Future of Work Pilot
Category: research Video duration: Future of Work Pilot
At the start of the fall 2021 semester, Human Resources launched a full-year Future of Work pilot that included participants from Advancement, the College of Engineering, Information Technology, the Office of the President, and Pamplin College of Business. This pilot is helping Virginia Tech determine how best to incorporate new workplace expectations due to the pandemic, while continuing to support our academic and research missions and commitment to in-person instruction and learning experiences.
The pandemic forced us to work in so many new ways, from remote work to juggling caregiving demands, to collaborating in new and different ways, all around a world of anxiety. We learned a lot and we want to leverage those learnings into creating a new Virginia Tech for the future. And folks wanted to see that flexibility continue. The outside forces that help us decide that we need to continue flexibility are, there are companies that are open it, more open to it and aren't as traditional or aren't going to just bring everybody back. And so when you have that competitive landscape where there's other opportunities beyond Blacksburg, or beyond where we do our business. That's really difficult to compete with. So you've got to figure out what's that key differentiator for you as a business. We always want to be agile and current in our HR practices. Most importantly, what we want to know is if this would work for us long-term, because of the many benefits we were hopeful that it would. And that has been our experience. We wanted to be sure we retained good employees, talented employees, and we're not just doing the same thing that we used to always do. We're realizing that we do need to change. We do need to give people flexibility in order to keep them in order to retain them. Well, we have a real range of work options for employees. Some employees are one hundred percent telework the majority have a hybrid work schedule. And so we've gotta figure out how do we create culture when everybody's not in the same space? How do we overcome that challenge together? I think we've done a very good job of making sure we're staying connected. We're staying connected with our new employees that we bring on board. No matter where they sit, they know that there are a part of one of the best Advancement divisions and teams across this nation. Flexible scheduling benefits everyone. It allows people with really complex lives to focus on work in ways that make them more productive for the university. It also allows them to address their personal needs. It allows an organization to expand their operating hours, to have greater coverage for our customers or students, each other. Flexible scheduling really is one of the things we want to hold onto as we move past pandemic. We know that being able to offer a one hundred percent telework or hybrid telework arrangement has been a real game changer for us in terms of employee recruitment and retention. But it shows that we are not stagnant in what we do as a university. We are leading the way, blazing a trail, and I love being a part of that. We are only after what is best in class. And this is best in class. Flexible work aligns with the university mission. It doesn't get in the way. In fact, it aligns with our experiential in-person academic mission because it allows us to