The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the workplace. It forever altered the way we work and our appreciation of work- life balance and flexibility. Many realised it increased productivity, reduced stress, allowed for increased diversity and inclusion and gave greater job satisfaction.
Working remotely has traditionally held a bad reputation, but with the mass transition in COVID forcing businesses to adapt, many have now happily adopted remote and hybrid work models, and universities are no exception. A recent survey found that 75% of universities are now offering remote or hybrid work options for their employees.
This is great news for job seekers who are looking for flexibility, reduced commuting times and work-life wellbeing, but it also presents its challenges.
> Distractions would be at the top of the list. Working from your home office or dining room table means you are more likely to be distracted by family members, pets, chores or simply raiding the pantry or fridge. This can make it difficult to focus and to get work done.
> Isolation is another factor to consider. With employees interacting less with colleagues, they may feel more isolated potentially leading to loneliness and a lack of motivation.
> Unplugging at the end of the day is also the challenge. Slacking off is a commonly held misconception, but overworking is the real challenge with people experiencing trouble stepping away after work.
> Career growth is substantially more challenging with remote work. Employees and accomplishments are less visible and most managers are inexperienced at overseeing remote teams, with many still feeling that staff work less.
Yet even with all the challenges - the positives appear to outweigh the negatives. Reports suggest remote work increases productivity, finding that communication activities such as emailing , telephoning and chat messaging all increased.
Additionally, studies indicate that remote work increases job satisfaction. Buffer’s 2023 State of Remote Work report found that 91 percent of survey participants enjoyed working remotely, with flexibility listed as the biggest benefit. Flexible work environments ranked third for the reasons why people search for a new job. (Better pay and career opportunities are the top two)*
Ultimately, remote work is not a temporary trend and has proved itself effective, but it needs to be put into practise correctly and suit the institution’s needs.
There are now a wide variety of remote and hybrid jobs available at universities worldwide. University Presidents suggest that Covid-19 has provided a push to strengthen online learning and remote work infrastructure. Increased demand for remote work options means higher education institutions need intentional policies to recruit and retain faculty and support staff and to ensure employee satisfaction and retention. Their steadfast commitment to ongoing excellence ensures that they can reinforce their institutional mission through these remote work policies.
> Teaching - Many universities now offer online courses, which means that there is a growing need for remote and hybrid professors.
> Research - Researchers can now collaborate with colleagues from all over the world without having to travel. This has made it possible for universities to hire diverse, remote, and hybrid researchers.
> Administration - human resources, finance, and marketing are a few examples of administrative positions that can be effectively done remotely.
There are many remote and hybrid positions listed on AcademicJobs.com.
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