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Higher Ed IT Will See Significant Increase in Hybrid Work Arrangements

working remotely

A recent survey from EAB suggests that higher education institutions will increasingly support hybrid work for administrative employees (not including faculty) — particularly in IT, Finance and Procurement functions. The research and advisory firm polled 50 human resources leaders from colleges and universities across the United States, Canada and United Kingdom to better understand return-to-work decisions in post-pandemic times.

Respondents estimated that prior to the pandemic, just 6 percent of administrative staff at their institutions worked in a hybrid arrangement (partly remote and partly on campus), compared to an anticipated 23 percent post-pandemic. HR leaders expected the number of fully remote staff to increase by 2 percentage points (from 6 percent pre-pandemic to 8 percent post-pandemic), and the portion of fully on-campus staff to drop by 20 percentage points.

As the report noted, "Some departments are more conducive to hybrid working arrangements than others." Survey respondents expected the increase in hybrid work to vary as follows:

  • Significant increase: IT, Finance and Procurement;
  • Modest increase: HR/Legal and Advancement; and
  • Minimal Increase: Facilities and Academic Advising.

Two-thirds of universities in the survey will allow employees to work remotely three or more days of the work week, with 44 percent placing no limit on the number of days worked in a remote environment. Thirty percent will allow one to two days of remote work, and just 6 percent will not allow work-from-home in any capacity.

"After a year of remote operations," the report concluded, "it's clear that universities see the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for their employees' work schedules."

The report is freely available on the EAB site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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