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Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion
Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion

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3.3 Leading wellbeing

If you are in a leadership role, you should be:

  • looking at the bigger picture, keeping up with trends in workplace wellbeing and setting strategic priorities in a high-level, proactive way rather than reacting to individual situations
  • considering the wellbeing of your people over the entire employee lifecycle, e.g. including caring responsibilities, pregnancy (and pregnancy loss), menopause, and chronic health conditions
  • modelling behaviours that support workplace wellbeing, i.e. practising what you preach
  • facilitating your managers, by taking responsibility for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their teams.

In a digital context, Jisc (2019b) have identified eight good practice principles for organisation-wide approaches to digital wellbeing:

  • provide inclusive and responsive services that support digital work or learning activities
  • incorporate digital wellbeing into existing policies and strategies, particularly accessibility and inclusion policies
  • provide safe physical and online environments
  • comply with the duty of care to staff and students in relation to digital work or learning activities
  • meet ethical and legal responsibilities in relation to accessibility, health, equality and inclusion
  • provide appropriate training, educational opportunities, guidance and support for participation in digital work or learning activities
  • understand potential positive and negative impacts of digital work or learning activities on wellbeing
  • provide inclusive and accessible digital systems, tools and content.

These are broad principles and consideration should also be made in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). The CIPD suggest:

To achieve genuine inclusion there must be positive action, including measures under the Equality Act 2010 to address past, present, and potential discrimination and barriers to enable and empower:

  • Equal access
  • Equal opportunities
  • Equal treatment
  • Equal resources
  • Equal outcomes
  • Equal impact

(CIPD, n.d.)

For some examples of actions that you could take to enact these principles, you can download the full Jisc briefing paper for senior leaders and visit the Equality Act 2010: guidance site [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Jisc also published a briefing paper on digital wellbeing aimed at practitioners, which emphasises that:

Although education organisations have a duty of care to make sure their employees and students have a safe, legally compliant and supportive digital environment to work and learn in, individuals have responsibility for aspects within their control and should take appropriate steps to ensure they achieve and maintain a positive approach to digital wellbeing.

(Jisc, 2019c)

Jisc’s advice may be intended for a digital context, but it applies equally to hybrid working.

The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has six ‘Simple Changes’ relating to wellbeing that you, as a leader, could implement at your organisation. Follow the links below to find out more (open them in a new window/tab so you can easily return here).

The culture within your organisation can affect wellbeing. Developing an inclusive and supportive culture requires leaders to consider how they could create healthy environments, with psychological safety and effective communication. Visit the Hybrid working: skills for leadership course within this collection to explore this in more depth.