Federal agencies improving work/life balance, setting precedent for private sector

A number of federal agencies, including the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), are implementing new programs to improve work/life balance issues for the thousands of workers they employ.

Earlier this month, three federal department and agency heads, including OPM Director John Berry, met to discuss how to improve the work environment within each organization.

Berry, who said that he would give the OPM’s current work/life balance programs a “generous” grade of D+, is working with the Interior Department and the General Services Administration (GSA) to create a set of model programs for the 7,000 employees at the agencies’ neighboring headquarters.

“Establishing work/life programs and creating a better work environment is critical, particularly in the public sector, where managers don’t control pay and benefits, Berry says.” (Workforce)

Berry started by setting up “The Wolf Pack,” a group of 12 employees to give insight into what work/life balance issues the OPM workforce is most concerned with.

Among the list of top priorities is providing day care for employees’ parents and expanding the OPM health clinic. OPM has since devoted $300,000 in upgrades to the clinic. He is also working to expand and broaden the organization’s telework program, of which 34% of OPM employees already participate in.

“Experts believe that if Berry’s programs are successful, not only will other federal agencies adopt them, but private employers will as well, as they realize they need such programs to compete for talent.” (Workforce)

Read more about the OPM’s work/life balance initiatives in their recent press release: Four Federal Agencies Combine Forces To Create a Model Federal Work-Life Campus.


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