The future of work is driving change across the spectrum of society, and this evolution is expected to extend to academia.
Over the past two years, how we view the workplace has drastically been altered. For the first time in a century, the standard 9 to 5 schedule was questioned on a large scale and workers got the opportunity to experiment with highly sought-after remote work models.
Academia is undergoing a similar change, and educational institutions will soon be forced to address what this means for the future.
However, the changes in academia are expected to be less extreme than what we might see at a technology company that is more likely to be able to operate 100% remotely. Student-professor interactions, community engagement, and connecting with peers are significant within education.
According to Irma Becerra, president of Marymount University, although some students preferred to learn remotely, others had issues with distractions that led to decreased academic performance.
Unfortunately, another issue came to a head once students came back to campus. The Great Resignation, which saw over 47 million US workers quit their jobs last year, hit the education industry hard.
As a result, educational institutions are having to find a balance between what the future of work looks like for teachers and attracting new talent, without sacrificing the student experience.
One of the most important lessons for the future will be the need for flexibility. Not only does this arrangement appeal to potential new talent, but it has also been tied to a better quality of life for both students and teachers. Having balance between work, school, and life gives everyone room to do their best work without relinquishing personal freedom.
In addition to flexibility, educational leaders need to utilize other methods of attracting and retaining talent, such as tuition reimbursement programs, professional progression webinars, and simply nurturing a culture that values meaningful connections with colleagues.