The COVID-19 pandemic forced higher education institutions to embrace hybrid and remote work on an unprecedented scale. As the United States emerges from the pandemic, institutions are forced to figure out what a post-pandemic work setup should look like. Workers have realized many benefits from working remotely, and institutions have learned that much of the work previously done on campus can be done effectively remotely.
Simultaneously, institutions are wrestling with historic labor market disruptions that make it even more difficult to compete for top talent.
To help our partners understand the principles behind an effective flexible work policy, and develop a policy they can implement on their campus, EAB has created the Flexible Work Collaborative for Hybrid and Remote Employees. The collaborative leads institutions through a series of guided workshops focused on essential components of an effective flexible work policy.
Introducing EAB's Flexible Work Collaborative for Hybrid and Remote Employees
The collaborative focuses your institution on four key aspects of developing and implementing an effective flexible work policy and helps you understand the necessary infrastructure and steps to implement an effective policy.
What is the Flexible Work Collaborative?
The collaborative consists of a four-month, EAB-led curriculum that provides each participating institution the tools and guidance to identify their goals for a flexible work policy, develop a policy that aligns with best practices, and understand the necessary infrastructure and steps to implement an effective policy. While the term “flexible work” describes a wide range of working arrangements other than the traditional nine-to-five, Monday-Friday, in-office set up, this collaborative focuses primarily on hybrid/remote workers and policies.
The collaborative is designed to support institutions in developing a flexible work policy that works for them. This may involve modifying an existing policy, or developing an almost entirely new one. We have created do-it-yourself guides for navigating four key aspects of developing and implementing an effective flexible work policy:
Four key aspects of developing and implementing an effective flexible work policy
In each cohort, EAB works with up to 25 schools and every institution completes exercises specific to its own circumstances—each institution identifies its own goals, audits or develops its own policies, evaluates its infrastructure needs, and plans for policy implementation.
The collaborative benefits schools in two major areas:
Participants will either audit their existing policy or develop a new policy to align with best practices for effective flexible work. They will also identify the goals their institution hopes to achieve and incorporate measures to support those goals into their flexible work policy.
Institutions taking part in the collaborative will emerge with an action plan to move forward with implementing an effective flexible work policy. They will have identified what goals and metrics will determine whether their program is successful and have a clear set of next steps to implement an effective policy.
Interested in joining EAB's Flexible Work Collaborative?
Participants will learn best practices, share their plans and opportunities for improvement, receive advice from each other, and benefit from conversations with EAB expert advisors.
We believe decisions about your institution’s goals and operations must be made by the judgement of your institutional leaders based on your needs and values in consultation with key stakeholders. Our role is to help you understand your options, how your goals should influence your policy, and support you in developing a plan to build consensus and move forward.
In some ways, creating an initial plan is the easy part. Implementing and perfecting a flexible work policy over several years is the bigger challenge. That’s why we’ve adopted a long-term support model rather than a one-off engagement. We can help you ensure that your policy is implemented and its full impact is achieved. Through detailed action plans and regular check-ins with your EAB strategic leader and expert advisors, we will support your key strategic initiatives through to completion. We are in this with you for the long term as a trusted partner, not just for a single difficult decision during a crisis.
The ultimate objective is to help you develop an effective policy that supports your goals AND set you on a path of improvement so that you can be an employer of choice and compete in a challenging talent market.
- Identify your primary goals for flexible work
- Understand your current policy’s opportunities for improvement
- Identify infrastructure needed to support flexible work
- Estimate the ability to reduce office space through the adoption of hybrid/remote work
- Communicate about your flexible work policy with stakeholders in a clear and compelling way
- Participants will complete an assessment of their flexible work policy and identify opportunities for improvement
- Every participant will generate an estimate of available office square footage savings based on the mix of in-person and remote work, current office space, and the number of staff able to work remotely or in a hybrid format
- In follow-up to the collaborative, every participant will develop, in consultation with their EAB strategic leader, a plan of action and accountability to guide continued efforts to implement an effective flexible work plan
Participation in the collaborative is currently limited to four-year institutions partnering with EAB through Strategic Advisory Services or the Campus Research Partnership. Our upcoming collaborative dates are:
- Consequences and Opportunities in the New Talent Era: October 24, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
- Crafting an Effective Flexible Policy: November 17, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
- Supporting the New Flexible Workforce: December 14, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
- Fostering Culture and Community in a Flexible Work Environment: January 11, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET