Vanderbilt survey on hybrid/remote work shows overall positive results, areas for continued improvement

Vanderbilt University released today initial findings of the survey on hybrid/remote work to determine how various work arrangements influence employees’ engagement, productivity and quality of life.

The survey was distributed to 2,659 employees across departments and units eligible for remote or hybrid work. With a 66 percent response rate, survey results indicated that employees’ recent work experiences and reflections on Vanderbilt were positive.

“I am thrilled to see that so many employees participated in the survey, providing us with valuable input as we continue to explore our work arrangement options,” said Cleo Rucker, associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer. “While it is encouraging to see such positive feedback from the results, we know there is still work to be done to better support our employees.”

  • In response to questions about experiences managing work and personal life 90 percent of respondents reported being able to manage their family’s needs for dependent care. Eighty-nine percent are satisfied with the flexibility of their work schedule and 85 percent are satisfied with their work/life balance.
  • Additionally, 94 percent of employees feel proud to work at Vanderbilt and 90 percent would recommend Vanderbilt as a great place to work. Ninety-one percent feel as though they belong at Vanderbilt.
  • Ninety-one percent report having the ability to be innovative in their work, and 80 percent feel as though their work gives them a sense of accomplishment.
  • Employees feel their manager is not only accessible when they need support (92 percent), but also that their manager equitably delegates tasks/projects regardless of their working arrangement (85 percent).

Employees feel as though most aspects of work can be accommodated either remotely or on campus, with quiet time and space receiving the largest response for remotely (75 percent preferring remote for this). Areas that were identified as less effective remotely included informal interactions with colleagues, mentoring and team building.

Data graphic for Location for Efficiency/Effectiveness

Areas for improvement

Survey results showed areas for improvement, including professional and career development, communication and work accomplishment.

  • Among the lowest scoring questions, two-thirds (69 percent) of employees believe their department is committed to their professional and career development. Seventy-one percent reported being kept well-informed of VU’s plans and progress. Eighty percent feel as though their work gives them a sense of accomplishment.

The working group and university leaders will continue to examine the data and will launch focus groups and pulse surveys during the spring 2022 semester. These activities will help the university learn how to best structure work and support current and future employees.