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Experiences of Ensuring Wellbeing in a Hybrid Environment

Experiences of Ensuring Wellbeing in a Hybrid Environment


Please listen to the following podcast, where our guests discuss their practice, learning and ideas regarding their experiences of enhancing wellbeing in a hybrid environment.  You will find several resources to help you further explore this theme in the reading list below.

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James Howard is the Director of The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  He supports the University’s strategic objectives for research, education and professional services, through the development of the University’s people and practices. He leads the work of The Academy’s teams and, as a member of the University’s leadership, ensures that staff in all roles, at all levels, can access sector-leading development opportunities.

Denise Chilton is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach & Qualified Coach Supervisor, specialising in leadership coaching and coaching training.  Before setting up her coaching business, Denise had a successful 20-year management career working for large corporate organisations such as Royal Sun Alliance and Bank of America. She then trained with the Coaches Training Institute in 2010 and went on to qualify as a Certified Professional Co-active Coach (CPCC) the following year. She also holds Professional Certified Coach (PCC) status with the International Coach Federation. Over the last decade, Denise has worked with hundreds of people across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors: empowering them to live life to the full both personally and professionally.

Tony Oakman is Chief Executive at Bolton Council. Primarily his role is to create the conditions for inclusive prosperity, growth and connectivity.  Born in London he currently lives 20 minutes away from Bolton.  Tony describes his career as follows: “Over time I hope I have made a difference, been authentic, inspired people, had fun and whatever it takes.”  Tony is happily married with three adult children and spends most of his time walking his two dogs, Cherry and Frankie.

Once you have had a chance to listen to the podcast and look at the resources, we encourage you use the following questions to prompt reflection:

  1. James talked about how we witnessed the power of collective effort whilst we were in ‘crisis mode’ during the pandemic but he said we now need to reassess our new reality to ensure wellbeing – what does your new reality look like and how are you now ensuring your wellbeing in a potentially new hybrid environment?
  2. Denise spoke about how she feels wellbeing is an inside job. She feels we need to explore how we understand ourselves and what we need to ensure our wellbeing.  Do you make time for this introspection and what impact does it have for your wellbeing?
  3. Tony spoke about the importance of saying thank you to colleagues as a way to support wellbeing. How do you say thank you to your colleagues, in big and little ways, to support their wellbeing?



  • Woods, C. (2010) Employee wellbeing in the higher education workplace: a role for emotion scholarship. Higher Education 60: 171-185

This article has dual aims. First, it proposes an explicit focus on emotion as a means of enriching thinking about employee health and wellbeing in the higher education (HE) sector. Second, in order to bring conceptual clarity to a highly complex area, it presents and illustrates (using a fictional scenario) a framework for understanding emotion.

  • Tytherleigh, M., Webb, C., Cooper, C. & Ricketts, C. (2007) Occupational stress in UK higher education institutions: a comparative study of all staff categories. Higher Education Research & Development 24 (1): 41-61.

The higher education sector in the UK continues to experience significant change. This includes restructuring, use of short‐term contracts, external scrutiny and accountability, and major reductions in funding. In line with this, reports of stress at work in higher education institutions have also increased. The study reported here was carried out using a stratified random sample of all categories of staff (academic and non‐academic) from 14 UK universities and colleges.

The purpose of this study is to signpost key emergent themes for further research, investigation, discussion and dissemination by Education Support Partnership regarding staff wellbeing.

This webpage includes a range of practical exercises to support mindful self-compassion and wellbeing

The Academy’s Developing Practice Podcast is produced by The Academy, University of Liverpool.  The role of the Academy is to promote and enable organisational excellence through the strategic development of the University’s people and practices.  The podcast hosts Matt Davis, Organisational Developer and Alex Owen, Academic Developer are based in the Academy.  To find out more about the work of The Academy click here.

About the authors: Dr Alex Owen is a Senior Academic Developer based in The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  She leads peer learning and teaching development across the broad range of Academy activities designed in response to the strategic educational objectives of the University.  Matt Davis is an Organisational Developer based in The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  He leads on the curation and creation of online staff development activities and enables teams to achieve the strategic aims of the university.