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National Work & Family Month

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICERS
From: 
BETH F. COBERT, ACTING DIRECTOR
Subject: 
National Work & Family Month

This memorandum provides an overview of our progress towards more effective, flexible work environments, in celebration of National Work & Family Month (October) and in support of the June 23, 2014 Presidential Memorandum on Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs.   The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is also pleased to share information about multiple resources and tools available to agencies as they expand the use of workplace flexibilities and work-life programs as appropriate and consistent with agency mission. 

This year, OPM's analysis of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results identified work-life as a key driver of employee engagement.  Managers who support employees' professional and personal success unleash employee productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.

OPM is committed to helping agencies strategically develop and improve work-life programs through consultation, guidance, trainings, and tools.  Highlighted below are new, valuable resources developed by OPM to support you and your employees. 

ONLINE, INTERACTIVE WORK-LIFE TRAININGS
This year OPM developed the Introduction to Leave, Work-Life, and Workplace Flexibilities Training for managers and employees seeking to understand, access, and use the vast resources and flexible workplace options available in the Federal Government, and updated two telework trainings, Telework Fundamentals - Employee Training and Telework Fundamentals - Manager Training.  To find other work-life related trainings, such as Executive Excellence and Wellness through Strategic Leadership, visit HR University's Work-Life Studio. 

TELEWORK GUIDANCE
In 2016, OPM released new guidance on how to utilize various workplace flexibilities, including telework, to help mitigate commuting disruptions (CPM 2016-06 Impact of the Metro SafeTrack Project on Washington, DC, Area Federal Employees), reduce health risks (CPM 2016-07 Coping with Severe Heat and Humidity), and assist Federal employees affected by severe weather, natural disasters, and other emergency situations (CPM 2016-11 Human Resources Flexibilities for Severe Weather, Natural Disaster, and other Emergency Situations).  To access a wider array of information and resources, visit Telework.gov.

COVERAGE OF APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM
Beginning in 2017, all Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plans are required to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) benefits for children on the autism spectrum.  This important initiative to expand ABA availability is part of an overall approach to ensuring that Federal families have access to the care they need.  In addition, FEHB health plans cover many preventive services at no cost to their members, including but not limited to flu shots, tobacco cessation treatment options, newborn screenings, hearing and vision screenings for children, and diabetes, cholesterol, osteoporosis screenings for adults.  OPM encourages all Federal employees to take advantage of their preventive health benefits and review their plan brochures and Open Season information for specific details. 

In addition, OPM provides agency Work-Life Coordinators with regular opportunities to share best practices and facilitates interagency learning through in-person and virtual events.  For National Work and Family Month, OPM will offer a series of webinars on current work-life topics:

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2:00-3:00 EST -- Sleep and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Health: A Mind Body Perspective
  •  Wednesday, October 19, 2:00-3:00 EST -- Evolving Fatherhood: Research on The New Dad
  • Thursday, November 3, 2:00-3:30 EST -- Telework & Performance Management Part 1
  • Tuesday, October 25, 2:00-3:00 EST -- Impact of Dependent Care Back-Up Programs on Federal Agencies: The Provider’s Perspective
  • Thursday, October 27, 2:00-3:30 EST -- Telework & Performance Management Part 2 

OPM will send specific information and links to register to agency Work-Life Coordinators. 

"Because at the end of the day, attracting and retaining employees who are more productive and engaged through flexible workplace policies is not just good for business or for our economy – it’s good for our families and our future." - President Barack Obama 

Additional Information
Employees should contact their agency's Work-Life Coordinator(s) for more information. Agency human resources offices are encouraged to review the
material available on OPM's Work-Life website and contact OPM's WorkLife Office at worklife@opm.gov for assistance.