The percent and frequency of campus employees working remotely has increased significantly in recent years. As these remote working arrangements may be new to employees and campus constituents, we have compiled some of EAB’s top resources for addressing the challenges and alleviating the pain points common to remote work.
The resource center is organized into the four sections outlined below and is updated with additional tools as they become available.
"We need to start making changes to our office space and technology today. There are some risks—and we should be strategic about the investments we make—but if we don’t rethink our administrative spaces now, we’re setting hybrid work and staff up to fail."
Chief Financial Officer, Public Research University in the Southeast
1. What are the potential benefits of institutionalized remote work?
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, higher ed institutions had to quickly pivot to virtual operations. Despite lacking prior experience with or infrastructure for widespread remote work, many campus leaders started to recognize some of the previously untapped benefits that this work arrangement could offer.
But to realize potential benefits like space reductions, operational savings, improved employee recruitment or retention, and process improvements, institutions will have to undergo careful planning, set reasonable expectations, and establish a leadership-driven vision for remote work.
2. How can institutions create a clear and equitable remote work policy?
A critical component of institutionalizing remote work is establishing formal policies and procedures that clarify eligibility and approval processes and that align with broader institutional goals. When developing a remote work policy, campus leaders must carefully weigh the tradeoffs between centralized versus decentralized decision making, as well as consider the potential equity implications for their workforce.
3. How can institutions effectively manage and support the remote workforce?
Many institutions’ historic approach to employee onboarding, training, and management doesn’t translate perfectly to a remote environment. Moreover, remote employees may experience unique challenges compared to in-person staff, and many managers lack experience overseeing remote teams. As a result, institutions will need to reassess their policies, support structures and programs, and technology to ensure they are setting remote employees and managers up for success.
4. How can institutions align administrative office space with remote work?
With an increasingly remote and/or hybrid workforce, institutions have a new opportunity to reexamine their administrative office space footprint, since remote and/or hybrid staff may not need as much or the same types of campus workspaces as they did in the past.
While this can lead to increased space efficiencies and reduced costs by sharing or repurposing administrative offices, campus leaders must still ensure their staff have adequate access to individual and collaborative workspaces when they are working on campus.
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