Advantages and Challenges of Hybrid / Remote Alt-Ac Work (Take 2)

Learning to innovate

Advantages and Challenges of Hybrid and Remote Alt-Ac Work:

Talent Recruitment:

  • Significant advantage in hiring full distance talent, as alt-acs often have significant geographical / partner challenges.
  • Hybrid job options can entice alt-acs to join a university or team within an organization.
  • Onboarding entirely distant non-faculty academics remains a challenge, little in the way of established institutional policy.
  • Expectations of hybrid work flow in most organizations, with little understanding of what will become the new routine of campus work. This uncertainty can add to the recruitment challenge.

Retaining Talent:

  • Hybrid work options can be a sweet place to retain alt-ac talent, as the flexibility of work allows for a more sustainable balance of professional and family needs.
  • Hiring talented full distance alt-acs can be easy but hard to hold.
  • When a remote work culture is not created and maintained, non-resident alt-acs may feel less connected to the organization and less hesitant to move to another job.


  • The deeper recruitment pools that occur with remote and job options improve the diversity profile of eligible candidates.
  • Institutions may run the risk of a diversified remote / hybrid non-faculty academic staff due to less woven fabric on campus.


  • The epidemic shows that there is no loss of productivity when alt-acs work remotely or hybridly.
  • The alt-ac workforce can increase productivity as it is able to work with more flexibility, and can be recruited more geographically as a more talented team.
  • It may be that the high productivity of remote / hybrid alt-acs being remote / hybrid during the epidemic was mostly a job.
  • It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Faculty Collaboration:

  • Teachers are now universally comfortable with virtual meetings.
  • The advantages of using the same tools for faculty collaboration that are used in synchronous teaching / learning (zoom, etc.).
  • Remote and hybrid work reduces the chances of unscheduled and random conversations with teachers around campus.
  • Faculty and non-faculty educators spend less time in each other’s physical spaces and probably miss out on some interconnectedness and understanding.

Staff Support:

  • Alt-acs have been able to increase the intensity of meetings with coworkers (no travel time) by shifting to virtual (zoom) meetings required for remote and hybrid work.
  • The proliferation of asynchronous collaboration tools, such as Slack, has helped keep colleagues away from email.
  • Rules regarding mixed-private and virtual meetings (xMeetings) have not yet been established and these meetings can be frustrating for everyone involved.
  • Now it is common for alt-acs to spend their days zooming in, with back-to-back scheduled meetings.

Student Collaboration:

  • Distance learning educators are ideally located to teach online programs at their institution (or other institutions).
  • HyFlex (personal and virtual) programming can be designed to include student participants and is accessible to a wide variety of students.
  • Completely remote alt-acs are challenged to teach private courses at their institution.
  • Completely remote and hybrid alternative educators spend less time on campus and therefore have less disorganized interaction with campus-based students.

Campus Community:

  • The campus community benefits from the integration of talented alternative educators who can work in the organization due to the new remote and flexible work options.
  • Campus culture that depends on the interaction density between students, faculty and staff can be challenging to replicate the dynamic energy of residential higher education.

Institutional Leadership:

  • With existing strong campus networks and relationships, alternative educators cannot influence the ability to apply institutional leadership when working hybrid / remotely.
  • In institutions whose influence depends on relationships and absolute knowledge, completely distant and hybrid non-faculty educators may find it challenging to form alliances and make an impact.

Disciplinary / professional contribution:

  • With less emphasis on “seat time” in a new more flexible work culture, alternative educators may be able to free up time to contribute to the discipline / profession.
  • The disciplinary / professional contribution of remote / hybrid alt-acs may be less visible and valuable to the organization.

Long-term career growth:

  • Distance / hybrid career opportunities may enable long-term flexibility and growth opportunities for alternative educators.
  • Alternative academics who are completely remote or hybrid may have little chance of taking on a leadership role on campus if academic leaders return to a predominantly personal manner.
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Release date of consultation newsletter:
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Diversity Newsletter Release Date:
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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