Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent confinements in various countries, there has been a tremendous development of the use of online collaboration tools (e.g. daily use of video conferencing with Zoom, Skype and the like, writing a paper with co-authors for the first time using a shared environment like overleaf or google docs...). Also, many online-only research seminars have been set up where entry is usually not restricted to members of a given university (e.g. researchseminars.org, see also the related panel discussion from mid-may 2020).
My question is: has this made positions at small research universities more attractive than they used to be given that daily interactions can now occur with lots of different colleagues worldwide(i.e. not just those of the small department) ? If so, is there any way to quantify this (amount of applications in the coming years, maybe?) Or was there already a trend for a few years?