Results of Working From Home survey

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our working from home survey last week; we received well over 2,000 responses, which is very pleasing.

We are undertaking this piece of work to help us understand how colleagues have adapted to remote working over the last 12 months and inform how we take the positives from the pandemic to support colleagues in the future.

I would like to share some of the headlines from this survey with you. At this stage the results are mainly quantitative and can only tell us so much, however the Working Group and I are now working through all the comments and will share a more comprehensive picture soon.

You can see the initial results from the Working from Home and Wellbeing Staff Survey.

The vast majority of those who responded have spent most of the past year working from home, with a small number working primarily on campus and a few having spent most of the year furloughed, and the results should be viewed in that context.

It is clear a substantial majority of those who responded to the survey believe that working from home does have some benefits:

  • 90% of colleagues agree or strongly agree it was possible to work effectively from home;
  • 60% feel it is a more productive way of working;
  • 64% of colleagues feel their line manager has taken steps to address workload and work pattern issues during the pandemic.

However, it is also true that working from home has brought with it challenges that we will need to consider carefully:

  • 62% feel isolated from colleagues;
  • 60% feel that it is difficult to separate work from home life;
  • 42% feel that the current arrangements have had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing.

The three top challenges to working from home were identified as setting and maintaining boundaries between work and home, lack of communications with colleagues, and increased workload.

Given these findings, it is perhaps not surprising that there is a real mix of views about a return to normal, with almost exactly half of staff wanting to return to their familiar working patterns, and the other half keen that we do not lose some of the flexibility that the new ways of working introduced over the past year have brought.

With this in mind, and following an initial analysis of the free text questions, the Working Group will consider the following:

  • a more consistent and standardised approach to the specification and supply of home working equipment and software;
  • better guidance on effective approaches to managing workloads and supporting the health and wellbeing of colleagues.

On behalf of our whole of our senior management team, we are acutely aware of the additional pressures being faced by many colleagues due to the various impacts that COVID is having on both our working and personal lives and we thank you once again for your efforts and for taking the time to help us with this piece of work; I do believe it will help us take the positives from a difficult situation and lead to real improvements in our work/life balance over the longer-term.

With best wishes,

Neal

 

Neal Juster

Senior Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor


First published: 25 February 2021