In the age of work-life balance and flexible work schedules, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Agriculture) is taking a step backwards. I saw a news report last week where they are moving from employees being able to work remotely four days a week to one day a week. Amazing! The idea of teleworking in the federal government started at least twenty years ago Telework Guidance and Legislation.
The reason given was to build a sense of community among Agriculture employees. The high-ranking official that was interviewed said this change in policy is in response to a complaint by employees that work in the office. These employees said they have experienced and are experiencing a lack of connection with their colleagues that telework. My first reaction was, how many employees are in the office on a daily basis to complain and why aren’t they teleworking?
This new policy is supposed to go into effect July 1, 2018. The report said this will put approximately 5,000 people on the roads in the Washington, D.C. area. When I heard that I flipped out! I live and work in the D.C. area. I also telework two days a week. I can’t imagine the effect that is going to have on the commute in this area. The D.C. area already has some of the worst traffic in the U.S. How Bad is Traffic in DC.
In the next few months it will be interesting to see how this is plays out. Hopefully it will work out in favor of Agriculture employees and the rest of us that live in this area. If officials at Agriculture truly wanted to resolve the issue of comradery among their employees they could have found a better way Three Pitfalls Facing The Federal Distributed Workforce.
A few weeks ago I attended ASTD’s International Conference and Expo #ASTD2014. After spending a couple of days with other T&D professionals, it reminded me why I’m passionate about T&D. As with any conference, you leave rejuvenated and excited ready to go back and apply what you learned. However, this year’s conference gave me another level of appreciation for my T&D colleagues. Listening to some of the difficulties other T&D professionals are having with management or clients made me feel normal. It was comforting to know that other people are having similar problems.
Some of their stories were so intense I wanted to hug some of my colleagues. The issues they were dealing with weighed on them so heavily they almost burst into tears. I also wanted to hug my colleagues (weather presenters or attendees) that provided solutions to the problems others were having. Watching people sympathize, empathize and provide solutions to other professionals was heart-warming.
As HR professionals (regardless of discipline), we are always talking about management providing recognition to employees. Why not look across the aisle at the person who is doing the same thing you’re doing and say, “Thank You”? Thank you for being so passionate about our profession. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I learned a lot from you. Thank you for the taking time to encourage me. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with me
We blog and tweet because we’re passionate about our profession. Every Friday, Christopher Demers does his weekly Best Blogs. Christopher highlights other bloggers because he appreciates the good information they provide other HR professionals. In the vein of appreciating other professionals there are several people I’d to thank; Halelly Azulay @HalellyAzulay, Dan Steer @dan_steer, Rory C. Trotter @SomethingDifferentHR, and Christopher Demers @ChristopherinHR. Thank you for spending time with me! Thank you for putting out good content for your colleagues.
I appreciate what you do for our profession. Keep up the good work and keep putting good information out there for the rest of us! Your labor for our profession is not in vain!
If you want to know other ways you can demonstrate appreciation for your colleagues, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/