Between April 22 and 29, the IU Bloomington Staff Council solicited survey responses from IU staff about barriers and concerns related to working through the changed work environment in the wake of COVID-19. We want to share these results with the staff community with the hope that knowledge of our shared experiences will present opportunities for advocacy, comaraderie, and a platform for positive change.
761 staff employees responded to the survey
93.8%employees are working from home
5.8%employees are working from campus
94.6%of essential employees report that they currently feel safe performing their job duties on campus.
Barriers to effectively working remotely as identified by employees (multiple selections allowed):
|Lack of space||32.9%|
|Lack of technological equipment||24.8%|
|Job functions are not suited for remote work||19.9%|
|Lack of reliable internet access||19.2%|
|Lack of technological training||3.1%|
Employees’ biggest barriers and concerns, particularly as they affect their ability to conduct job duties:
|Feelings of anxiety or isolation||21.0%|
|Fear for future career opportunities||16.9%|
|Childcare/Kids out of school||12.3%|
|Job insecurity beyond what IU guarantees||11.8%|
|Keeping up with changing guidelines||11.0%|
|Pressure to be productive||5.6%|
|Lack of reliable internet access (at home)||4.7%|
|Caring for another member of my family||3.9%|
|Inability to perform job functions remotely||2.7%|
|Unsafe home environment||0.1%|
*See a selection of responses below.
As a [staff member] with management responsibilities to particular groups and supervisor responsibilities, it’s difficult to know what information I need to share and provide guidance on versus what information I should rely on campus to disseminate. Everyone is receiving so many updates and so much information, I don’t want to add to the confusion and bombardment of information. However, I feel there is uncertainty and gray areas in the directives and worry people will have different interpretations of the guidelines. What seems cut and dry, tends not to be. Additionally, there is ridiculous pressure (even if it’s applied by myself) to continue to be able to function as normal while I’m receiving much more information than is normal along with a number of other pressures… With kids at home, the level of interruptions is the same as the level of interruptions while working or possibly more - but the view seems to be that we are in a “slower” period so should be able to be productive and be forward thinking. There is recognition that funding has slowed down, hiring has paused, purchasing has slowed down but there is not understanding that everything else has sped up. There is pressure to be a good parent, pressure to make sure children perform elearning, pressure to keep up with all the information, pressure to provide extra financial data, pressure to continue to perform regular job functions in the normal turn-around time, pressure to be 100% available for Phone Calls and Zoom Meetings (because we’re on the clock despite kids at home), and there is also pressure due to more meetings and questions from staff and other departments as a result of COVID… Working from home has been a nightmare due to all of this pressure. Working remotely should have made the situation easier as we can avoid the commute, spend more time at the screen, but I feel the job is bigger than ever. I doubt I’m alone in my feelings.
LOT of work, job duties taking much longer than normal, working 10-14 hrs to maintain even a lighter work load.
Different computer set-up at home makes doing my job more difficult. I am working from our dining table and have to constantly be moving my 2 laptops and equipment each time my family and I sit down for a meal.
Increased volume and urgency of work; long work days & no separation of work/home life.
I’m supposed to make it okay for some of my staff who can’t be as productive (kids, family, work role, etc.) to be less productive. That puts pressure on me as the supervisor to make up the difference. (My unit’s workload has not decreased.) I already worked 9-10 hour days and that has continued on top of my own family responsibilities, etc.
The space and furniture I have at home is not conducive to working, comfortably. My set up is far from ergonomic, so I have increased back, neck, shoulder, and wrist pain as a result of working from home.
Keeping myself well physically, mentally, and emotionally so that I can support others in those ways and also keep up with my work which has increased in demand.
I am able to perform my job functions remotely, but since my role involves meeting directly with students (academic advisor), the remote environment has required very significant adjustments, and I don’t feel that I’m able to support students to the same degree I normally do.
Home is no longer my safe space. When work was depressing (which it often is) I could go home and forget for a few hours. But now work is home and my safe space is gone.
Generally trying to adapt to working in a less-than-optimal situation, with two others in the house most of the day and an office in a high-traffic area. Drawing boundaries between work and home.
Fear of what tough decisions IU will need to make at the end of this fiscal year.
Fatigue from sitting at a table for 8+ hours a day and trying to resolve every issue from a distance.
Fear of Job uncertainty after July 1.
Worry about longer term consequences -- e.g., salary, impact on saving for retirement; job security in Fall 2020.
too much bleed over of work life into personal life.
Being physically away from office and the resources there. For my work check scanner, binders, files, etc