The Chronicle of Higher Education
by Lindsay Ellis
June 17, 2021
College leaders are calling their employees back to campus. Human-resources offices are developing new telecommuting policies. And a consensus is emerging, among employees and their managers: Remote work — or at least more flexibility — is becoming a key tool for attracting and retaining staff.
It’s a major shift from pre-pandemic operations on college campuses, workplaces deeply rooted in a sense of place. But employees across the country are saying they are as productive — and sometimes more — without long commutes and inflexible hours. They don’t want to turn back the clock to 2019.
The stakes for recruitment and retention are high as colleges revise their policies for staff, particularly in competitive fields like technology and cybersecurity. Many higher-education staff members are considering leaving their positions as colleges are calling them back to the office. Some already have.
Jon-Stephen Stansel felt productive in the first months of remote work at the University of Central Arkansas. He had long hours as a digital-media specialist, especially after the campus initially shut down last year, but he felt that his performance was solid and that working remotely was a natural fit for his role. “My job’s online,” he said. “I’m used to that.”