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Washington, D.C. - In an historic first, three federal department and agency heads met to discuss the creation of a model Work-Life campus that would include more than 6,000 Federal employees on multiple acres.
U. S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry met with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, General Services Administration Acting Administrator Paul F. Prouty and officials from the Federal Reserve Board to discuss ways to create a model Work-Life "campus" that will showcase what the Federal Government can do to improve the wellness, morale and productivity of Federal employees. The meeting, which was held at the Department of the Interior, was the first in a series that will take place throughout the coming months."OPM and its sister agencies and departments are committed to working together to develop programs and policies that create the ‘Work-Life Balance' Federal employees want and deserve," said Berry. "We will work hand in glove over the next year to review and improve the services and facilities available to the more than 6,000 Federal employees that comprise our campus...OPM, DOI, GSA and the Federal Reserve."
Some of the Work-Life initiatives that the officials plan to evaluate include their wellness programs, Telework policies and the potential for sharing facilities. In close proximity to one another, the four federal agencies and departments are located in northwest Washington, D.C., within walking distance of the White House, bounded on the north by F Street and to the south by Constitution Avenue.
In describing the need for a model campus, Secretary Salazar said he hosted the meeting with a clear and defined outcome in mind. "Federal employees perform so many essential functions and sometimes in conditions far less attractive than those of the private sector. I am committed to joining forces with our federal neighbors to create an innovative and integrated workplace. America's top employers have understood for a long time just how important it is to create a pleasing place to work as a strong draw for recruiting and retaining the best talent in the land."
GSA Acting Administrator Prouty, who has been in discussion with OPM for several months, said he favored the creation of a model campus because it fits so well with other GSA-led government-wide efforts such as green energy and conservation. By creating a multi-agency campus, feds can focus on joint efforts such as a centralized child-care facility, a farmer's market, a campus garden and common green areas, he said.
"This effort demonstrates how we can do more with less," said Berry. "By combining our efforts, we can more adequately and economically address the issues of wellness and employee satisfaction than we could with an agency-by-agency approach."
Berry was asked by the other agency officials to serve as the chair of the group, which will meet monthly. The findings from their Work-Life evaluations will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and given to other agency officials to provide a model for needed changes and improvements across the government.Said Berry, "By using our combined knowledge of what our employees want and need, we will not only be creating a healthier, happier and more productive workforce, but one that is even prouder to work for Uncle Sam. Federal employees are world-class thinkers and experts who possess a dazzling array of knowledge and skills. We already employ the best minds in America. By applying a more coordinated approach to campus life, we can become the best employer in America."
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.