Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

Yes, it’s called the Office of Work/Life/Wellness

The Government Accountability Office on Dec. 16 released a study on the effectiveness of OPM’s Office of Work/Life/Wellness.

That office is there to provide agencies with the guidance and information they need to develop and manage work/life initiatives—things like flexible scheduling to accommodate family needs, child and elder care, smoking cessation programs, health and wellness programs, etc.

Most agencies seemed to think OPM was doing a good job of helping them implement such programs—and make decisions on whether and how to do so in an economically challenged fiscal environment. Which set us to wondering: How much is the average fed getting out of these programs?

Do you avail yourself of such programs when they are available? Are they available? How important are they to you? Which ones do you want that your agency does not yet offer?

Inquiring GovCareerNetwork minds want to know.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Dec 17, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Thu, Dec 23, 2010 rundog New York

Cut the program out. Working outside of "headquarters" or Washingon we get no child care, and are told be OPM to get some exercise to beat job stress. They also have tips telling us to eat less cookies over the holidays. I can figure this stuff out on my own. Cut the jobs over there and send these staffers out into the field offices where they may make themselves useful.

Tue, Dec 21, 2010 Karen Sacramento, CA

Our facility (SBA) gets a quarterly newsletter with VERY good tips. I have used many of the suggestions and found them to be practical and immediately beneficial. Kudos to OPM's staff who produces this item!

Tue, Dec 21, 2010 Bequi Livingston New Mexico

I don't think that this program is recognized or known by many federal agencies or employees. What a shame since Employee Wellness or Well-Being is probably the "most" critical element in today's workplace. Wellness encompases a variety of elements including fitness, nutrition and stress management to name a few.
My profession is Fitness and Wellness and it's a shame that the angencies don't define this well or ensure that each Regional unit have a Wellness Coordinator responsible for the oversight of this critical program. I also believe that IF we were to really support and emphasize the importance of this program, the employee morale issue would be much improved. Thank you ....

Tue, Dec 21, 2010 Washington, DC

I have used this program and it has been very helpful to me. It saves me time. which I do not have. I spend a lot of time in meetings and I have a very busy schedule. Being a single mom, things tends to break a lot in my home and my adopted child "not me" seems to be the culprit. I contacted work4life and they have reffered me to a couple of companies that deals with HVAC as well as plumbers and travel agencies. Having the research done ahead of times, allows me to digest what I have read and make the right decision. Kudos to the agency for having this added bonus.

Tue, Dec 21, 2010 WI

I'm amazed at how many here don't use or get to use the wellness/fitness programs. Is it in the union agreement for you folks? If it is, then you have grounds to complain and if worse comes to worse, file a grievance. If it's not in the agreement, pipe up to your union local! The Govt. supports these programs. I love those bennies!

In our locals, we get 2 hrs. a week off for fitness per the bargaining agreement. We also get about 1/2 of our gym fees paid per quarter. And yes, you need to get approval on a form for the year from your supervisor for it. Also, you need to record your attendance on a webiste we use to track. Also, you are legally allowed break times, which is when people take walks sometimes. If you send an email to your supervisor stating your plans on walking on your break (which is your own time) in areas allowed, they can tell you which ones are allowed. You can't be disallowed to take a break. If you do, guess what? Yes, grievance. Plain and simple.

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