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Workplace Flexibility

Given that the federal government has been and will be facing a myriad of challenges, many of these agencies are adopting their own versions of flexibility, and defining them as such. Employees, as well, are becoming more vigilant and proactive in asking for a variety of flexibilities that will afford them a better work life balance. Whether these include telecommuting, social media network engagements, skills acquisition and/or time for new training or technology, there are many requests now surfacing to supervisors for consideration.

As talent becomes an even more focused endeavor for many of these organizations, so too does the flexibilities add to the attractiveness of government positions. Senior leaders across the intelligence community, specifically, are working collaboratively to modernize their workforce so that they can stay engaged with these requests, contemplate new opportunities and define efforts that help increase work/life balances.

Many leaders have waited a long time for flexible policies, guidance and cost considerations surrounding their workforce. They are waiting no longer. The IRS, for example has opened up this door for their employees by implementing a social media network where they can develop skills, talk about goals and share information on their career aspirations.

With their new employee “buddy” program, as well as an emerging leader program, the ability to learn and acquire critical or new skill sets has positioned their employees for advancement and career growth. This opportunity has helped the workforce become more productive, efficient and smarter in their endeavors. Connections to colleagues and others provide the ability and flexibility needed to obtain critical knowledge, skills and abilities that they may have been lacking; unable to obtain or wait for hands-on formal training, this option has been a significant success.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also seeking holistic approaches to be able to address the flexibility needs of their employees across the globe. They are using technology to increase workforce safety and implementing automation through robotics and artificial intelligence initiatives to enhance border security.

Their workforce has embraced changes and look forward to additional opportunities that enhance their mission, keep them safe, and increase their efficiency and flexibilities. The DHS is not stopping there; they are including this workforce strategy into their business processes and procedures as well to enhance safety, security and strengthen their overall administration.

The new skills learned through these flexibility initiatives can help employees improve competencies. Employees will be able to showcase their enhanced productivity and knowledge on their federal resume for future promotions or to obtain positions with greater responsibility.

Modernizing the workforce involves embracing them; listening to their suggestions, making positive change and managing effectively to ensure success. Flexibility, open mindedness and dedication are all critical components across organizations like the federal government that enable these to take place. Talent is abound, abroad and available to help pave the way for flexible, effective talent management, performance and production. Sustainable solutions for a prosperous work/life balance are right in front of our eyes; by enabling our employees, we empower, we grow, and we create balance for all. The new skills learned through these new flexibilities will help you enhance your federal resume and possibly lead to is process will


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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

About The Author

Dr. Donna Day is a Manager at the Department of Defense, where she has been for more than 30 years. With a background in Information Assurance, Customer Engagement and Marketing, more recently she has been studying Cyber security Policy and Management at the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC). She earned her Doctor of Management, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science Degree in Technology Management at UMUC and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing at the University of Baltimore. Dr. Day is also an Adjunct Professor at Norwich University in Vermont, where she teaches Cyber security, Critical Infrastructure and Information Assurance courses to a myriad of students, worldwide, from across the intelligence community. A published author, Baltimore Ravens fan, and life-long learner, she enjoys writing, traveling, cooking, and most importantly, spending time with her family and friends.