MLA Work Life Webcast – Notes

I was asked by @eagledawg to blog about the MLA Worklife Webcast, but right now, my worklife balance isn’t going to permit that, so I am simply throwing up my (very!) rough notes.


– same type of job requirements
– maintaining teamwork and cameraderie

Work/life balance means you make the choices about what falls off your plate

atmosphere of trust and respect key

meaningful contribution
having a say in work decisions
team decisions
strategic plan
sense of fun in work activities
connect sense of purpose
leaders be role models

work worth doing – roosevelt
enjoy work you have – carnegie

no one size fits all solution

FMLA > military

employers w/ >15 employees provide sick days

first week in April events

save $42/employee in coverage

games and gamin in workplace relieve stress and encourage creativity

national library workers day – April 14

flexible scheduling options
parttime work
job sharing
flex time
leaves of abscence beyond what is required by law to deal with temp situations
phased retirement (valuable expertise)
transportation options
showers for bikers
shift schedules to avoid peak travel times
tuition assistance

supportive workplace culture

measure staff on output rather than facetime

see employee as WHOLE person


everyone has to work together to make it work

this trumps everything else when it comes to people liking their job and staying

rewards are exponential

stress makes physical and emotional health worse, make you less productive
you can then really focus on working, better quality time
better relationships

stress and fear do not make for good relationships at work,
create bitterness

more opportunities for promotion, since you are not worried about losing your quality of life

librarians are givers, we do too much taking care of others and not enough taking care of ourselves
feeling guilty about taking time away from office is barrier to participating in work-life initiatives

keeping the good people you recruit
increase engagement, retention, for the highest performing employees, reduce absenteeism, reduce illness up to half, more motivated/productive

creativity and problemsolving depend on safety of balanced life


sense of entitlement
incentives for participation
return on investment
– lower absenteeism
– presenteeism (coming to work sick)
– participation
– how are folks measure? redefine what it means to be productive at work
– lower healthcare costs

how aggressively does culture reward this?

don’t let people feel penalized for participating

pilot the program, try out telecommuting to work out the kinks, then roll out

what about injuries? on work time elsewhere

average cost to replace employee is 65% of annual salary

vacation time that isn’t used creates imbalance

81% profession are women, caretakers
have to be especially careful about overwhelmed exhausted employees
age: 56% are 45-64 baby boomers
people of color, health disparities – include these issues in screenings

sedentary profession
get up
our librarian bodies, our librarian selves
do our parent institutions do this? do we feel connected to our parent institutions? cost … part of our culture

food everywhere

DDR before staff meetings

health and productivity index report (date?)
high levels of energy reported from balanced diet, healthy weight, etc.

wwii generation
gen x
gen y

custody of grandchildren
different needs for work/life balance by generation
younger resistent to giving everything to work, afraid of being hurt like their parents were

outside passions – you are more than your job title

generation and gender in the workplace Oct 2004 report

rejection of the father’s workplace
uninterested in jobs with more responsibility if it means less time for family and friends

trends – women working more hours than ever before
more overtime work, unpaid

men shifting to more work at home

Lisa Marks
about getting pregnant shortly after starting new job
flextime and eldercare

back to presentation team

VPN, remote email
share-drive files at home
google calendar
shared calendaring
web conferencing

you can help employees a lot by simply being flexible – it doesn’t have to cost a lot
telecommuting is great if institution has tech to support it
communication is KEY

what if policy is flextime only for parents of young children, not others? oops
requirements of the job define the amount and flexibility, not whether they are a parent or not

what about negative attitudes

up to the manager to set the tone, establish positive tone
manager should investigate if there is an underlying cause for their unhappiness, maybe you can fix it

telecommuting : meet wiwth mgr before and after to show outcomes
results and outcomes are key to everyone – onsite or offsite
it shouldn’t make any difference if your employee is sitting at home in their bunnyslippers as long as they are being productive


create clear goals for the program
have an executive champion
program coordinator
training for managers about how to manage teleworkers
same appraisal process
meet the tech needs of teleworkers

