Work-Life Balance and Productivity Among Academic Faculty During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Latent Class Analysis

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2022 Mar;31(3):321-330. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2021.0277. Epub 2021 Nov 25.


Background: For faculty in academic health sciences, the balance between research, education, and patient care has been impeded by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study aimed to identify personal and professional characteristics of faculty to understand the impact of the pandemic on faculty and consequent policy implications. Methods: A 93-question survey was sent to faculty at a large urban public university and medical center. Demographic, family, and academic characteristics, work distribution and productivity before and during the pandemic, stress, and self-care data information were collected. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed to identify classes of faculty sharing similar characteristics. Comparisons between latent classes were performed using analysis of variance and chi-square analyses. Results: Of 497 respondents, 60% were women. Four latent classes of faculty emerged based on six significant indicator variables. Class 1 individuals were more likely women, assistant professors, nontenured with high work and home stress; Class 2 faculty were more likely associate professors, women, tenured, who reported high home and work stress; Class 3 faculty were more likely men, professors, tenured with moderate work, but low home stress; and Class 4 faculty were more likely adjunct professors, nontenured, and had low home and work stress. Class 2 reported significantly increased administrative and clinical duties, decreased scholarly productivity, and deferred self-care. Conclusions: The pandemic has not affected faculty equally. Early and mid-career individuals were impacted negatively from increased workloads, stress, and decreased self-care. Academic leaders need to acknowledge these differences and be inclusive of faculty with different experiences when adjusting workplace or promotion policies.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; academic faculty; gender; health sciences; latent class analysis; work–life balance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Career Mobility
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latent Class Analysis
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Work-Life Balance