Emory Begins Tackling the Work-Life Needs of Its Community

Since opening its virtual doors in May, 2009 the Emory WorkLife Resource Center  (EWLRC) has been

working hard to centralize existing Emory resources and create new programs to help members of the Emory

community manage their work-life and be more effective both at work and in their personal lives. The

EWLRC was commissioned through the Strategic Business Plan at Emory to help enhance Emory as a

community that embraces a culture of joy and provides opportunities for both the University and its people

to thrive. It is smart business and it shows how much Emory values its workforce.

 

Over the past year, the EWLRC has been focused on addressing the ninety-three recommendations made

by the Work-Life Task Force. A great deal of progress has been made with regards to the area of

dependent care at Emory. This includes all aspects of caregiving for children, adults and the elderly. The

creation and ongoing expansion of the Emory Child Care Network, as well as establishing caregiver support

groups aimed at helping employees care for aging and sick family members are some of the new programs

receiving publicity at Emory. Discounts and priority admissions at a variety of child care centers throughout

metro Atlanta have been well received by Emory parents, especially during today’s economic times. A new

program launching this fall is called the Employee-Student Job Network. It is aimed at helping Emory

faculty, staff, and graduate students fill part-time jobs (such as babysitting, pet sitting, and lawn

maintenance) with Emory students. It has been a highly requested service by both parties and a

recommendation made by the Work-Life Task Force.

 

The EWLRC has also been focused on the development of training programs to help employees and

managers interested in workplace flexibility programs and plan to begin promoting them to the Emory

community in the fall. The workshops are designed to help employees understand the different types of

alternative work arrangements (AWA) and evaluate the option that may work best for them, as well as to

help them create a proposal to present to their manager. In addition, the EWLRC has created training to

help administrators understand how to manage employees using AWA programs, including the management

of a remote workforce.  

 

Moving forward, the EWLRC plans to reach out to a larger number of employees by implementing more of its

programming virtually such as offering some of its training via podcasts and offering online tools to help

employees manage their work-life needs remotely and at their convenience so it fits their schedule. The

center has also taken on policy changes to help support faculty and staff with issues of dependent care

such as the automatic extension of the tenure clock to allow time to have a child. Resources are available

to help employees with planning leave around dependent care issues such as the thought of a gradual

return to work from family leave or working a reduced work schedule in times of economic down times.

 

The EWLRC strives to save employees time by serving as a one stop shop to find policies, programs and

resources to help them be more productive and less stressed at home and at work.  While the center has

come a long way to improve work-life for the Emory community, there is still a lot of work to be done. The

center’s website maintains a list of the recommendations made by the task force and keeps it updated as

to the progress of each of them.