Implementing Hybrid 2.0
- Full and Part-Time Staff and Full-Time Faculty
- Seth Grossman, Vice President, People and External Affairs, & Counselor to the President
Beth Muha, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
- June 27, 2022
- Implementing Hybrid 2.0
Results of AU’s Hybrid Work Assessment
This spring, HR conducted a workplace survey of all staff and supervisors, including faculty supervisors seeking insights on their experience working and managing in the hybrid work environment, while partnering with Staff Council to conduct focus groups. Additionally, we consulted a variety of leadership groups within the community to obtain their input. We extend our appreciation and thanks to the AU staff who participated in these important information-gathering opportunities.
The results of the assessments demonstrate that there is considerable support for hybrid work and a high level of agreement that staff have access to the tools they need to do their jobs, feel productive at work, and deliver on their goals. We also learned that staff desire more flexibility, including the opportunity to work additional days remotely, and would like to identify ways to support staff who hold positions requiring full or nearly full presence schedules. We learned that there are ways to enhance hybrid work to improve how the university advances its mission, how it provides services, and the experiences of staff. The evolution of the hybrid modality described below incorporates this feedback.
Guidelines for Hybrid 2.0 this Fall
In response to employee feedback and to build on the strengths of the current approach, address areas of needed improvement, and ensure that the university continues to fulfill its responsibilities and advance its mission, we have incorporated changes for “Hybrid 2.0” which will take effect on August 15th.
Schedules for Hybrid Amenable Staff Positions
AU will retain the existing hybrid modalities and will allow the 4 remote days/1 in-person day per week modality to expand to more staff with eligible positions based on job duties and departmental needs (Hybrid 3).
- Additionally, the university will create a new modality of 5 remote days/1 in-person day a month (Hybrid 4) for select roles in certain functions including those in IT, procurement, online program administration, instructional design, and development. Departments seeking to categorize staff in this modality will need approval from HR.
- For those approved to deliver services to the University from outside of the DMV through nextSource, our Out of State Staffing Policy will continue to apply.
- The university recognizes that it is critical for student-serving offices to maintain a campus presence for our students even when work is hybrid amenable. Departments will be provided with the flexibility to change the level of hybrid depending upon the season or work cycle, including the addition of a Summer Schedule when student-facing staff have fewer in-person requirements.
Supporting Staff with Full Presence
- Pilot a new benefit for staff on Full Presence schedules in the form of a $63 per month transportation subsidy to offset the greater transportation costs they incur. More information about this new benefit will be provided soon.
- Units with staff on Full Presence schedules will be provided guidance around expanding the use of compressed work for these staff.
New Guidelines to Ensure Consistency in Campus Operations
- Guidelines will be communicated to departments to:
- Support greater consistency across similar positions in AU’s schools and colleges.
- Outline the required expectations-setting session managers will have with staff at the beginning of the academic year to ensure a discussion regarding standards including availability on Teams or other tools, the use of Outlook for scheduling, timely response to email, and expectations for work hours.
- Provide guidance to eligible units that have not adopted ServiceNow, which is a ticketing tool used in several university departments to receive and organize customer inquiries to support customer service responses.
- AU will implement “all hands days,” where those on remote schedules across the university or in certain divisions will be required to be in person, e.g., for Preview Day. A schedule of known “all hands days” will be distributed at the beginning of the academic year. Units will be encouraged to, where possible, identify early in the year where their unit will have dates that require staff in the units to be in person, to assist with planning.
Team & Culture Building
- AU will replace the Core Day concept with a requirement that each unit has a clear plan to build and foster community while incorporating lessons learned from this past year. Units will be encouraged to focus on more impactful activities advancing these objectives. We will create a forum for sharing best practices and ideas for team building.
The following highlights the next steps for Hybrid 2.0:
- On June 29, departments will be provided with information to help them to consider changes in staff modalities based on the expanded Hybrid 3 and new Hybrid 4 options for amenable jobs.
- Changes will be due back to HR on July 11, following internal approval processes within the university’s divisions.
- HR will review the changes and notify departments when they may notify employees of the changes. We expect employee notifications to begin on July 18th.
- AU will transition to Hybrid 2.0 on August 15th.
- HR will continue to assess the effectiveness of the hybrid program and modify it as needed to drive continuous improvement and further incorporate best practices.