The Future of Higher Education: Embracing Remote and Hybrid Work Models
In recent years, remote and hybrid work options have shifted from temporary fixes to permanent fixtures in various industries, and higher education is no exception. This transformation has sparked a crucial dialogue about creating enriching remote experiences for faculty, staff, and students alike.
With a growing number of higher education professionals seeking flexible work arrangements that don’t require constant campus presence, universities and colleges are faced with significant decisions. As Roy Mathew, a Deloitte principal leading the higher education consulting practice, points out, institutions need to address critical aspects such as policies, technologies, and management strategies in these blended work environments.
The evolution of infrastructure in higher education is pivotal to this change. Reliable internet connections are essential, whether staff are working from home or on campus. As hybrid models become the norm, issues like providing adequate equipment and deciding financial responsibilities are crucial points of consideration. Bryan Garey, Vice President of Human Resources at Virginia Tech, reflects on the ongoing process of determining the logistical setup for fully remote work.
Another emerging trend is the concept of “hoteling” spaces, as highlighted by David Weil, CIO at Ithaca College. These are temporary workspaces for staff who predominantly work remotely but occasionally need to be on campus.
The successful implementation of hybrid models hinges on more than just technology, encompassing cultural shifts and job function adaptations. Tools such as VPNs, Zoom, collaborative software, and workflow systems are vital, but they represent only a part of the equation. According to experts like Mathew and Weil, understanding the cultural and functional changes brought by hybrid models is as important as the technology enabling them.
Source: Huls, A. (2022, May 9). How IT Departments Can Connect a Hybrid Higher Ed Workforce. Technology Solutions That Drive Education.