Study of Impacts of Technology on the Future Workforce at the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA)

Technologies have made remote work a new reality. More administrative tasks can be performed virtually from anywhere, using a variety of electronic systems. The potential for remote work has grown greater in a more advanced economy and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend. A recent Gallup survey (2021) estimates that 60 million U.S. full-time jobs, about half of the entire workforce, can be done remotely and predicts a 37% reduction of in-person days worked per week even when the pandemic wanes. As an alternative solution to office shutdowns during the pandemic, remote work arrangements can present challenges to organizations whose mission is customer-driven and requires frequent interactions and engagements and where job designs, policies, performance standards and organizational culture may not have been fully updated to accommodate, monitor, evaluate and reward remote work. Facing a dilemma between shifting back to normal and continuing remote work, organizations need to make long-term decisions about how to achieve an optimal remote work strategy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary focus of this study is to assess state highway administration's (SHA’s) needs for administrative assistants and business analysts in today’s workforce. The research team aims to provide recommendations on how administrative assistants and business analyst jobs may be redesigned to better meet SHA’s needs in function areas where there is a strong need for administrative assistants and business analysts. Meanwhile, to support the redesign effort the team provides a comprehensive strategy on a mix of work modes (remote/office/hybrid) based on analysis of SHA’s work requirements and worker attributes.