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Assessing the impact of remote work during COVID-19 on clinical and translational scientists and staff in Colorado.

Gilmartin HM, Connelly B, Hebbe A, Battaglia C, Kwan BM. Assessing the impact of remote work during COVID-19 on clinical and translational scientists and staff in Colorado. Journal of clinical and translational science. 2020 Dec 21; 5(1):e71.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has required many clinical and translational scientists and staff to work remotely to prevent the spread of the virus. To understand the impact on research programs, we assessed barriers to remote work and strategies implemented to support virtual engagement and productivity. A mixed-methods RedCap survey querying the remote work experience was emailed to Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) scientists and staff in April 2020. Descriptive analyses, Fisher''s Exact tests, and content analysis were conducted. Respondents ( = 322) were primarily female ( = 240; 75%), 21-73 years old (mean = 42 years) with a PhD ( = 139; 44%) or MD ( = 56; 55%). Prior to COVID-19, 77% ( = 246) never or rarely (0-1 day a week) worked remotely. Remote work somewhat or greatly interfered with 76% ( = 244) of researchers'' programs and 71% ( = 231) reported slowing or stopping their research. Common barriers included missing interactions with colleagues ( = 198; 62%) and the absence of routines ( = 137; 43%). Strategies included videoconferencing ( = 283; 88%), altering timelines and expectations ( = 180; 56%). Scientists and staff experienced interference with their research when they shifted to remote work, causing many to slow or stop research programs. Methods to enhance communication and relationships, support productivity, and collectively cope during remote work are available.

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