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October: Observing National Work and Family Month

The United States Senate declared October National Work and Family Month believing that “supporting a balance between work and personal life is in the best interest of national worker productivity” and that “reducing the conflict between work and family life should be a national priority.” The Senate asked the President to “issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe ‘National Work and Family Month’ with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

In keeping with the spirit of this legislation, Human Resources wants to remind faculty and staff of the following programs and services designed to support your efforts to manage the competing demands of work and personal life:

Work and Family Services

Penn offers faculty and staff and their immediate family members free and confidential assistance with work and family challenges through Penn Behavioral Health (PBH), our Employee Assistance Program. Examples of reasons to contact PBH:

Help with finding child care,

Options for special educational arrangements,

Ideas for keeping communication lines open with teens,

Assistance with identifying dependent adult and elder care resources

You can contact PBH 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week by phone or online. No matter how you reach Penn’s Work & Family Services, you will find practical solutions, realistic answers, and customized resource information for all dependent care and family issues.

Phone Access: 1-888-321-4433

Online Access: Work & Family Services Online at www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/worklife/dependent.asp When you link to the above website, you will need your PennKey and Password. When you select “Work & Family Services Online,” you will be asked for a user name and password. These codes apply: User Name: upenn, Password: eap. 

Flexible Work Options

Since 1998, the University of Pennsylvania has offered guidelines online for implementing Flexible Work Options (www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/worklife/flexoptions/default.asp).  These guidelines cover the following arrangements:

Compressed Work Schedules,
Part-time Assignments, and
Job Sharing

When appropriate for the job and work environment, these arrangements are valued by staff for the way they support efforts to manage work and family responsibilities, professional development activities, and community service commitments. They support management goals for attracting and retaining the best talent and encouraging cross-training and increased productivity.  They also offer approaches for reducing commuting costs, even more important in today’s climate of rising fuel costs.

Since their introduction, flexible work options have been used successfully by staff in many of our schools and centers. The online ‘Tool Kits for Staff and Supervisors’ offer step-by-step guidance on how to consider these arrangements, www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/worklife/flexoptions/training.asp; click on ‘Staff Member Tool Kit’ or ‘Manager Tool Kit’ in the top right column of the webpage.

As part of our Work and Family Month activities, Human Resources is offering workshops October 25 and 26 on 1) how to develop flexible work option proposals and 2) how to manage flexible arrangements. 

For details about these workshops, go to Human Resources’ Course Catalog, and browse by category for “Flexible Work Options” sessions.  For personal assistance, contact Askhr@hr.upenn.edu or call (215) 898-6093.

Work and Family Workshops

Lunchtime workshops dealing with your emotional wellbeing and work & family issues are offered by experts from Penn Behavioral Health, our Employee Assistance Program and Work & Family benefit provider. Pre-registration is required. For details, see above.

Thursday, October 6: Successful Care Arrangements for Your School Age Child.

Thursday, October 20: Managing Relationships in the Midst of Hectic Lives.

Contact Human Resources at (215) 898-5116 or orna@hr.upenn.edu with questions about workshops or registering to participate.

—Division of Human Resources



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 5, September 27, 2005


September 27, 2005
Volume 52 Number 5


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