Help Us, Help Students: Supporting Advisors During COVID-19
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“Self-care” has become a buzz-word in the last few years, but there is extensive research supporting the need for individuals to dedicate time to engage in activities designed to increase individual well-being and reduce stress and symptoms of burnout. Seventy-seven academic advisors at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) completed the “Help Us, Help Students” survey which examined advisors’ work and self-care activities during the COVID-19 global pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, advisors took their roles to the virtual platform and experienced many benefits and challenges associated with working from home. Through this survey, researchers collected information about advisors’ work-from-home experiences and analyzed the frequency and change of 13 self-care activities during three time periods in 2020: prior to, during, and just after the 100% remote work time period. Results indicated that advisors engaged in more self-care activities and that they engaged in those activities more frequently during the time they were working entirely from home as compared with when they were working on campus. Advisors also discussed their preferences and levels of comfort in returning to campus or requesting flexible work arrangements from their supervisors. This paper also considers limitations for future research.