Thank you to the more than 3,200 of you who shared your experiences with Flexible Work Arrangements by responding to our recent Remote Work Survey
The incorporation of Flexible Work Arrangements — in service to the mission of the University and implemented where appropriate in relation to teaching and research needs — has generally been beneficial. We recognize there are drawbacks to remote work and we will continue to refine our approach to mitigate any negative impacts, and adapt and evolve with the needs of the University.
Although the majority of undergraduate students (61%) and graduate students (69%) report that the mixture of in-person and remote services is “about right” for the time being — or could even be more remote — a full 36% of undergraduates and 31% of graduate students believe we should provide more in-person services. These are not insignificant numbers and indicate that we must continue to engage with our students to better understand the type and style of services they need in order to be successful.
The following are notable results from the survey:
- Hybrid work has been widely utilized, with half of the respondents working both on-site and remotely (Staff - 50%, Academic - 63%)
- Volume of work: 57% of us feel that coworkers appear to be completing the same amount of work when working remotely (Staff - 55%, Academic - 66%) while 37% say we are getting more done (Staff - 40%, Academic - 23%)
- Quality of work: 75% of us feel the quality of work done remotely by our co-workers is the same (Staff -74%, Academic -79%), while 20% feel work quality has improved (Staff - 22%, Academic -11%)
- Communications: 91% agree that they can communicate as well or better with off-site co-workers in the same business unit (Staff - 94%, Academic - 82%), while 87% agree they can communicate as well or better with offsite colleagues in other business units (Staff - 89%, Academic - 76%)
- Responsiveness: 87% say it takes the same amount of time – or less – to get work questions answered when working remotely (Staff - 88%, Academic - 77%), compared to 13% who report it takes longer (Staff - 11%, Academic - 23%)
- Effectiveness of Zoom: 77% of us agree that meetings conducted on Zoom are as productive as, or more productive than, face-to-face meetings (Staff - 80%, Academic - 57%)
- Building/maintaining community remains an issue: although 57% of us feel the same sense of community when working remotely versus working on-site (Staff - 58%, Academic - 34%), 32% feel a reduced sense of community (Staff - 32%, Academic - 58%)
The adoption of Flexible Work Arrangements appears to be driving many forms of operational improvements and efficiencies, as well as conferring numerous benefits in the form of better relations with supervisors, families, and friends. At the same time, respondents express that the sense of community and particular types of work and interactions have suffered. This requires attention to how we build and maintain community. As we move toward planning for a successful spring semester, the following are ideas on how to continue to build community on campus while navigating the pandemic and remote work:
For information regarding Flexible Work Arrangements, including our Guiding Principles, how our campus defines flexible work, and how to successfully implement and manage flexibility in the workplace, please visit our Flexible Work Arrangement resources for managers
The full survey results can be found on the People & Culture website. If you have questions or suggestions, we invite your feedback. Thank you, again, for participating and sharing your perspective. We are grateful for your input and collaboration as we work to ensure both the success and wellbeing of our workforce while upholding our institutional excellence.
Catherine P. Koshland
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Vice Chancellor, Administration
Vice Provost for the Faculty
Eugene Whitlock, JD
Associate Vice ChancellorChief People & Culture Officer