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.
Employee engagement has been a hot topic in HR world-wide for the past few years. Employers across the globe are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged. For the most part engaged employees are happy employees. Engaged employees stay at their jobs longer than disengaged employees and engaged employees provide an emotionally stable work environment.
While upper management and HR are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged, employees continue to focus on obtaining a work-life balance. Many HR professionals believe providing a work-life balance for employees will facilitate engagement (I’m one of them). In the past few years I have read only a few articles and participated in a limited number of conversations that focused on making sure employees did have a work-life balance.
If upper management and HR truly want what’s best for their employees they would recommend employees go home on time. Gemma Dale is an HR professional that resides in London, in her blog post Go Home On Time she provides a good case why employees should “go home on time”. Upper management and HR professionals should seriously consider Gemma’s suggestion. As an employee of any organization you’ll agree that Gemma’s assessment is accurate.
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In this second post on self-care I’m going to keep my word and address the emotional and physical health of the employee.
Society as a whole rarely engages in conversations about emotional health. You may not know but anxiety, shyness, and stress are related to our emotional health. This is what the American Psychological Association says about emotional health:
Emotional health can lead to success in work, relationships and health. In the past, researchers believed that success made people happy. Newer research reveals that it’s the other way around. Happy people are more likely to work toward goals, find the resources they need and attract others with their energy and optimism — key building blocks of success.
We see that emotional health can lead to personal and professional success.
I can’t stress enough the affect that life-changing events have on our emotional health. Life-changing events such as: the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, being recently married or divorced, starting or returning to school as an adult student, going back to work after a long absence, etc. Any of these events can cause someone to go into a downward spiral because of the stress they place on an individual. As a society we need to pay more attention to our emotional health.
You can’t go anywhere and not be reminded about your physical health. You could be watching television and a commercial comes on advertising a weight loss program or gym membership. When you go to the grocery store there are sections dedicated to healthy foods. If you go to a sandwich shop many of them offer baked or kettle chips instead of fried chips. As a society we are very conscious about our physical health.
As a human being I want you to be very conscious about your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. Remember, your productivity or lack thereof is dependent upon your health.
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Many people believe the management-employee relationship is difficult to navigate. This relationship can be easy to navigate but it depends on the willingness, of management and the employee(s), to get along.
It’s the beginning of the second month of the New Year and what have you done for management thus far? I’m not talking about the management on your job. I’m talking about the manager of your life.
For those of you who set goals or made New Year’s resolutions did you take into account the manager of your life might have different goals for you? Everyone may not be religious or believe in God. However, I end every year and start the New Year by finding out “What does God want me to do this year?” It’s not rhetorical I honesty seek an answer. I have my goals and dreams for 2015 but if my goals and dreams don’t line up with what management has for me I could be disappointed during or at the end of the year.
This particular management-employee relationship isn’t easy to navigate. Like any other management-employee relationship the employee(s) have to spend time talking to management to find out what their expectations are. Once management has communicated their expectations it’s up to the employee to execute the plan. The difficult part of the management-employee relationship is executing the plan. You may not agree with some of the goals management has set for you however here’s something to consider, Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Even though you may not agree with some of the goals it’s still going to work for your good. The goals this manager has for you could change your current situation or alter the rest of your life? Is your dislike for the goals so strong that you’re willing to forfeit any good that would come your way? Before you answer that question consider this, Proverbs 16:18 First pride, then the crash the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. There are some management-employee relationships that regardless of the expectation(s) the end result is it works out for the employee’s good. Before we get too far into the year find out what expectations management has for you and then execute the plan.
The management-employee relationship can be easy to navigate. In this type of management-employee relationship are the employees willing to follow the plan management has laid out for them?
If you have questions about this and more please contact me at <a href=”firstname.lastname@example.org” title=”email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a> and www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/