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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore and understand employee perceptions of remote work as a potential option after the library returns to “normal” operations. This survey was used to develop the library’s telecommuting and remote work guideline.
METHODS: An 8-question, web-based survey was sent to all library faculty and staff, asking their opinions about working remotely after the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was declared minimal risk by our institutional IRB. The questions included multiple choice and free-text responses about how often employees wanted to work remotely; what tasks they believed could be done productively from home; what equipment they needed at home; and what challenges they believed the library faced with employees working remotely. Summary results from the survey were presented to all faculty and staff for additional discussion.
RESULTS: 85% of staff and faculty responded. All wanted to continue to work remotely part time after the pandemic. 65% preferred working from home 2-3 days per week. Meetings, consultations, answering reference questions, and taking required training were among the tasks respondents felt could be done remotely on an ongoing basis. The challenges identified included staffing the building and the demand for in-person services. The data were used to, in concert with university policies, to develop a departmental guideline.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, survey responses were very consistent, indicating a broad consensus among faculty and staff about continued remote work. Future work will include periodic reviews of the developed guidelines.
South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association 2021 Virtual Meeting
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Bowler-Hill, Sally. "Building Consensus Around the Future Remote Work: One Library’s Study." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hslic-posters-presentations/87