half of NLMs 300 employees telework

travel time saved
etc – great slide

frequent check in on goals, not hour by hour or minute by minute, but progress toward goals
performance assessment should be goal oriented, and should be same for home and office employees
telework > forward work phone to home
home computer connected to work resources
good tech support essential

tech that can help:
web conferencing
discussion lists
document sharing (wiki blogs)

what’s in it for staff?
save time
save gas
can do extra exercise etc
save money
dress code (save wardrobe)

benefits to society
1 day a week is 20% reduction in parking and pollution
which jobs CAN telework?
– no direct onsite materials or people
– performance below standard
– need to be a successful worker already

jobs that can’t:

if you don’t do it at work, then don’t do it at home on telework days

reference can on selective days if not on desk

BENEFITS: improved morale, recruitment, retention, emergency preparedness, free office space (desk sharing), expands virtual service hours

telework agreement:
sample agreements on website
– tasks, times (days and hours)
– how to maintain contact
– who supports workspace
– who pays
– dependent care
(childcare is not a telework activity)
– when it is required to come into work
– periodic review, tweeks

Get management buy in to support project
set milestones to evaluations

Gabe Rios
– structure for flexibility
– outlet
– tech

assumption is that people spend ~40 hrs a week, but flexibility and when and where

find something that is a mental vacation for you, reinvigorate your work

tech can be liberating
social presence awareness
mobile businesses
sit outside or have meeting at coffeeshop
skype, dimdim, zoho or google docs

Back to main presentation team:

tech can also take away your worklife balance
you’re never off work, your never free
organizational culture
how are employees expected to stay in touch
manage the tech, don’t let it manage you

what do you want and why
how will it benefit the organization
how can your job be adapted
what tech will you need, what do you already have
how will you be visible, present, available
meetings? will you come in or speaker phone?
objective measures of success
who are the people who will make the decision?
address their concerns & objections head on

Health and wellness programs

work with HR

“Center for Mindfulness”
“wherever you go, there you are”
onsite fitness
mothers room
seminar series > humor at work, building your financial future

drycleaning pickup on campus

“the healthy librarian”

active commuting
showers and secure bike locks
fitness fairs
alternative medicine
diabetes care
ergonomic specialists
ten thousand step programs
walking clubs
biggest loser contests
healthy snacks

colleagues inspiration > triathlon

worklife balance classes – this is her most popular class

comfort drawer at work >> tea, dark chocolate, healthy snacks
fun events to bring staff together
celebrate successes
strong dream team >> who supports you? family and friends
lunchtime knitting group
nap room

appreciate what your employer does for you, think about what you already have before you initate something new

Top offerings:
employee assistance plans
flex time
health screening

if you don’t know about what’s there, you feel like it isn’t there
publicize the wellness options available
communication is key

stress management
depression is a fact of life – 6.7% of all adults
depression ranks 2nd as cause of lost productivity
few received proper treatment

4 step
relaxation, resilience, time, humor
stop, breath, reflect, choose
time management – Melody Hawks, 2008 / harvard business essentials
importance of saying NO
humor – bless in the mess

creativity and productivity are linked
“when someone’s laughing it’s contagious”

take the staff birdwatching, trival pursuit, origami, digital photography workshops, bikerides, brewery night, walking tours

wellness week – no meetings for the whole week

one hour a week release time for wellness activities
take advantage of local talents

both employee and employer have to be flexible

24/7/365 technology leash
Exempt positions means need to work flexibly and at higher level of work – sometimes evenings, sometimes weekends. You probably work more than 40 hours per week, closer to 45. 45 isn’t a problem, 60 hours a week *is* a problem.

make technology turn off time
establish expectation that you are NOT always available

granting of telework should be based on needs of positions, not the individual in the position
“it’s unfair to other employees” is no excuse to take away telecommuting privileges
do employee and employer both feel connected enough for telework productivity

question your assumptions about where, when and how work needs to be done
we don’t need to do things they way we always have
you’re worth it, your employees are worth it
it doesn’t hurt to ask
we are all evidence that worklife balance is not a myth
make balance important to your institution
develop collection and activities
planning is key,
create support systems
Circle of Wellness > inventory and passport
set a worklife balance goal


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s