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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
October 18, 2004
Volume 40, Number 3

Work/life balance key issue for university

By Susan Carkeek

Work/life balance is one of the key issues in today’s workplace. The term means different things to different people. For younger employees, work/life balance may mean working a full time job and being able to pursue an education. For employees with children, the focus may be on opportunities for family time. Other employees may need to care for an aging relative or wish to pursue community service projects.

In response to these concerns, this past year the UNM Staff Council formed a work/life committee. The committee conducted a survey, researched best practices, and submitted a report outlining recommendations for a complete work/life program at UNM. The committee’s recommendations address four core areas – programs, policies, culture and work practices. The Department of Human Resources is pleased to note that, in addition to its other findings, the work/life committee found that UNM already possesses many excellent benefits and programs that support work/life balance.

One of the most important aspects of work/life balance is an employee’s ability to take time off when he or she needs it. In this respect, UNM offers flexible work schedules and a generous leave policy. More information on UNM’s flex schedule options can be found in the Manager’s Guide to Alternative Work Arrangements, which is on the HR website at http://www.unm.edu/~hr/managers/.

A key recommendation from the work/life committee is to establish a university-wide advisory board. Nominations are currently being accepted. If you are interested in serving, please contact Amy Dunlap at 277-5824 or email at adunlap@salud.unm.edu.

Another recommendation was to create a manager/supervisor award designed to promote forward-thinking management practices and reward managers who foster a work environment that assists faculty and staff in balancing their personal and work responsibilities. The recipient will receive $1,000 and a plaque at a ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m. in the SUB ballroom. Of note, October is National Work and Family Month.

To review the full report of the UNM Staff Council work/life committee, visit http://www.unm.edu/~stafcom/.