University teachers’ well-being during a pandemic: the experiences of five academics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The global pandemic of 2020 has changed the ways that university academics do their work and manage their time, including teaching, engaging with graduate students, conducting research, and working with colleagues. The mode of delivery of higher education has substantially moved to the digital, and workspaces have shifted to home. Having to work from home has placed unique demands on academics, including adapting to working entirely on ascreen and adjusting their work/life balance. Despite much anecdotal evidence that the well-being of academics is being adversely affected during this global pandemic, there is currently little published research about this issue. As five academics who work in an education faculty at an Australian university, we present our collaborative autoethnographic reflections of this time. We share these experiences of being academics in 2020 through curated narrative vignettes, with analysis of the meaning of these vignettes. Employing aphenomenological approach, we craft understandings of our experiences and explore the immediate world of these experiences, constituted in our practices as academics and our personal lives in this challenging time of unexpected change. We note the phenomenon of feeling unsettled, distracted, overwhelmed and lacking focus, and being conflicted between various roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1262
Number of pages22
JournalResearch Papers in Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • academics
  • collaborative autoethnography
  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • phenomenological analysis
  • well-being
  • work/life balance

Cite this