Higher Ed’s Hybrid Workplace Looks as if It’s Here to Stay — With Some Concerns!

Dear Commons Community,

In the fourth academic year since Covid-19 upended the campus experience, hybrid work has found a permanent place in higher education. That much is clear from a recent survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Most respondents said their work force was operating on a hybrid basis, and more than three-quarters of those working in a hybrid setting didn’t want to go back to a fully in-person work environment. As reported by The Chronicle.

But while many administrators and faculty members who completed the survey, which was conducted in July, supported their institutions offering a hybrid-work option, they also expressed ambivalence (see graph above) about whether such an arrangement was best for their teams or students.

Nearly two-thirds of academic and administrative leaders said their campuses were working on a hybrid basis, with 36 percent operating fully in person. For faculty members, it was more evenly split: 51 percent reported an expectation that their role be hybrid, and 46 percent said they were expected to work fully in person. Among those whose institutions are fully in person, faculty members were less likely than administrators to want to work in a hybrid manner. The same concerns about hybrid work that first emerged during the pandemic — about the difficulty of making genuine connections with students or co-workers over Zoom, maintaining morale and a sense of equity when some employees enjoy more flexibility than others, and ensuring productivity in a liminal workspace — surfaced in open-ended survey responses.

For further reading, I posted on the “blended university” in 2021.


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