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Digital Wellbeing and Hybrid Working

This month I am running a short course on Digital Wellbeing and Hybrid Working. Working with the wonderful team at the University of Oxford IT Learning Centre is a rewarding experience, and with the support of Emma Procter-Legg, their Digital Skills Service Manager, the whole process has been seamless from start to finish πŸ™‚

It’s been a welcome creative challenge to translate insights from leading virtual teams and hybrid working into the context of digital wellbeing, and in particular into a course format. Now that the course dates are coming closer, here is a bit of a preview of what the course is all about, and my hopes for what participants will get out of it.

About the course

Hybrid working offers a lot of advantages, enabling us to work more flexibly than before. When it comes to digital wellbeing however, hybrid working can pose challenges, too: for some, the increased use of digital technologies for communication and collaboration become oppressive, for others, physical and mental wellbeing suffer due to long hours spent staring at the screen. Over two sessions we will analyse and audit what works well and what you’d like to change about how you work and the impact this has on your digital, physical and mental wellbeing. Using practical tools and interactive activities the sessions will support you in reflecting on your current practice and identifying what actions to take next in your digital wellbeing journey.


  • Reflect on how your current habits are impacting on your digital wellbeing
  • Identify your hybrid working skills strengths and areas for development
  • Understand the long term impact of hybrid working on digital wellbeing
  • Develop a sense of how to foster digital wellbeing

For more information, visit the course page.

Digital wellbeing + hybrid working in a course format

One of the questions I considered when designing the course is where the biggest challenges lie when it comes to digital wellbeing and hybrid working. Digital wellbeing is a big term that encompasses much, and our relationship with technology becomes even more nuanced when you add hybrid working into the mix.

This is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ teaching scenario, and an inquiry based approach seemed best suited to address the topic. Thus the course features a number of resources and tools to help participants analyse and reflect on what aspects of hybrid working most impact on their digital wellbeing and why.

Given that this is only one of the courses the IT Learning Centre offers and that many of the other courses are skills focused, I decided to reference rather than repeat digital skills training and to offer points within the course at which digital skills strengths and areas for development could be identified. This, I hope, will provide a jumping off point for future professional development.

In the meantime, the course also considers habits and behaviours, the broader context of one’s role and responsibilities as well as home-working context. Looking at each of these in the context of digital wellbeing will enable participants to gain a more holistic understanding of digital wellbeing.

Silent Disco anyone?

One of the things that is hard to convey in a webinar or a talk is the need to stop what you are doing and look at things with fresh eyes. It’s easy to say something like ‘take regular screen breaks’, but in my work I rarely meet anyone who actually takes breaks frequently enough and doesn’t end of staring at their phone, scrolling through social media or YouTube on their break. 

The course design thus features an activity designed to disrupt the usual order of business of a course like this, an activity that invites participants to do something different: a silent disco one day and a bit of origami the next.

There’re good reasons for why I chose these activities, and there are alternative options for everyone based in a shared office, but ultimately it’s a question of whether the participants are prepared to step outside their comfort zone for a bit, and away from their desk or screen if they can. If it works as I hope, it’ll offer participants a chance to step outside of the usual rhythm of their day and that may open up more room for change.

I am really excited to run the course and very grateful for the opportunity to develop something new for students and staff who are interested in improving their digital wellbeing. Fingers crossed it’ll be a valuable experience for those involved πŸ™‚

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Image credit: Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash