclaim EdTech, and working closely with Lauren Hanks, we embarked on a journey to design and run a four week flex course all about hybrid working.

It was interesting to learn more about the format of flex courses, which are run regularly each month in the Reclaim EdTech community (check out the events calendar). I have experience of different formats of courses, but I hadn’t come across one yet that uses this format, combination of Discord, blog posts, videos and interactive sessions.

With a blend of synchronous and asynchronous element, I love that these course fit around busy schedules, and are available to offer expertise and support when needed.

What the course was about

This particular course focused on a different topic each week, and here is a quick overview quoting Lauren Hanks’ post:


For many of us in Higher Ed, hybrid working is here to stay. So whether you’d like to create a better work/life balance juggling being on campus with working from home, or you are looking to move from crisis mode to a way of working that is more sustainable, healthful or simply a little more joyful, this course is for you. Join us to explore hacks to create a better hybrid workplace for everyone.

We are excited to join forces with Dr Maren Deepwell, author of Leading Virtual Teams and each week features ideas to try out, prompts to reflect on and resources with a host of community voices. Here’s our topic list:

  • Week 1: Hybrid Working Unpacked
  • Week 2: Digital Tools in the Virtual Workplace
  • Week 3: Exploring Hybrid Working Hacks
  • Week 4: Complete your Hybrid Working Roadmap

The final post we published at the end of the course gives you a bit of a flavour of what it was all about in practice.

What I learnt along the way

What I enjoyed most about the course are two things: firstly, it was super stimulating to work with Lauren, who, like me, lives and breathes the reality of leading a hybrid workforce day in, day out. We had a lot of fun running sessions, designing activities and reflecting on the questions from our participants.

It was a huge learning curve for me to work with a different team, in a new environment, and having such experienced collaborators made it all feel easy and interesting. You can always tell when you are working with folk who know how to work together virtually, and it was impressive to experience that as a ‘newbie’.

The other aspect of this project I really got a lot from was the input from everyone who took part. As well as synchronous conversations happening around live sessions, we had an ongoing chat for the course which brought up thought provoking points every week and activities like a splot site that gave us a glimpse of what other people’s homeworking and hybrid working spaces look and feel like.

We do something similar in my own team each year, and it never stops being useful to see what others’ day to day looks like in reality.

A highlight of the four weeks was definitely a hybrid working radio show on DS106 radio, for which we were joined by Jim Groom. Chatting hybrid working hacks for an hour was definitely too short!

It was also stimulating for me to step into a different role professionally, and getting to focus on the design and delivery of a course. It’s been a few years since I last did that and it was useful to flex those muscles once again.

Look out for a podcast coming soon, in which Lauren and I will reflect together and share our perspectives on Hacks for Hybrid Working 🙂