ASPA Research Committee conducted an online survey from July 20-29, 2020 to gather feedback from ASPA members about how working remotely from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their lives. The short survey gathered insights on both the challenges and benefits members have observed while working at home for the last four months, after a rapid shift to work from home started in March 2020. Additionally, data were collected on members’ perspectives in relation to continuing working from home and returning to university offices. A total of 662 surveys were completed, representing a 46% response rate. The ASPA Research Committee would like to sincerely thank everyone who took time from their busy lives and participated in the survey. This article provides an overview of the survey results.
When asked about their overall experience of working from home, over two-thirds indicated a positive/very positive experience. As presented below, participants reported numerous benefits of working from home.
Respondents identified several benefits of working from home, with the number one response being “eliminating commute”. Notably, only 1% of respondents reported they had not experienced any benefits.
When asked about work-related concerns, 19% of respondents indicated they had no concerns. Of those who did, working longer hours and difficulty balancing parenting with work were the number one concerns. In relation to personal challenges they have encountered, the top identified issue was staying active, followed closely by balancing parenting with work, and worrying about infection. Once again, 19% of respondents expressed they did not experience any personal challenges.
Impact on Mental and Physical Health
Respondents were asked to mark the extent of changes they have experienced in their mental and physical health since the onset of working from home during the pandemic. While nearly half of the respondents indicated no change, just over a quarter reported that their mental and physical health was somewhat or much worse now.
Returning to Work
As administrations are gradually easing restrictions, our members will eventually need to consider returning to their university offices. When asked if they have any concerns returning to work, just over half (56%) reporting they have concerns.
Lastly, if given the choice, the majority of respondents (87%) indicated they would like to continue working from home in varying degrees. The results suggest that a significant portion of ASPA members would be inclined to have a hybrid arrangement, a combination of both work from home and working from university offices, if the nature of job and the employer allow for it.
Success and well-being of our members are our utmost priority. We encourage everyone to continue to monitor updates as well as take the steps to protect yourself and your families.