Supporting Work/Life Flexibility

Free yoga classes at Hawley Armory are among the programs offered by UConn’s Department of Human Resources and the Work/Life Oversight Committee during October, to mark National Work & Family Month. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Free yoga classes at Hawley Armory are among the programs offered by UConn’s Department of Human Resources and the Work/Life Oversight Committee during October, to mark National Work & Family Month. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Staying ahead of the wide range of commitments in our busy day-to-day lives can pose a challenge. Fortunately for faculty, staff, and students at UConn looking to achieve that balance between work and life, the University offers a wealth of resources that can help.

“It’s not really about being able to be the person who can do it all – because we can’t do it all,” says Vicki Fry, co-chair of UConn’s Work/Life Oversight Committee. “It’s really thinking about what you value, putting your priority on the things you value, and finding time for those things – and we have the resources for you.”

Through the University’s Work/Life Connections programming, members of the UConn community have the opportunity to access practical information on everything from health and wellness to flex time to child care benefits provided for those affiliated with the University. The Work/Life Oversight Committee also advocates for work/life flexibility across the institution, and develops workshops and seminars on topics of interest to faculty, staff, and students.

With October marking National Work & Family Month, UConn’s Department of Human Resources and the Work/Life Oversight Committee will sponsor a variety of special programs over the coming weeks. Drawing on expertise from across the University, the committee has arranged – among other activities – free yoga and spin classes at Hawley Armory, a UConn pharmacy student-run workshop on blood pressure management, and a “Talking to Adolescents” presentation, led by one of UConn’s own human development and family studies faculty members.

“Collaboration with the University community is really important,” Fry says about developing this diverse set of programs. “We have so much knowledge on this campus, and we really try to tap into that.”

A Work/Life Expo on Oct. 11 will also feature about 50 service providers, hearing screenings, and flu shots for those with State of Connecticut health insurance.

This month, President Susan Herbst, Interim Provost Mun Choi, and Executive Vice President/CFO Richard Gray are reissuing to members of the community the University’s Statement on Work/Life Flexibility, which outlines UConn’s commitment to fostering a healthy workplace as well as an environment responsive to the obligations of employees and students.

“Work/life flexibility is important as far as retention, productivity, reduced absenteeism, and motivation and morale for employees,” says Fry. “As long as supervisors and managers can meet their business needs, it’s great to provide the flexibility to employees to help balance their work and life.”

UConn’s Work/Life Oversight Committee “offers a terrific set of resources for every member of our University community,” says Herbst. “As an institution, we must do all we can to ensure that UConn is a supportive, flexible, and understanding environment for our staff, faculty, and students.”

Offering information on such issues as family care, financial planning, health and wellness, flex time and leave, and community programs and resources, the committee “is really there for the University,” Fry says. “We encourage people to contact us about Work/Life issues they may be experiencing or programs and resources they would like to see at the University. We have representation from all areas of the University – faculty, staff, grad students, undergrad students. They are your voice on this committee, so let them know what’s on your mind.”

To learn more about the University’s work/life resources, visit the Work/Life Connections website at worklife.uconn.edu/.