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