We are fast approaching a full year since our college and university swiftly shifted to remote learning and work. I continue to be amazed and impressed by our team’s resiliency and commitment. Now, as we begin to contemplate what a return to our workplace will look like post-pandemic, we have the opportunity to put some thought into how we work, and the many things we have learned this past year.
I hope you will take part in the USask work to plan our return, the Post-Pandemic Shift Project. An opportunity to participate in this work was provided in an email from President Peter Stoicheff last week. This first step is to answer one simple question from your perspective and based on your preferences and ideas. If you haven’t already done this, you can answer that question at this survey link.
Our college will be guided by the university’s work in this area for our campus-based activities. Of course, on the clinical side of our work, as always those in these settings will need to be aware of changes and requirements in the clinical setting now and going forward.
While this has been a challenging and difficult time unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, it has given us some opportunities to rethink our approach to how we work from many angles, including efficiency and flexibility.
Also helping to inform next steps was the second pandemic survey, issued in late 2020. The results of that survey show that our overall engagement results are quite favorable, and given the many challenges we are living through, this is great news. A really positive area for us is that 77% of those from the CoM who responded to the survey indicated their people leader cares about them as a person. This is a really great measure for supporting the engagement of our team and for creating a positive work environment.
In this second survey we are continuing to see that people would like a combination of working remotely and at the office/on campus in the future. Broad themes included under what USask has done well in response to COVID-19 include ongoing communication and updates campus-wide, the careful and thoughtful response that prioritized the safety of employees and students, and the efforts in supporting and accommodating the needs of staff, learners and faculty. Survey respondents indicated that they would like more clarity and detail on what the post-pandemic USask will look like and to have ongoing support and assistance (financial and otherwise) for remote work.
While overall participation was down somewhat compared to the first survey, it was still good and will help guide planning. I would encourage you to visit the website and participate in the above Post-Pandemic Shift Project survey so that your voice is included as we plan together for the future at our college and university.
As we work with the university on post-pandemic plans, we will continue to keep you informed.