ResLife Pro-D in a Bag: Invisible Work in College Student Housing (15 mins)

The “Pro-D in a Bag” series provides all the details you’ll need to create a professional development opportunity for your staff around a given topic. Each facilitation guide outlines free and open source videos to watch, articles to read, quizzes and inventories to complete, and suggested questions for discussion and activities. You can facilitate this as a professional development session or integrate it into a staff meeting. It’s professional development “in a bag.”

We offer 3 tracks of our “Pro-D in a Bag” series:

  1. ResLife Pro-D in a Bag (for Professional Staff)
  2. RA Pro-D in a Bag (for Student Staff)
  3. Roompact Pro-D in a Bag (highlighting software features for users)

Topic: Transitioning From A Program Model to A Residential Curriculum

This Pro-D in a Bag is designed to interrogate the notion of “invisible work” and how it shows up in your residence life and housing department. Invisible work can be defined as “Necessary tasks and activities that benefit the company but go unrecognized, are underappreciated, and don’t lead to career advancement.”

Time: 15 minutes
Audience: Professional staff members
– Define what invisible work is.
– Identify what invisible work goes on in one’s own department.
– Develops strategies for recognizing invisible work, sharing in this work, and changing departmental culture.

Before the session:

1. Read

Read the following article:

Suggested Facilitation:

Begin the session by discussing the concept of “invisible work”:

  • What is invisible work? How would you define it?
  • How does inviable work impact people differently based on their identities?

Interrogate how this invisible work shows up in your own department:

  • How does invisible work show up in our department?
  • Who are the folks in our department that often do this invisible work?
    • Who acts in the role of the cleaner/organizer?
    • Who acts in the role of mother?
    • Who acts in the role of the helper?

End the conversation with ideas and actions for change:

  • How can we make sure this invisible work is recognized and appreciated?
  • How can we support the staff that do this invisible work?
  • How can we share in this invisible work so that it is not just a burden on a specific individual (or individuals)?
  • How can we change our departmental culture so that invisible work is no longer invisible?

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