The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the operations of every higher education institution in North America. Most employees are working remotely, either part- or full-time. This transition to a remote workforce has presented substantial organizational and productivity challenges, especially for employees at institutions without fully remote systems. In addition, back office and finance teams are besieged with new responsibilities as they must cope with new categories of pandemic-related expenses and spend, plus increased demands for student tuition reimbursement.
Not surprisingly, a recent poll of 350 finance and administration decision makers at higher education institutions found that only 16% of staff, on average, can continue to work remotely without hurting department productivity.
Despite the prospect of COVID-19 vaccines, remote work will continue for the foreseeable future- and it is expected to become a permanent feature of work even when the pandemic is brought under control. Accordingly, higher education leaders understand that they must invest in new technology, especially automated solutions, to not only solve their current back office and finance challenges, but to further the mission of their institution as it comes to grips with the new normal.
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