Learning how to eat, live, work and play

The CUBO Winter Conference 2018 will examine how these four elements define the needs of a 21st-century university workplace

Is the 21st-century workplace what we might have predicted? Do we have the right balance of work and play? Are we productive and efficient in the rapidly changing higher education workplace? The CUBO winter conference will explore these questions around the themes of eat, live, work and play.

A university campus is a unique community where students, staff and members of the public live, eat, work and play alongside each other. Driven by student trends and focused on meeting their needs, what impact does this have upon the campus as a workplace?

Take eating for example – a rise in health and nutritional awareness has been driven by social media, food bloggers and celebrity chefs. The demand for healthy, locally sourced food from students, and the response of university caterers, has vastly improved the eating experience on campus. But the pace of change gets quicker and there is a continual appetite for new trends. Day one of the winter conference will see a panel of experts discussing the question ‘How can universities take advantage of emerging food trends in the 21st century?’ Professor David Russell of the Russell Partnership will chair what will undoubtedly be an insightful debate.

Are we productive in the workplace and are we getting the most out of our teams? Studies show that over 60% of people say they have more to offer in skills and talent than they are currently being asked to demonstrate at work. Keynote speaker Michele Moore will share her ideas on how to get the most out of the experience of work in her session on ‘Engaging Workplaces are the Future’. While keynote speaker Simon McCaskill of Leeds Boost, has a lot to say about working smarter, not working more hours. He promises to share the secret to working less but getting more done. Something we all want to hear!

Play is not something we always associate with the workplace but look around – are trendy tech companies over-indulging employees with pool tables and game stations? Or have they found that play can boost productivity? Recognising the importance of play, our conference hosts have promised to indulge us with a ‘fun and fitness element’ during the event, the details of which remain secretly under wraps for now. Delegates will also have ample time to relax and enjoy networking during lunch breaks and the conference dinner.

Anyone needing some inspiration to engage with the four themes of the conference can’t fail to be impressed by the final speakers of the event, Yorkshire Rows team members, Helen and Janette. While juggling full-time jobs and motherhood they set a World Record crossing 3,000 miles of ocean in the toughest row in the world, The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They will round-off our programme with an inspirational talk about their experiences.

The CUBO Winter Conference 2018 will take place at Leeds Beckett University, from 28-29 November. Over two days and an evening, the conference will visit the themes of eating, living, working and playing, while learning, sharing and networking. You may not have the will or the means to row across an ocean, but feeling inspired to reach your goals is something everyone can take away from this event.

Winter conference booking opens in September. For more information keep an eye on the CUBO website cubo.org.uk