A busy week. In the morning I published a post, Go and be more innovative which was discussing how we often conflate innovation with improvement.
For me true innovation in educational technology is change which has significant impact across the whole organisation. However this isn’t always exciting and shiny! Too often we focus on the new and the shiny and less on those innovations, that are holistic, organisation-wide and would have a greater impact on the learner experience.
Monday afternoon we continued the review of our HE Directorate looking at what we do and how we operate.
I went into our Bristol office on Tuesday which was quite quiet.
It got me thinking about how do we make better use of the offices spaces we have without resorting to the leaving of little notes saying sorry to have missed you and looking forward to seeing you in the office. Most, okay all my meetings were online and in theory I could have done them all from home, but I did like the change in routine and scenery that going to the office allows. It was nice to have the few in-person social interactions I did have. I was once asked if I preferred working from home or working in the office, my response was I prefer to have the choice. Pre-pandemic the choice was very much about what I was doing which influenced where I would choose to work.
Earlier in the week there was an interesting Twitter thread on returning to the office and hybrid working.
Over the last two months I’ve spoken to 10 x Billion $ companies about their plans for return to office, hybrid, and remote work
A few predictions on what most companies will do in 2022
[ a thread ] ???
— Chris Herd (@chris_herd) April 23, 2022
I did think that this assertion on micro coworking was an interesting insight.
?Micro Coworking: spaces close to home will rise rapidly for people who don’t want to or can’t WFH
This will be a home on every street, kitted out with the right furniture, great coffee, and on demand fitness equipment
— Chris Herd (@chris_herd) April 23, 2022
I can certainly see the rise of shared offices that don’t require long commutes or want a space to collaborate or I think important work in a social environment with others, even if they aren’t working on the same thing, or even for the same company.
I also think we could potentially see micro co-learning for universities being developed as well. Allowing students to learn locally without necessarily travelling to campus everyday or even at all.
Wednesday I did work from home and we had some briefing sessions about Connect More which is happening next week (online).
Thursday I was in Bristol, though this time at the Mshed supporting a team away day. It was nice to deliver a session in-person and chat with people over coffee.
I did some extra work in between sessions in a local coffee place.
I read this article, ‘Bossware is coming for almost every worker’: the software you might not realize is watching you in the Guardian.
Many companies in the US and Europe now appear – controversially – to want to try, spurred on by the enormous shifts in working habits during the pandemic, in which countless office jobs moved home and seem set to either stay there or become hybrid. This is colliding with another trend among employers towards the quantification of work – whether physical or digital – in the hope of driving efficiency.
The reliance on surveillance software to check if people are working, I do think misses the point about what work is. Work is something you do, it isn’t somewhere you go, and it isn’t something you can always be seen to be doing. Focusing on presenteeism and computer activity isn’t really an effective way of ensuring work is done.
I can certainly see some people looking at the potential of such kinds of surveillance technologies to measure learning. As if it could actually do that, by looking at computer activity and interactions with systems.
Friday was the last day of the week and I spent it at home working. I had an introductory meeting with a couple of new people in our public affairs team, talking about the HE sector strategy.
My top tweet this week was this one.
— James Clay (@jamesclay) April 26, 2022